I-90 Document Checklist: Essential Items for Your Application

When a lawful permanent resident needs to renew or replace their Permanent Resident Card, also known as a Green Card, the Form I-90 is utilized. This form is an essential document for those who have either lost their Green Card, had it stolen, or possess a card that is either expired or due to expire. Residents must follow a strict set of requirements and submit a series of documents to ensure the process is completed successfully.

The I-90 document checklist is a critical component in preparing an application to replace or renew a Green Card. It outlines all necessary items an applicant must include with their submission, such as a photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident Card, or, in the event the card has been lost, a photocopy of the receipt of the I-90 application filing. Additional items on the checklist often include proof of identity, such as a state ID or driver’s license, and if applicable, the most current passport and travel documents.

Understanding and compiling the required documents is a fundamental step for maintaining lawful permanent resident status in the United States. By adhering to this checklist, applicants can ensure their process proceeds with fewer delays, minimizing the possibility of application rejection due to incomplete or incorrect submissions.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria to use Form I-90 for renewing or replacing their Permanent Resident Card.

Permanent Resident Status

Applicants must have valid lawful permanent resident status in the United States. This signifies that they hold a Green Card and are considered immigrants who have been granted authorization to live and work in the U.S. permanently.

Conditional Residents

Conditional residents with a Green Card that is expiring within the next 90 days must apply for the removal of conditions using Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, not Form I-90. However, those who have successfully had conditions removed can use Form I-90 for renewal purposes.

Green Card Renewal

Eligible individuals include permanent residents whose Green Card is either expired or will expire within six months. The renewal process involves filling out and submitting Form I-90 to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Replacement of Green Card

Form I-90 is used when a Green Card has been lost, stolen, damaged, or contains incorrect information. Additionally, individuals whose name or other biographic information has legally changed since the issuance of their Green Card must file Form I-90 for a replacement.

Form I-90 Overview

Form I-90, the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, is a crucial form for lawful permanent residents seeking to renew or replace their Green Card. This document ensures their ability to live and work in the U.S. without interruptions.

Understanding Form I-90

Form I-90 is used by individuals who already have lawful permanent resident status in the United States. The primary reasons for filing Form I-90 include the renewal of an expiring Green Card, replacement of a lost or stolen Green Card, updating personal information such as a legal name change, or correcting USCIS errors on a Green Card. It’s important for permanent residents to keep the validity of their Green Cards current, as an expired card may affect their ability to work in the U.S. or travel internationally.

Form I-90 Versions

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides Form I-90 in two formats:

  • Online version: Completing Form I-90 online streamlines the submission process and provides applicants with easy tracking of their application status.
  • Paper version: A printable PDF of Form I-90 is also available for applicants who choose to mail in their application. This version requires applicants to follow specific mailing instructions and may have longer processing times compared to the online submission.

Applicants must use the most recent version of the form to avoid any processing delays. They must ensure all sections are completed accurately to prevent rejections or further requests for evidence.

Personal Documentation

When filing Form I-90, applicants need to provide specific personal documentation to verify their identity and any changes to their legal name. Accurate and current documents are crucial for a successful application process.

Government-Issued Identification

Applicants must present a copy of a valid government-issued form of identification. This includes a driver’s license, state ID, or any other form of government-issued photo ID. The document must be current and contain the individual’s name, photo, and date of birth.

  • Example of acceptable IDs:
    • State ID or Driver’s License: Must be unexpired or issued within the last six months.
    • Military ID: Only if applicable and must be current.

Evidence of Legal Name Change

If the applicant has changed their name legally since the issuance of their Green Card, they must provide evidence of the name change. Acceptable documents may include a marriage certificate, a divorce decree, or a court order showing the legal name change.

  • Documents demonstrating name changes must be:
    • Certified copies: Must be legible and government-issued.
    • Related to the name change: Direct evidence linking the new name to the previous one.

Passport-Sized Photographs

Applicants need two passport-sized photographs that meet immigration services requirements. The photographs should be color prints, 2 inches by 2 inches in size, taken within 30 days of the Form I-90 application to ensure they reflect the applicant’s current appearance.

  • Photograph requirements:
    • Size: 2”x2” (inches)
    • Color: Full color, with a white to off-white background
    • Head Position: Facing forward, with a neutral expression and both eyes open
  • Additional guidelines:
    • Avoid uniforms or garments resembling uniforms.
    • Head coverings for religious purposes are acceptable, provided the full face is visible.

Supporting Documents

When submitting Form I-90, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires a set of specific supporting documents. Applicants must carefully review and include all necessary documentation to ensure timely processing of their application.

Green Card Details

Applicants must provide a photocopy of both sides of their Permanent Resident Card. If the card has been lost or stolen, one should include a photocopy of the receipt notice for their Form I-90 application. These details are crucial to confirm identity and residency status.

Travel and Immigration History

Supporting documents related to travel and immigration history should include the most current passport and/or Form I-94 if available. This documentation will outline the applicant’s travel history and previous immigration information that might be pertinent to the renewal or replacement process.

Criminal Records

If applicable, the applicant should provide certified copies of court records for any criminal charges, arrests, or convictions, regardless of the outcome. The USCIS conducts thorough background checks, thus having this information beforehand can help expedite the process.

Application Process

The application process for replacing a Permanent Resident Card involves distinct steps which are primarily dependant on whether the applicant chooses to file online or through paper filing. Each method requires the applicant to submit necessary documentation and attend a biometrics appointment.

Online Filing

Permanent residents may opt to file Form I-90 online through the USCIS website. To begin, they must create or log in to their USCIS online account. This account facilitates the submission of forms, payment of fees, and tracking of case status. To file online, applicants are required to:

  • Upload digital copies of supporting documents
  • Pay the filing fee using a credit card, debit card, or a U.S. bank account through an electronic transfer

Paper Filing

Alternatively, applicants can mail a paper form I-90 to the appropriate USCIS address. Paper filing entails the following steps:

  • Completing Form I-90: Ensure accurate and up-to-date information is provided.
  • Gathering Required Documents: Photocopies of both sides of the Permanent Resident Card should be included.
  • Submitting Payment: Including the correct filing fee with the application via check or money order.

Biometrics Appointment

After filing Form I-90, applicants will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment at a local Application Support Center (ASC). They are required to:

  • Provide fingerprints
  • Take a photograph
  • Signatures may also be collected at this stage

It is crucial for applicants to attend their biometrics appointment to avoid delays in processing their replacement card.

Payment Information

In filing Form I-90, applicants must carefully follow the specific fee requirements as set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Costs can vary depending on the applicant’s circumstances, and there are provisions for fee waivers in certain cases.

Fee Structures

USCIS has established the standard fee for processing Form I-90, which applicants must pay unless they qualify for a fee waiver. As of the last update, the total fee for filing Form I-90 is $540, which includes a $455 application fee and an additional $85 biometric services fee. Fee adjustments occur periodically, so one should check the latest fee schedule on the USCIS website prior to submitting the form.

Fee Waivers

Some applicants may qualify for a fee waiver if they demonstrate an inability to pay the filing and biometric service fee. To be considered, they must provide supporting documentation that evidences their financial hardship. Acceptable documents may include evidence of a means-tested benefit, income at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or financial hardship. Each request for a fee waiver is evaluated individually by USCIS.

Payment Methods

USCIS accepts multiple forms of payment. Applicants may pay the fee using a:

  • Check: Must be drawn on a U.S. financial institution and payable in U.S. funds.
  • Money Order: Must be payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Credit Card: Using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

Payment must accompany the Form I-90 application when it is filed. Applicants should ensure that all payment details are accurate to prevent delays in processing.

After Submission

Once an applicant submits Form I-90, they can expect a sequence of events to acknowledge and process their application.

Receipt Notice

After the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives Form I-90, the applicant will receive a Receipt of Application. This document, also known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action, confirms that USCIS has officially accepted the application for processing. It typically arrives within 3 weeks of submission.

Case Status Tracking

Applicants can track the status of their Form I-90 application by using the receipt number found on the Receipt Notice. This can be done online via the USCIS Case Status Tool. Tracking updates provide timely notifications regarding the application’s progress and any additional actions required.

USCIS Correspondence

Throughout the processing of Form I-90, USCIS may send correspondence to request additional information or to inform the applicant of decisions and appointments. All correspondence should be read carefully and responded to promptly to ensure the application is not delayed.

Additional Considerations

When preparing to file Form I-90, applicants should be mindful of the potential need for legal assistance, anticipate possible application delays, and understand the steps to follow if their Green Card is lost or stolen. These considerations can significantly affect the processing and outcome of their application.

Legal Assistance

Applicants may benefit from seeking legal counsel, especially if there are complexities in their immigration status or history. A knowledgeable immigration attorney can provide guidance on the documentation required and the correct filing procedures. Legal assistance ensures the application is completed accurately, which helps in avoiding unnecessary delays or rejections.

Application Delays

Delays in the processing of Form I-90 are common and can be due to a variety of reasons, such as missing documentation or extended background checks. Applicants should be prepared for this possibility and are advised to file their application well in advance of the expiration of their current Green Card.

Common Causes of Delays How to Mitigate
Incomplete Application Double-check for accuracy and completeness.
High Volume of Applications Apply as early as possible within the renewal window.
Additional Information Requests Respond promptly to any requests from USCIS.

Lost or Stolen Green Card

If a Green Card is lost or stolen, the cardholder must complete Form I-90 to request a replacement. They should also notify the police to file a report, which can be included with their application as evidence of the loss or theft. Immediate action is critical to reduce the risk of identity theft or fraud.

Steps to Take for a Lost or Stolen Green Card:

  1. File a police report.
  2. Collect necessary personal information (e.g., A-number, copy of passport).
  3. Submit Form I-90 with the required documentation, including the police report if available.