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What is USCIS Form I-90?

January 11, 2022
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Summary

Form I-90 is the official "Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card." The form has multiple uses. You file it with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to renew your expired or soon-expiring green card. You can also use it to get a replacement for your lost, stolen, or damaged green card. This article has all the information you need to know about Form I-90, such as who needs to file, how and where to file, and what happens after filing.

Overview

Who needs to file Form I-90?

In most cases, you’ll need to file Form I-90 or the “Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card” to renew or replace a permanent resident card (or green card). If you are a lawful permanent resident whose 10-year green card has expired or has an expiration date in the next six months, you should file Form I-90. If you are a permanent resident with a lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed green card, you should also file Form I-90. Other cases in which you should file Form I-90 include if U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued but never sent you your card or if you have a card that is mutilated or contains incorrect data. Further, if you have legally changed your name or other biographical information since USCIS issued your green card, you should file Form I-90. Permanent residents who have reached their 14th birthday and are finally registering for a card should also complete Form I-90.

Who doesn't need to file Form I-90?

Not all permanent residents should file Form I-90 to obtain a green card replacement. If you are a conditional permanent resident, a status that expires two years after issuance, you will be following a different replacement procedure. Instead of completing Form I-90, you will be replacing your card with a “permanent” green card valid for 10-year renewable periods. You may do so by “removing the conditions” on your green card. If you have a conditional marriage green card, you’ll be filing Form I-751 or the “Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.” If you have a green card because of investment in a U.S. business, you’ll be filing Form I-829 or the “Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status” instead.

How to complete Form I-90

You must fill out Form I-90 entirely and accurately, as mistakes can cause delays and rejections. If a question does not apply to you, you should write “N/A” (meaning “not applicable”) in the space provided. If your answer to a question is the number zero (0), you should write “none.” If you complete Form I-90 by mail, you will need to type your answers or write your answers in black ink.

Part 1: Information About You

Part 1 of Form I-90 will ask you for your personal biographical information. This will include your name, date of birth, mailing address, physical address, country of birth, parents’ names, and gender.

Some questions require further guidance:

  • This section will also ask you for your Alien Registration Number (A-Number). You can find your A-number on your green card.
  • This section will also ask for your U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Online Account Number. To find your Online Account Number, log in to your USCIS account, if you have one, and navigate to your profile page.
  • If you have had a legal name change: Make sure to check “Yes” on item 4, complete item 5, and provide supporting documentation to prove your identity and why your name changed.
  • If you commute between the United States and Canada or Mexico for your employment: You may provide a non-U.S. address for your mailing address. Still, you should follow the instructions under item 2.h.1. You should indicate the U.S. Port of Entry you’ll be using to pick up your green card.
  • Item 14 will ask how you have obtained a green card. Here, you should input the three-character immigrant code found on your current green card under “Category.”
  • Remember that, for questions that ask you to enter dates, you must enter dates in the standard U.S. format: mm/dd/yyyy (month, day, and year).

Part 2: Application Type

For Application Type, you’ll need to select the item number indicating whether you are a permanent resident, commuter, or conditional resident. Note that if you are a conditional resident, you should not be completing Form I-90. Instead, you must complete either Form I-751 or Form I-829.

Depending on which immigration status you indicated, the form will direct you to Section A or B, which asks for your reasons for applying for a new card.

Part 3: Processing Information

Item 1 of Section 3 will ask you where you initially filed for a green card. You should indicate either a U.S. embassy, consulate, or USCIS office here.

Item 2 will ask you where USCIS or your local U.S. embassy or consulate approved your green card application. In most cases, you should answer the same as in Item 1.

Item 3 will ask you where you intend to live and the U.S. port of entry to which you arrived.

If you have ever appeared in immigration court, you must be sure to explain the circumstances in Section 3:

  • If you cannot prove your right to U.S. permanent residence, you should seek legal aid from an immigration attorney.
  • If you have previously abandoned your permanent resident status, you should also speak to an immigration lawyer before completing Form I-90.

Part 4: Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities And/Or Impairments

Section 4 is for those with a disability or other impairment requiring help to complete the Form I-90 application process. If, for example, you need wheelchair accommodations at your biometrics appointment, you can indicate this in Section 4.

Parts 5-7: Applicant’s Statement, Contact Information, Certification, and Signature

While completing Sections 5-7, you should know that you are signing a legal document. If you required assistance to complete Form I-90, you must indicate that you used an interpreter or attorney to assist you in this section. These individuals must also sign the form and provide their personal information.

Part 8: Additional Information

Section 8 allows you the opportunity to use extra space to answer any questions from the previous sections of the forms.

Even if, after using the Additional Information space, you still need more space to answer the questions, you may attach separate sheets of paper to continue responding as well. You must include your name and A-Number at the very top of each sheet. You must indicate the page number, part number, and item number when answering each question. You must also sign and date each sheet for USCIS to consider them.

What supporting documents should you submit with Form I-90?

The supporting documents you should submit with Form I-90 depend on your reason for requesting a new green card. You should be sure to include a copy of your green card as a supporting document unless one of the following applies to you:

  • You never received your green card from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Your green card is lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed.
  • For some people, such as “Special Agricultural Workers,” USCIS automatically converted your immigration status to a green cardholder.

The following charts describes which supporting documents you’ll have to provide depending on your specific circumstances: 

Sample Supporting Documents Based on Evidence Categories for Form I-90

Evidence Category Required Supporting Documents Sample Documents
Your green card has expired or will expire in six months.
OR
You held a 10-year green card before age 14, which expires after turning 16.
OR
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made an error or multiple errors on your card.
OR
You have an old or invalid version of your card.
Green card An old/outdated green card:
Form AR-3
Form AR-103
Form I-151
You have a lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed green card. Green card or a government-issued ID containing your name, date of birth, photograph, and signature Government-issued ID, such as:
Your passport
Your driver’s license
A military ID
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued your green card, but you never received it. A government-issued ID containing your name, date of birth, photograph, and signature
AND one of the following:
Your most recent Form I-797 or “Notice of Action”
Evidence of an I-551 stamp on your passport pages
Government-issued ID, such as:
Your passport
Your driver’s license
A military ID
You have legally changed your name or other biographical information. Green card
AND
Legal documentation of your name/information change that contains your new legal name or other updated information
Legal documentation:
Birth certificate
Adoption papers
Passport
Divorce filings
Marriage certificate
Other court documents
Any other reasons Green card N/A

Sample Supporting Documents Based on Evidence Categories for Form I-90 (Commuters and Agric Workers)

Evidence Category Required Supporting Documents Sample Documents
You are a commuter who lives in Canada or Mexico but travels to the United States for work. Green card
AND
Evidence proving your employment status from the past six months
Employment status evidence:
Employment Verification Letter
Pay stubs
You have previously been a commuter but now live in the United States. Green card
AND
Proof of residence in the United States
Proof of residence in the United States:
A property deed
A lease agreement
Utility bills from the last six months
A marriage certificate or birth certificate if you provide utility bills paid by your spouse or parents
In some cases, such as for “Special Agricultural Workers,” USCIS automatically converted your immigration status to “green cardholder.” A government-issued ID containing your name, date of birth, photograph, and signature
AND
Evidence proving your temporary-resident status
Government-issued ID, such as:
Your passport
Your driver’s license
A military ID
Evidence proving your temporary-resident status:
Form I-797 or the “Notice of Action”
Form I-700 or the “Application for Status as a Special Agricultural Worker”

It is alright to send in photocopies of your supporting documents. You should not send any original documents unless asked. If any of your supporting documents are not originally in English, you must obtain and submit a certified translation of each such document with your Form I-90.

What is the fee for filing Form I-90?

As of right now, the filing fee for Form I-90 is $455. Most applicants will also need to pay an $85 biometrics appointment fee, bringing the total cost to $540. These fees are nonrefundable. For tips on affording these fees, check out our article.

It’s possible to be exempt from paying either one or both fees. You won’t need to pay any fees if:

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued your green card, but you have not received it.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued you a green card containing an error or multiple errors.
  • You qualify for a fee waiver. To receive a fee waiver, you must prove that you can’t afford the fees because you are a low-income individual, have experienced financial hardship, or receive public assistance. Check out our complete guide to obtaining fee waivers for more information on the waiver application process.

You will only need to pay the biometrics fee if you turned 14 years old in the past 30 days, and your green card will expire after you turn 16 years old. 

How you pay the Form I-90 filing fee will depend on whether you filed by mail or online:

  • If you filed by mail, you can pay the fee by money order or a check made out to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” You should write the Department’s complete name and not use any abbreviations. You have the option of paying by credit card if you complete Form G-1450 or the “Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.” You may not pay in cash.
  • If you filed online, you must pay electronically on the Pay.gov website.

Should you file Form I-90 online or by mail?

Whether you file Form I-90 online or by mail will depend on your situation. You may file Form I-90 online or by mail using a paper form. Read on to learn more about which applicants should file online and which applicants must file by mail.

Filing online

You should file Form I-90 online if any of the following circumstances apply to you:

  • Your green card has expired or will expire in the next six months.
  • You have a lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed green card.
  • In some cases, such as for “Special Agricultural Workers,” USCIS automatically converted your immigration status to “green cardholder.”
  • You have legally changed your name or other biographical information.
  • You have an old or invalid version of your card.
  • You are a commuter who lives in Canada or Mexico but travels to the United States for work.
  • Previously, you have been a commuter but now live in the United States.

To apply online, you must:

  1. Create a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) online account or sign in to your existing account.
  2. Complete the online Form I-90.
  3. Upload all supporting documents needed for your application. You should refer to our section on supporting documents before completing this step.
  4. Review your responses and provide an electronic signature.
  5. Pay any filing fees on Pay.gov.
  6. Submit your online Form I-90.

Filing by mail

You should file Form I-90 by mail if any of the following circumstances apply to you:

  • You held a 10-year green card before age 14, which expires after turning 16.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued your green card, but you never received it.
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made an error or multiple errors on your card.
  • You are applying for a fee waiver.

To apply by mail, you must:

  1. Print out a paper version of Form I-90.
  2. Pay filing fees with a check or money order or with a paper version Form G-1450 if you’re making  a credit card payment.
  3. Include any supporting documents needed. You should refer to our section on supporting documents before completing this step.
  4. Mail your renewal or replacement application, including your Form I-90, supporting documents, and fees—to USCIS. You must mail your completed application package to one of the following addresses depending on which shipping method you select:
  1. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS):

                  USCIS

                   P.O. Box 21262

                   Phoenix, AZ 85036

  1. DHL, FedEx, or UPS:

                   USCIS

                   Attn: I-90 

                   1820 E. Skyharbor, Circle S, 

                   Floor 1 Suite 100 

                   Phoenix, AZ 85034

Can you file from outside the United States?

You cannot file Form I-90 from outside of the United States. If you have been away from the United States for less than a year and have an expired green card, you can usually board a plane with a re-entry permit to return to the United States. But, if you have been away from the United States for over a year and are living abroad, you may have lost your permanent resident status. If you remained abroad for reasons beyond your control, you could be eligible for a Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa, which would reinstate your permanent resident status. If this is the case for you, you should speak to an immigration attorney for further information.

If you lose your green card or someone steals your card, you’ll need to obtain temporary documentation to return to the United States. In most cases, you’ll have to file Form I-131A or the “Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation).”

What happens after you submit Form I-90?

After U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives your Form I-90 green card renewal or replacement application, they will notify you of any updates by mail and on your USCIS online account.

Common updates include:

  • A confirmation letter stating that USCIS has received and accepted your application. This is called a receipt notice.
  • A biometrics appointment letter, typically sent one to two weeks after USCIS receives your application. This letter will state a time and location for your biometrics appointment, where USCIS will collect your fingerprints, photo, and signature.
  • A Request for Evidence (RFE) letter, if applicable. Sometimes USCIS requires additional evidence or documentation to consider your application. If you receive an RFE, you must respond and submit the requested materials by the deadline written in the letter.
  • A decision letter notifying you of approval or denial of your Form I-90.

Once USCIS has all of the information and documents it requires to process your application, they may approve your request. If approved, you should receive your new green card between 1.5 months to a year for renewals and 5.5 to 13.5 months for replacements. Your specific waiting period will depend on your circumstances, location, and the USCIS office’s caseload.

Throughout the process, you may check the status of your I-90 application by using USCIS’s Check Status Online tool. To check your status, you’ll need to enter your 13-character receipt number (found in the USCIS receipt notice). When you enter your receipt number, be sure to include the asterisk (*), but do not include the dash symbol (-).

Conclusion

Renewing or replacing your green card can be complicated, but working with a good immigration attorney can make it easier. If you can't afford the attorney fees and don't want to handle your renewal or replacement application alone, we may be able to help. If you are eligible, our free web app will walk you through the process and help you prepare and file your application with the U.S. government. Click "Get Started" to see how we can help make your American dream come true!

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