USCIS New Policy for Green Card Renewals
Earlier this month, USCIS announced a new policy for people applying to renew their green card. In this article, we will be going over this policy and explaining some important details. At Ashoori Law, we practice U.S. immigration law and post information regularly to help people stay up to date on important U.S. immigration updates. If you're looking to renew your green card, read below to see how Ashoori Law can help you with USCIS's new policy.
What is USCIS’s New Policy?
USCIS announced earlier this month that there will be some new changes in their green card renewal policy. This will directly impact your ability to renew your green card if you currently live in the U.S.
This new policy states that applicants can use their receipt notice for their I-90 to prove lawful permanent resident status.
USCIS's new policy states, "Starting in January, we will replace the sticker that is currently issued to lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to extend the validity of their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (PRC or “Green Card”), with a revised Form I-797, Notice of Action." Generally LPRs file a Form I-90 to replace their green card when it's expired or will expire soon. Instead, now applicant's revised Form I-797 will act as a receipt notice for their Form I-90. Essentially, this means that the validity period of your green card is 12 months from the date on the front of your green card. However, you must present your Form I-797 with your green card to extend the validity period. Additionally, this serves as temporary proof that you are a lawful permanent resident.
USCIS changed this policy to make sure that LPRs would have proof of identity, work authorization, or authorization to return to the U.S. after foreign travel. If you haven't received notice of a biometrics appointment, you no longer have to go to a support center to receive temporary proof of status.
How Does USCIS’s New Policy Affect Me?
Reading the new policy alone is not enough to understand what it really means. Luckily, Ashoori Law is here to help you better understand what USCIS’s new policy means for you. There's a common issue that green card holders experience when they apply for renewal. When applying for green card renewal, you must file Form I-90. However, Form I-90 can take several months to process. This becomes an issue because people who apply for their green card often do it when their green card expires soon or is already expired.
Your green card is proof of your lawful permanent resident status in the United States. If your green card expires, it's likely you will have a hard time proving that you have employment authorization. Additionally, you can face other various challenges as a result of your expired green card.
In the past, green card holders had to go to a USCIS application support center to get a sticker that proved their LPR status. Because we're living through the era of COVID-19, appointments at support centers are very limited. This is why USCIS has modified their system and changed their policy. Now, green card holders do not have to make an appointment at a support center to receive their sticker. Instead, your receipt notice for your green card renewal application automatically extends green card status for 12 months from the date on the front of your green card.
So, for renewal applications submitted in January or later, the receipt notice of your Form I-797 acts as a temporary 12 month extension of your green card. Keep in mind, you must present your Form I-797 receipt notice with your actual green card. Otherwise, your receipt notice is not considered proof of your green card extension.
This is great news for many green card holders in the United States. This new policy makes the process to prove employment authorization much easier because you no longer have to make an appointment at a USCIS office. Now, USCIS sends your proof of lawful permanent resident status in the mail once you file your green card renewal application.
If You Are Hoping to Renew Your Green Card, Speak With an Immigration Attorney Today.
At Ashoori Law, we know how challenging it can be to understand U.S. immigration policy. Even when USCIS announces a new policy that is beneficial to you, the language can be hard to understand. Especially during COVID, we know how big of a relief it is to not have to make an in person appointment at a USCIS office. That's why it's important to understand any and all changes that USCIS makes to their immigration policy. At Ashoori Law, we are committed to guiding you through USCIS policy changes so that you can make the best decisions for you and your family. If you have any further questions about USCIS's new policy or are hoping to renew your green card, please don't hesitate to give us a call at 818-741-1117 or email us at Michael@AshooriLaw.com to request a free consultation.
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Michael Ashoori, Esq.
U.S. Immigration Lawyer
I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.
Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.
Got a question? Send me an email.