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How do I renew my green card?

Posted on in green cards

Being legally in the United States and in Texas gives you many perks. You are able to find employment, attend school and take advantage of other benefits. If you have a green card, it is not a lifelong pass to stay in this country. Depending on the type of card, you may have to renew it or you may need to take additional steps to ensure it remains valid.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains that you may have a 10-year or 2-year green card. If you have a 2-year green card, you cannot renew it. You will, instead, need to petition to remove the conditions on your card. You may do this if you have a family-based reason by using Form I-751. You may also do this if you are an entrepreneur or an investor using Form I-829.

If you have a 10-year green card, then you can renew it. You will do so using Form I-90. You may file this form either online or through the mail. It is important to plan ahead. When you know your renewal time is coming up, you should start the process within six months to allow enough time to prevent a lapse.


Many Texas immigrants hope to obtain a permanent resident legal status in the United States. Those who have married U.S. citizens will, at some point, attend a green card/marriage interview. Answering questions during an official immigration interview can be quite stressful, and not performing well can ultimately place one’s status at risk.

The purpose of the marriage interview is to rule out fraud. The federal government is aware that some people try to abuse the system by entering marriage under false pretenses, perhaps even for money to help immigrant spouses gain permanent resident statuses. The marriage interview is designed to weed out those whose relationships are not legitimate.

To avoid problems, it is best to arrive at a green card/marriage interview well prepared. This includes bringing all written documentation pertaining to entrance into the United States. In addition, one should bring a marriage certificate and any additional evidence that may help convince the interviewer that the marriage in question is bona fide. Such evidence might include photographs, correspondence between spouses, greeting cards or notes, and things like bank statements or other mail addressed to both spouses.


Many Texas households include family members who are U.S. citizens who happen to be married to spouses who are not. The federal government often calls such marriages into question if it has reason to suspect that a relationship is fraudulent and that two people have gotten married simply to help one of them obtain permanent resident legal status. A non-citizen marrying a citizen, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that person will gain green card privileges.

A person who marries a born or naturalized citizen has the option of petitioning the federal government for a green card. Numerous documents must be submitted to request permanent residency. Requesting permanent resident status is not a legal obligation; in fact, an immigrant spouse should only do so if he or she plans to remain in the United States on a permanent basis.

Immigration laws can be quite complex. If a person files a petition for a green card based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen, he or she will want to seek clarification of all regulations pertaining to travel in and out of the country. While some statuses allow for traveling abroad and returning to the United States after marrying a citizen and filing application for a green card, others do not.

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