New Green Card Renewal Program Implemented; AND Must Applicants For U.S. Citizenship Also File I-90?
June 8, 2005

In the past week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) has unveiled a new procedure by which lawful permanent residents of the U.S. are to renew their Alien Registration Cards, also know as “green cards”. According to this new CIS initiative, immigrants across the US who are applying for the renewal of their Alien Registration Cards are to mail Form I-90 to one central location: US Citizenship and Immigration Services, P.O. Box 54870, Los Angeles, CA 90054-0870. (The option of filing the I-90 electronically continues to be available and for more information on that avenue see

Who needs to apply for the renewal of their Alien Registration Card?

Firstly, the I-90 procedure is not appropriate for recently approved, 2 year conditional residents who obtained their status by way of a marriage to a US citizen. Instead, these types of applicants are required to file Form I-751 prior to the expiration of their conditional status.

Among those who are required to file Form I-90 application are:

  • individuals whose previous Alien Registration Card had been lost, stolen, destroyed, mutilated or never received in the first place,
  • individuals whose existing 10 year card is expiring within 6 months,
  • individuals whose name or biographic information has been legally changed since the issuance of the existing card or,
  • the individuals existing card contains incorrect data.

Although some applicants may qualify for a fee waiver, the I-90 filing fee totals $255.00, which includes the $70.00 biometrics/photographing charge. No supporting documents or materials are to be submitted with the I-90, as applicants will be notified to appear at a local CIS Application Support Center to be photographed and have their biometrics (fingerprints) captured shortly after submitting their filing. At the time they appear, applicants will be required to present their current identity document (e.g. Alien Registration Card – if available, drivers license, etc) and any other documentation to support their application. Shortly thereafter, the applicant can expect to receive their new card in the mail in a matter of a few months, or even weeks.

In the interim, while waiting out the processing of their new card, applicants will be able to obtain a stamp in their passport confirming their status as a permanent resident. The stamp will serve as their authorization to work in the US, as well as facilitate their reentry into the US following a visit abroad.

What about those who are intending on applying for U.S. citizenship? Must an I-90 be filed by these prospective US citizens?

In general, I say no – as applicants should not waste their money on filing 2 applications. Interviews for those filing Applications for Naturalization (N-400) are generally being scheduled in less than 6 months. If the applicant requires proof of status while awaiting the scheduling of the interview (because their old Alien Registration Card has expired, or lost), he is eligible to appear at their local CIS office to obtain a stamp in their passport confirming their status as a permanent resident. The applicant will be required to make an appointment via INFOPASS, and present an up to date passport, their old Alien Registration Card (if available) and the CIS notice confirming their receipt of the applicant’s pending N-400 filing.

On the other hand, I would advise applicants whose eligibility for US citizenship is unclear and/or not a “sure thing”, to nevertheless file their I-90 to make sure that the processing of their new Alien Registration Card is underway and that formal proof of status will soon be in hand, regardless of the outcome of their N-400 application.

Copyright © 2005-2008, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois