Request Renewal Six Months before your Green Card Expiration Date
If you are a US legal permanent resident living in London, either with a re-entry permit or frequent return visits to the United States, you may need to renew your card. Take a look at the front of your permanent resident card to find the expiration date. Six months before it expires, you can submit Form I-90 to the US immigration service in the United States to request a new card with another ten years on it.
Please note that if you were married less than two years before issuance of your immigrant status, you may need to remove the condition on your green card using Form I-751. This is a more difficult and complicated procedure for someone living outside the United States, and a consultation with a US lawyer should be set up.
Filing Form I-90 Online and from Abroad
On 17 April 2018, the USCIS Public Engagement section held a phone session on Filing the Form I-90 Online. The Form I-90 is used to renew a green card and extend its expiration date another ten years.
The Form I-90 can be filed online. A foreign national who is a US permanent resident does not need to be physically in the United States when they submit Form I-90. Ms. T Shawyer, USCIS Office of Transformation and Coordination, stated this in a public engagement session in spring/ early summer of 2015, and it was reiterated in the 17 April 2018 session. Attorney Chavin asked about this again in the April 2018 live Q and A. The presenters asked whether this question was for military. Ms. Chavin replied “No, it was for a private citizen.” The presenters conferred and confirmed again, “[The applicant] need not be stateside,” at the time of filing. Confirm with current regulations before filing and consider a consultation with a US immigration attorney, but the April 2018 session indicates strongly, that a foreign national can submit Form I-90 online from outside the United States.
The Form I-90 applicant does need to be present in the US for the biometric appointment (fingerprinting). At the fingerprinting appointment, the service center will give the applicant an extension sticker to put on the back of their card. This will extend the card for one year. Whether this will be one year from time of the sticker or time of the expiration that wasn’t clear, but it is assumed from the time of the sticker. The applicant will definitely need a US address in order to receive the card.
Fingerprinting for Green Card Renewal Must be Done in the United States
You can submit Form I-90 online as soon as your ten-year permanent resident card is expiring within 6 months. Chavin Immigration Law Office highly recommends that a foreign national plan for this and prepare the Form I-90 before it is submitted online. If you do the online filing, give yourself as much time as possible to file and then come in to the United States for the fingerprinting. You can reschedule if needed but hopefully not, as this will be time consuming and stressful. Most biometric service centers (ASC) in the United States will allow walk-in appointments at less busy times. If this is true in your district, then you can come in before your appointment, if that is more convenient. You will not need your original biometric appointment notice at the appointment, just a copy and an original ID – like your permanent resident card and a passport or driver’s license.
If you fail to appear at your biometric appointment, the USCIS representatives on the 18 April 2018 phone call said that they would take that as bad faith. The USCIS asks that you try to reschedule using an 800 number on the appointment notice (NOT the status check number 800-375 5283).