How often does a green card have to be renewed?

As part of the EB-5 investment process, investors are first granted a two-year conditional green card. It is during these two years that the investor must ensure their EB5 project fulfills all program requirements. During the final 90 days of this two-year period, an investor can file Form I-829 to apply for a permanent green card. Although a conditional green card cannot be renewed, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will extend an investor’s conditional status until their I-829 petition is adjudicated.

A green card expires every 10 years and can be renewed repeatedly. Expiration does not mean that a permanent resident’s status expires. Once a foreign national receives lawful permanent resident status, that status is permanent unless the holder violates its terms in a way that results in deportation (e.g., certain criminal activity, too much time spent abroad). However, failing to keep an up-to-date green card can create a variety of problems, such as issues with traveling internationally or proving eligibility for employment in the United States.

Permanent residents can file Form I-90 to apply for the replacement or renewal of an existing green card. It is best to file Form I-90 for green card renewal six months before the card’s expiration date. If a permanent resident files for renewal earlier than six months before the expiration date, USCIS may reject the application. Form I-90 has a filing fee of $455 and a biometrics fee of $85. Low-income applicants and those going through a financial hardship may qualify for a fee waiver. After filing Form I-90, USCIS generally mails a permanent resident their new green card within several months, although some cases may take longer. A permanent resident can always check their application’s status online.

A permanent resident who does not wish to go through the process of green card renewal can instead apply for U.S. citizenship. Those who have held lawful permanent resident status for five years and meet all other applicable criteria can apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization.