5 serious problems that an expired green card can create
Many permanent residents of the USA have a green card expired - since you do not use it daily, this fact can easily go unnoticed. By law, green card holders must always have a valid document, but in practice this does not always happen and is rarely controlled by the US government.
When the green card expires, it is much easier to postpone it than extend it, especially since the USCIS fee for renewing or replacing a green card is now 540 dollars - this is a lot of money for most Americans. But an expired green card also creates other consequences that can cost more, writes CitizenPath.
The problem is that few documents can replace a green card. Although you will not lose permanent residency status due to an expired card, this can create serious problems. Updating a card can take from 5 to 6 months, so it is recommended that you start the process 6 months before your card expires. To renew an expired green card, use the form I-90 (Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card).
Here are 5 everyday problems that arise due to an expired green card, and some possible solutions:
1. Apparatus employed
When you are hired, the new employer must provide a form I-9 for every new employee. This form is used to verify your identity and work permit in the United States. Most legal permanent residents will need to present a valid green card to meet the requirements of List A. In accordance with I-9 instructions, a newly hired employee must complete and sign the “no later than the first day of work” form. If you present an expired green card, employers should not accept it. This will be a serious problem when starting your new job.
On the subject: How to extend the validity of the green card
As a “List A” document, you can use a passport with a temporary stamp I-551. If you do not already have a valid I-551 stamp in your passport, you need to make an appointment at your local USCIS office by contacting them by phone 1-800-375-5283 (note: if you have a temporary I-551, confirm that its validity also has not expired; usually the stamp is valid for only one year). This solution is also problematic for two reasons. Firstly, it will take a very long time. It may take several weeks to get to a meeting at the USCIS office. Your new employer may not want to wait. In addition, USCIS will in any case require you to renew your green card.
2. Obtaining a professional license
In some professions, it may not be possible to continue working with an expired green card. Most states require you to have a valid green card before you get a professional license. Such licenses are required for real estate agents, insurance agents, various brokers, healthcare, lawyers and representatives of many other professions.
3. Re-entry to the USA
Traveling outside the US with an expired green card can be risky. For starters, some airlines will not take a passenger with such a document. U.S. law requires airlines to verify that they have a permanent place of residence before boarding an aircraft. You may also require a valid passport.
To re-enter the United States, the Customs and Border Guard will require a valid confirmation of your legal permanent residency status. An expired green card is not, therefore, you may be detained for a long time. In the worst case, this can lead to a denial of entry, but in most cases means a long delay and an expensive return fee. Your permission to re-enter the U.S. is at the discretion of a U.S. Customs and Border Guard officer. Do not take chances.
What if your green card expires outside the US? Every year, hundreds of travelers lose their green cards or become victims of theft, damage a document or it just turns out that the card is expired when you are already abroad. If your carrier does not allow you to board a plane with an expired green card, you will need to prepare a form I-131A (Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation), and personally submit it to the nearest US Consulate. This process usually takes about 7-14 days. Upon returning to the United States, you will still need to renew the I-90 green card. Therefore, before traveling outside the United States, you must understand all the risks associated with traveling abroad with a green card that is expiring.
4. Home purchase
As a permanent resident, you can get most mortgages on the same principles that apply to US citizens. Generally, you are eligible for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and FHA mortgage. But, as a borrower, you must confirm your permanent resident status by providing a photocopy of your green card (and, as a rule, a social security number) to a potential lender.
Recommendations will vary by lender, but most mortgage lenders will need a green card that has not expired. If you are planning a home purchase, make sure you have six months to renew your green card.
5. Driver renewal
Most states require you to show proof of residency and legal presence in the United States. A green card is one such document. Again, do not forget that extending a green card can take up to six months. This may affect your driver’s license during this period.
Each state has its own rules for a driver’s license. Contact your Vehicle Department to determine what you need to provide to prove your legal presence. In almost all cases, you cannot renew your driver’s license with an expired green card. However, depending on the requirements of your state, you can use a passport with the I-551 stamp as described above.
On the subject: Why can a green card holder be deported from the USA
Green cards without expiration date
Green cards without expiration date are valid and can be used to fill out the I-9 form when applying for a job. USCIS discussed a rule requiring the replacement of such cards, but so far it has not been issued. Although the latest green card versions expire every 10 years, valid green cards issued in 1970's and 1980's may not have an expiration date.
Old green cards with no expiration dates can create other problems for travelers. If a US Customs and Border Guard officer cannot identify you from your old photo as the legal owner of a green card, you may be detained until your identity is verified. For example, if a photograph was taken when you were much younger, it may be difficult to recognize you. In addition, to pass through the Global Entry automatic kiosks at airports, you will need exactly the new green card: the system does not read old-style cards.
Penalty for an expired green card
As such, there is no penalty for your green card's expiration date. But you will need to pay for its extension. No matter how difficult this amount may be, this should not be a reason for postponing the extension. Using an expired card will eventually become a problem sooner or later.
Conditional Green Cards
If you became a conditional permanent resident as a result of marriage to a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you have a green card that expires in two years. Do not use the I-90 form to renew a conditional green card. Instead of renewing it, you should apply for withdrawal of conditionality using the form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence). It is imperative that you fill out this form within 90 days before the expiration of your green card. If you do not, you may be deported from the United States.
Similarly, contingent residents who have received status through financial investments in a business in the United States should not use Form I-90. Permanent resident investors must use the form I-829 (Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions).
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