USCIS announced at the beginning of 2021 that they are changing policies and procedures as it relates to extensions for green cards. If you have a 10-year green card you have to renew it every 10 years so you can continue to have proof of your status and continue to be a lawful permanent resident. This is different for individuals who have a two-year green card, that is something called removal conditions.
What used to happen is you would receive a receipt notice from immigration that they had received your application and you would have to wait to receive your green card for proof that you were still a resident. If your card had expired, you would have to go to a USCIS office to receive a stamp on your passport of proof that you were still a resident.
What has changed in 2021 is when you apply to renew your green card, you’ll receive a receipt notice from immigration. It’s going to extend your green card by 12 months from the date on your card. That’s really great news. This is something that USCIS does for removal of conditions.
People who apply for removal of conditions get a notification that extends their green card. Now they’re doing this for individuals who are renewing their 10-year green card. You’ll get a notification that says, “We received your application and while you wait for us to make a decision and issue your new green card, this receipt notice plus your green card is proof that you are still a resident and it will be valid for 12 months from the date on your card.”
This change was implemented in the beginning of 2021 and so, anybody who’s applied after January of 2021 will receive that notice that extends their card. If you’ve already applied and you applied before 2021 and you haven’t had a biometrics appointment yet, immigration will send you a new notification that will extend your green card.
If you have a biometrics appointment scheduled, what will happen is when you go to your biometrics appointment, that’s the appointment where they take your fingerprints, they’re going to put a sticker on your card that will give you proof of that 12-month extension.
They’re helping the transition to be able to have everybody have proof of their green card extension while they wait because there are long delays to receive your green card. That’s a great way to bridge the gap.
If you have a green card that’s more than 12 months expired or if you’ve lost it or had it stolen, then you can make an appointment called an added stamp appointment and they can put a special stamp in your passport that shows you’re still a resident and you’d have to meet certain conditions for that.