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A guide to Form I-90: Application to replace permanent resident card

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A Guide to Form I-90 - Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card

The "Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card," otherwise known as Form I-90, is the official document used in renewal or replacement of Green Cards. 

Applicants need to file Form I-90 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if their Green Card expires, or is soon to expire, or if its stolen, damaged, or lost. 

Who Needs Form I-90?

Most U.S permanent residents require the use of Form I-90 when renewing or replacing their Green Card. This Form also includes those permanent residents with 10-year Green Cards expiring in the next 6-months, or for those with expired Green Card documents.

Who is not eligible to File Form I-90?

Those individuals with a conditional Green Card, which will expire 2-years after its issue, must follow different procedures to replace their existing document with a "Permanent Green Card." The permanent Green Card is valid for 10-years, and it's renewable.

This process is also known by the term, "removing the conditions" on a Green Card.

Applicants must file Form I-751, also known as the "Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence"), if the applicant has a marriage-based conditional Green Card, or file Form I-829, also known as the "Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status," for those individuals that gain U.S. permanent residency through investing in a U.S-based company.

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How Do I Fill Out Form I-90?

In this section, applicants get a closer look at each of the parts in Form I-90, in greater detail. 

Section 1 – Personal Details

This section is straightforward, capturing all of your relevant information like birth dates, as well as information on your parents, your gender, and other basic information.

However, you'll come across a request for your Alien Registration Number or "A-Number," and you can find this number on your existing Green Card. 

You'll also get a request for your USCIS Online Account Number, which is different from the A-Number. If you don't know this number, you'll have to log into your account on the USCIS website to find it on your profile page.

It's important to note that the USCIS won't mail any Green Cards to a non-U.S address. Therefore, if you're planning to be outside of the United States when your Green Card expires, you'll need to apply for another before you leave on your trip.

For those commuters traveling between the United States and Mexico or Canada for work, you may apply with a non-U.S postal address. Still, you must follow the instructions for item 2.h.1. and indicate the U.S. Port of Entry (POE) you intend on using. The USCIS will mail your new Breen Card to this location for collection.) 

The "Class of Admission" in item 14, asks the applicant how they got their original Green Card. Applicants must enter the 3-digit immigration code found in the "category" section of their current Green Card document. In most cases, this code is two letters, followed by a single number, like "IR1."

When entering any dates for "Date of Admission and Date of Birth, applicants must ensure that they are using the U.S. format: mm/dd/yyyy (month, day, year).

Part 2 – The Application Type

When completing this section, applicants must select the item-number that corresponds with the description of their Green Cardholder status. If you're a commuter resident traveling between Mexico or Canada and the U.S, then you're eligible to file Form I-90.

However, if you're a conditional resident, based on your marriage to a U.S citizen, or an investor with a 2-year Green Card, then you need to complete a different form to Form I-90.

Based on your current immigration status with the USCIS, the applicant gets directed to either Section A or B, which enquires as to why the applicant is applying for a new Green Card document. Reasons include, your Green Card contains inaccurate information, you lost your Green Card, someone stole it, or it expired.

Part 3 – Processing Information for Form I-90

Item 1 – Asks the applicant where they originally submitted their Green Card application, which will either be with a USCIS office or a U.S Embassy or consulate service. 

Item 2 – Asks the applicant where the Green Card received approval.

Item 3 – Asks the applicant where they intend on living, and which port of entry they plan on using.

Applicants will also need to use this section to explain if they have ever been in immigration court, and for what occurrence. 

The applicant needs to provide a detailed account of the events. If the applicant can't produce any evidence of their right to U.S. permanent residence, then they might have to consult with legal counsel before moving onto the next stage of the application.

Part 4 – Exceptions for Disabled or Impaired Individuals

Those applicants experiencing a disability, or that require assistance with completing the application can use this section. For example, an individual arriving in a wheelchair for their biometrics scan appointment can ask for accommodation at the site upon arrival.

Parts 5 through 7 – The Applicants Statement, Contact Details, Certification, and Signature

Applicants need to understand that when they are completing this section, they are signing a legal, binding document with the United States government. 

Applicants that require assistance with completing Form I-90 must indicate in this section if they are using the aid of an interpreter or legal representative when making their application. 

The third-party to the document must also complete this section of the application, leaving their personal and contact details. The third-party proxy must also sign this section of Form I-90 as well.

Part 8 – Additional Information and Supporting Documents

If applicants require any extra space on Form I-90 to leave additional information, they can enter that information in this section. 

If the page does not provide enough space for the applicant, they can attach supporting documents. However, applicants must ensure that they include their name and A-Number, at the top of each supporting document.

Applicants must remember to date and sign every supporting document that they attach to their Form I-90 application.

What Is the Process After Filing Form I-90?

After the USCIS receives your Form I-090 request for renewal or replacement of Green Card, along with all supporting documents and fees, it only then starts processing the document. The USCIS will send regular updates to your email address supplied on your application, reminding you about the progress of your application.

The USCIS automatically creates an account for those applicants that don't already have one. The USCIS system then forwards a copy of the updates to this account as well. 

The updates include the following information:

A confirmation letter from the USCIS that states it received your application, and it's ready for processing. 

The system schedules the applicant a biometrics appointment within one to two weeks after sending the first notification. The update also includes the center where you'll have to visit to capture your fingerprints and other identifying information.

The next notification is the Request for Evidence (RFE) letter, should the USCIS require any further information regarding your application. The applicant must respond within the stated deadline in the notification, and ensure they present all requested documents if they want their application to proceed. 

The final notice is for the approval or denial of your Form I-90 application.

How Can Applicants Check on the Status of Their Application? 

Every confirmation letter emailed to the applicant comes with a unique 13-character "receipt number," consisting of three letters and 10-numbers. Applicants can use this code to track the progress of their application online.

What is the Processing Times for Form I-90?

The average processing times for Form I-90 vary widely, depending on a few factors. Individuals applying form outside the United States can expect delays, while mainland services can take anywhere from 90-days to 1-year for approval of the application.

What are the Fees Involved with Filing Form I-90?

Applicants must ensure that they pay the filing fee of $455 for filing Form I-90. Most applicants will also need to pay $85 for the biometrics appointment as well, bringing the total cost of the application to $540.

Applicants need to note that all fees are nonrefundable.

Some applicants may be exempt from paying any filing or biometrics fees if they fall into the following criteria set by the USCIS.

  • The USCIS issued the applicants Green Card, but they never received it

  • Your Green Card contains printing errors or information errors

  • You qualify for the fee waiver

  • Applicants under 14-years old can waive the filing fee of $455

The takeaway

How applicants pay fees depends on whether they are filing through the mail, or online. 

For those filing online, you'll need to make your payment through the official government payment portal, Pay.gov. There are no additional fees for using this service.

Those applicants filing through the mail may pay by check or money order. Make all payments out to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security," and make sure you do not use any abbreviation. Applicants can also pay through credit card by completing Form G-1450, the "Authorization for Credit Card Transactions." 

The USCIS does not accept cash as a valid form of payment for fees.

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