My Green Card Expired And I Need To Travel

As a general rule, green cards in the United States, also known as green cards, are valid for ten years. Suppose it is not renewed on time within the term and its expiration date is allowed to arrive. In that case, the consequences will depend on whether the resident is currently in the United States or, if on the contrary, is in another country.


Also, there are approximately 700 thousand green cards without an expiration date.

This article explains the consequences of having a green card with an expired date: what happens if you have a green card without an expiration date. The difference is between a permanent green card and a temporary or conditional one.


Expired green card and the resident in the United States

It can happen that a permanent resident does not verify the expiration date and that his green card is expired. The good news is that you are still a resident. That condition is never lost for that reason, although there are other reasons why it would be lost.

You need to request the renewal by filling out the I-90 form and paying $ 455 and another $ 85 for the biometrics. In some cases, it is possible to request an exemption from paying this fee.

The ideal is to request a new green card six months before the current one expires and emphasize that if the green card is expired or less than six months before its expiration, the process to request citizenship by naturalization cannot be started.


Green card expired, and resident in another country.

Unlike what happens in the previous scenario, there may be a problem if the green card expires while the resident is outside the United States and did not fill out the I-90 BEFORE leaving the country. And it is that this form cannot be completed from abroad.


The first problem that can arise is that airlines do not allow people with green cards that have expired to fly to the United States.

In these cases, you have to request an appointment at the nearest US consulate to process a transportation letter. Also carry additional documentation, such as two passport-type photographs, a legible photocopy of the passport, a copy of the boarding pass issued by the airline to travel to the United States, and the expired green card. When closing the appointment, check if it is necessary to present a police record.

Once you have the transport letter in hand, you must travel to the United States before the expiration date arrives and, in any case, before 30 days have elapsed since it was issued. 


The second problem that may arise is that once the resident arrives in the United States for immigration control at an airport, port, or land border post, a CBP officer interviews the resident to ensure that they continue to retain their status. 

For example, if you have spent a considerable amount of time outside the United States, you may consider losing your resident status and will not be allowed to enter.


On the contrary, if there are no problems and enter, you must immediately apply for the green card’s renewal using the I-90 form.


Green card cases with no expiration date

Between 1977 and 1989, the United States government issued green card miles with no expiration date. There are currently approximately 700,000 green cards of this type. They are valid if they have I-551 written in small print. On the contrary, they are invalid if the letter and number I-151 appear.


Although those that bear the I-551 annotation are valid, it is advisable to request their exchange for an updated version using the I-90 form.

The reasons are that they can cause a delay in the immigration passage when arriving in the United States because the photo is already many years old. With these types of cards, you cannot use Global Entry to expedite customs clearance. Eventually, some employers are reluctant to hire a migrant with such an old photo document.


Differences between permanent residence and conditional residence

Please do not confuse the validity period of an ordinary residence card, which is ten years, and that of a conditional residence, whose conditionality must be lifted after two years to make it permanent.

The two cases in which a conditional card can be given are in some marriage petitions when the green card is obtained before reaching two years of marriage and getting the green card by investment through the EB-program. 


To take into account: naturalization, citizenship, and test

Residents can apply for US citizenship through the process known as naturalization. The waiting periods to be able to request it depend on each resident’s circumstances. 

It is essential to appreciate that residence is not the same as citizenship since, with this, you have more rights and more legal protections. Therefore, it is an option that should be studied.

Finally, take this multiple-choice residency test to ensure you know all the green card basics: how it is obtained and how it is kept.


Expiration of the Green Card Bring?

The consequences of the Green Card or Residence Card’s expiration, as it is also known, can bring us difficulties since it is valid for ten years. If it is not renewed at the right time and expires, the consequences may be irreparable, depending on whether you are in the USA or another country.


What should be done when the Green Card expires and the resident is within the United States?

This happens when the permanent resident does not verify the issuance date of his Green Card, which must be continuously reviewed to prevent it from expiring and to be able to start the renewal process six months after its expiration.

Even if you are still a resident, having an expired card can affect you when a police officer stops you and asks for your documentation. It is also essential when starting your citizenship process by naturalization since this process requires that your Green Card is not expired or that its date of issue is in less than six months.


What should be done when the Green Card expires and the resident is outside the United States?

In these cases, it is different because your Green Card’s expiration can bring you serious problems. If you are a resident and decide to start a trip outside the United States, check the date of issue of your card, since if it expires during your stay outside the country and before leaving, you did not fill out and present the corresponding form for renewal, your Return to the United States will not be allowed, as airlines do not allow people with expired green cards to fly. The renewal process cannot be done outside the United States.

In this case, you must request an appointment at the nearest US consulate or embassy and request a transportation letter to travel to the United States and start the renewal process immediately; this is one of the most severe consequences of the Expiration of the Green Card.


When this letter is authorized, its expiration date must be verified and travel before it expires. Generally, it is 30 days after issuance. Remember that as soon as you arrive in the United States, you will have an interview with an immigration officer to verify if you still retain your status. If you have been outside the United States for a long time, the immigration officer may consider that you have lost your resident status and your entry will not be allowed.

A permanent residence should NOT be confused with a conditional residence; remember that permanent residence is valid for ten years. A dependent place is only for two years;  After these two years, the permanent residence change must be requested. The two cases in which a conditional Green Card can be given are in some marriage and investment petitions.


Remember that a resident can apply for US citizenship through the process known as naturalization. The waiting time to request it depends on the particular case