Expired Green Cards

What happens when my green card expires?

Your status as a legal permanent resident will not change if your green card is expired. However, it is important not to let your green card expire because you are required by law to carry a valid green card with you at all times. Although an expired green card does not mean that you lose your LPR status, you may encounter some problems:

  • If you travel, you will have difficulty reentering the United States.
  • You may have trouble with your job or applying for a job. A valid green card is necessary to show that you are allowed to work in the US.
  • You may also have trouble getting any benefits you are registered for or want to register for.

Although you will not get in trouble for having an expired green card, you should renew it as soon as possible to avoid any problems. Before you decide to renew your green card, you should first check to see if you are eligible to apply for citizenship.


My green card is expired. Can I still apply for citizenship?

Yes.  You can still apply for citizenship with an expired green card. If you meet the eligibility requirements for becoming a U.S. citizen, an expired green card will not prevent you from applying. Even though you are still eligible to apply for naturalization, you may need your green card to be current for other reasons, such as employment, travel, or public benefits.


My green card is going to expire soon. Can I still apply for citizenship?

Yes.  USCIS recommends applying for a new green card if your current card is expired or will expire in the next 6 months. If you apply for citizenship more than 6 months before your green card expires, you probably will not have to renew your green card. If you apply for citizenship when your green card is going to expire in less than six months, you may need to apply to renew your green card while you are waiting to be approved for citizenship. This is especially true if you are planning to travel while your application is pending.


How can I renew my green card?

You may renew your green card by filling out Form I-90. Project Citizenship can assist you to complete this renewal application. The cost to renew your green card is $450.00, but you may be eligible for a fee waiver if you receive public benefits, if your household income is below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if you have some other financial hardship.


Can I travel with my expired green card?

No.  Although you may travel while your citizenship application is pending, you must have a valid green card.


I lost my green card.  Can I still apply for citizenship?

Yes. If your green card has been lost or stolen, you can still submit an application for citizenship. You should include an explanation of why you do not have your green card and include a photocopy of the card, if possible. To complete the application, you will need your A-number, which is on your green card.


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