What Should You Do If You Have an Expired Green Card?

Permanent U.S. residents, or green card holders, get many benefits from such a status. While green cards can remain valid for an extended period of time, it is a mistake to assume that your green card will remain valid indefinitely without the need for renewal. Unfortunately, many become complacent about the expiration dates specified on of their green card. Failure to renew a green card can come with consequences and should be avoided.

What Should You Do If You Have an Expired Green Card?

If you hold an expired green card, life can get difficult on a number of fronts. This is especially true if you are on the employment search or you receive government benefits. State requirements often state that you must have a valid green card in order to continue receiving benefits like social security, Medicare, or Medicaid. You may also run into issues if your driver’s license is about to expire and you need to renew it. If your green card is expired or about to expire, however, you can either opt to renew your green card or go ahead and apply for U.S. citizenship.

The choice of whether to try and renew your green card or apply for citizenship is a big one and you should carefully weigh your options. If you have remained compliant with your taxes and child support obligations as well as having confidence in your English language proficiency, then you might want to application citizenship. You will, of course, also need to satisfy, among other things, the residency requirements for citizenship. For instance, you must be physically present in the U.S. for thirty months within the five year period preceding the submission of your citizenship application.

Citizenship does have its benefits. For instance, you won’t have to worry about an expired green card anymore. You wouldn’t have to investigate any international travel restrictions or worry about residency requirements. Should you choose to apply for citizenship, you can proceed despite your expired green card as there is no USCIS requirement that your green card be unexpired to apply for citizenship. However, and as a “best practice” our offices generally recommend that the green card be renewed as same is a logical gesture the government when pursuing a citizenship application.

If you don’t plan on applying for citizenship, then it is critical that you seek to renew your green card as early as you can since such an application may take time. Failure to do so can come with significant life disruptions. Ideally, you should begin the process of renewing your green card about six months prior to its expiration. Doing so can help ensure that the renewal process is speedy and seamless, leaving you free of legal repercussions and other issues. If your green card expires or is about to expire, however, you can still apply for a green card expiration date extension and then proceed with the green card renewal process.

Immigration Law Attorneys

If you have any questions about how the immigration and nationality laws in the United States may impact you or your family members or if you want to access additional information about the United States or Canadian immigration and nationality laws, please feel free to get in touch with the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can send us an email at info@visaserve.com, or you can call us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. In addition, we invite you to find more information on our website at https://www.visaserve.com