Before you know it, 10 years have flown by and it’s time to submit your Green Card renewal application.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you can renew your Green Card within 6 months of it’s expiration date.
As you probably know, getting a Green Card is not easy.
Fortunately, the Green Card renewal process is way easier than the initial Green Card application. In fact, it’s so easy that most people do it completely on their own.
How do we know this?
We know this because thousands of immigrants have used SimpleCitizen to create and submit their own Green Card renewal applications. In fact, it’s our mission to make the immigration process as easy as using TurboTax to do your taxes.
However, every once in a while a Green Card renewal application is rejected…
If you choose to do it yourself, please avoid these 5 most common mistakes that we have seen:
5. You were “Ordered Removed”
If you were ordered removed from the United States, your green card renewal will more than likely be denied. You are ordered removed if at least one of the following has happened to you:
- A judge ordered you deported or removed
- You signed a stipulated removal order
- You were at the border, and immigration officials completed Expedited Removal paperwork on you
(Note: This is not simply being refused entry)
Also note that you are not considered “ordered removed” simply if your visa category is Z11, Z13, Z14, or Z15. These categories are based on a “suspension of deportation” or “suspension of removal” which is different than being ordered removed.
4. You’ve committed a crime
If you have committed a felony or misdemeanor, the best course of action is to seek advice from a professional before filing to renew your green card. If you speak with an immigration attorney, you are much more likely to successfully obtain a renewed green card.
3. You submitted an incomplete application
Be careful to read all the instructions. These 4 parts of the green card renewal application are often missed:
- Remember to sign in all the right places.
- Be sure to attach all required evidence (requested photocopies of official documents).
- Make sure to pay the I-90 filing fee and the biometrics services fee.
- Be sure to attend your scheduled biometrics appointment.
As long as you read and follow the instructions carefully, you shouldn’t have to worry.
A few weeks later, you should receive an I-797 form from USCIS with information about your scheduled biometrics appointment. If you fail to attend your appointment or neglect to sign or include all evidence with your I-90 form, your application will likely be denied.
2. You gave incorrect information
Make sure everything on your application is 100% accurate!
Check it again. Then one more time.
At your biometric services appointment, USCIS will ask you to re-affirm under penalty of perjury that the information you provided is complete and true. Your application will be denied if USCIS finds any false information.
1. You submitted the wrong Green Card renewal form
There is a big difference between a regular Green Card, and a Green Card with conditions.
If you are a conditional permanent resident, DO NOT SUBMIT the I-90 to renew. A conditional permanent resident should only submit the I-90 if their card is lost, stolen, or damaged.
Click here if you want to learn more about conditional permanent residents.
Other Common Worries
Many applicants worry about financial problems, including bad credit scores or unpaid taxes, but USCIS will generally not deny your renewal Green Card application because of these issues.
However, unpaid taxes may lead to other problems. You could be fined and prosecuted. Then it is much harder to become a U.S. citizen.
What can I do if my application is denied?
You are not allowed to appeal a negative decision, but you may submit a motion to reopen or reconsider your case. By filing the motion, you’re requesting that the USCIS office reevaluate their decision.
If you file a motion to reopen, you must state the new information you will provide and include appropriate evidence. If you file a motion to reconsider, you instead must show that USCIS’s decision to deny your application was an incorrect application of law or policy and that USCIS’s decision was incorrect based on the evidence you provided when you filed your application. For more information, see this page.
Note: If your Green Card renewal application is denied and you used SimpleCitizen to apply; we will refund you 100% of the government fee ($837) and our fee ($297). Here’s our refund policy.
How to avoid these mistakes
If you have any questions, you can contact us here.
You can also request a free consultation with a licensed immigration attorney here.
After you’ve successfully renewed your Green Card, we would love to hear your story. Please leave a review here and tell us about your experience.