Green Card Renewal from Outside the United States
As a permanent resident (Green Card holder), you must know that having valid, unexpired proof of permanent resident status is required for reentry at a U.S. port of entry. However, if you are outside the United States and realize that your green card is expiring, or already expired, there are some ways to get you home.
Is it Possible to Renew My Green Card from Outside the United States?
No, you should know that renewing your Green Card when you are not physically present in the United States is not possible. You must be physically in the country to renew your Green Card.
Depending on your situation, you may choose one of the following solutions:
Your Green Card is expiring while you are inside the U.S.
If you realize that your Green Card is about to expire prior to your departure, you should apply for renewal before you leave the country. USCIS will extend the validity of your card for a period of 24 months beyond the card’s expiration date once you submit your I-190 application. Carry the expired card and the letter together as proof of your status which is sufficient evidence of permanent residence for your re-entry.
Your Green Card is expiring, but you are in another country
If you notice that your Green Card is expiring while you are outside the United States and you will be back within one year of your departure from the United States and before the card expiration date, you should renew your card once you return to the United States. Your Green Card is valid for entry through a U.S. port of entry up until the day it expires. You then must immediately file the I-90 application with USCIS. You can leave the country again, but make sure you attend your biometric appointment prior to your departure as this appointment is mandatory to complete the renewal process.
Your Green Card expires, and you are in another country on a temporary trip
You may have made all travel arrangements but suddenly notice that your Green Card is not valid for re-entry. More than likely, you should be able to return to the country with no problem if your trip is less than one year. However, the expired Green Card may create some problems with transportation carriers like airlines. If the airline does not accept your expired Green Card, you then have to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and file Form I-131A. We encourage you to check with your airline first.
Your Green Card expired, and you have been outside the U.S. for more than a year
As a permanent resident, your absence from the United States of one year or more creates the presumption that you have abandoned your permanent resident status which can be problematic for your re-entry. There are, however, some exceptions.
- Reentry Permit – If you know that you will be outside of the United States beyond one year, you can apply for reentry permit. This document allows you to remain outside the United States for a period of up to two years. You can travel to the United States so long as your reentry permit is valid.
- Returning Resident Visa – Another exception is a returning resident visa. If you stayed outside the United States beyond one year due to extraordinary circumstances outside your control such as medical condition or specific country condition, you may be eligible for a returning resident visa.
In sum, per U.S. regulations, you are not permitted to renew your Green Card form outside the United States. Our office can help you renewing your Green Card. Today.
The information provided here does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. If you need to book a consultation, please click here.