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Applying for a new green card

For South Carolina permanent residents who have a green card, it can be tricky to figure out the renewal process. However, it is in most cases relatively straightforward. Residents may renew their green card either online or via a paper application that can be sent by mail using the Form 1-90. The form should be filed when the green card is set to expire within six months. A permanent resident should then use Form I-551 while a conditional resident should file Form I-751.

Once the application has been submitted, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services allows applicants to find out the status of their application online. There are cases where an application for the renewal of a green car may be denied. Although a person cannot appeal the decision, they can submit a motion to have the case reconsidered through the same office where the decision was made. This motion asks the office to simply reexamine the application. A motion to reopen the case must include new information.

Current residents who will be outside the United States when their green cards expire may still apply for a green card renewal. They should file prior to leaving the United States or should contact their USCIS office. If they will be returning before their green card expires, they can file when they are back within the U.S. border.

Applying for a green card or renewing one can be difficult for some people. If the application for either is denied, an immigration attorney may assist a client with filing motions to reopen or reexamine the application and by helping to provide new or more accurate information. The attorney can also help to bring family members to the United States or provide a defense for those who are potentially facing deportation.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services, "Renew a Green Card", accessed on March 18, 2015

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