It is easy for your green card to expire and for you not to notice. Even if you carry it with you at all times, you probably do not look at it all that often. For many people, the cost of renewing a green card is enough to put the task off, even when they know it is expiring. However, there are many problems associated with an expired green card, and if your card is not valid, you may not even realize them until it is too late. Below are the four biggest reasons you should never let your green card expire.
Anytime you begin a new job, your new employer will have to fill out a Form I-9 to verify that you are authorized to work in the United States. When filling out this form, you will have to show a valid green card. If your card has expired, it is illegal for an employer to accept it. There are other documents you can use, such as a passport with a temporary I-551 stamp. If that stamp has also expired, it could take weeks before you receive valid documentation, and that means you will also have to wait to start your new job.
If you travel outside of the country and wish to reenter, an expired green card will make this much more difficult. Some airlines will not allow you to board with an expired card, but even if they do, Customs & Border Protection (CBP) will still need to see valid proof of legal residency. If they do accept your expired green card, you will still have to pay a costly re-entry fee, and you could be held up at the airport for hours. In the worst-case scenario, the CBP may not allow you to re-enter at all.
To renew your driver’s license, you typically must show proof of residency within the state. A green card can provide this proof. It takes approximately six months to get a new green card, so if you allow yours to expire it could mean that you also would not be able to drive during that time.
Legal permanent residents can apply for the same types of loans as U.S. citizens, including those from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, you will need to show a valid green card and likely your Social Security number. If your green card has expired, it is not considered valid and that could keep you from homeownership.
If you need to obtain a green card, our Chicago immigration attorneys at Kriezelman, Burton & Associates, LLC can help. We will ensure your application is completely and accurately filled out and that you include all the necessary documents so you can receive your green card as quickly as possible. Call us today to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys so we can start reviewing your case.
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