Should I File an I-90 or I-751?

Figuring out which immigration form you should file can be tricky, especially when there are two options that sound really similar. If you are a current green card holder, and your card is expiring soon, you may be wondering – should I file an I-90 or an I-751?

A common mistake made by green card holders is mistakenly filing an I-90 when they should be filing an I-751, or sometimes vice versa.

When you read the description online for an I-90, you may think that this is definitely the form you need – you need to get a new green card, and that’s what this form is for! However, there is one big and important exception: if you need to renew your green card because you received a 2-year green card, or a “conditional resident” card, and your card is expiring in the next 90 days, you must file form I-751, not form I-90. Making this mistake can have serious consequences.

You must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence if:

  • You are a “conditional resident” who received a 2-year green card based on marriage, and your card is expiring in the next 90 days.

You must file Form I-90. Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card if:

  • Your green card has been lost, stolen, or destroyed;
  • You never received your green card from USCIS;
  • Your green card has been mutilated;
  • Your green card has incorrect information because of USCIS error;
  • Your name or other identifying information has been legally changed;
  • Your card will expire within 6 months or has already expired;
  • You have reached your 14th birthday, and your existing green card will expire after your 16th birthday;
  • You are a permanent resident who is taking up commuter status;
  • You are a commuter who is taking up residence in the US;
  • You have been automatically converted to permanent residence status;
  • You have a prior edition of the green card.

If an I-751 is the right form for you, you must file it within the 90 days before your 2-year green card expires. If your I-751 application is approved, you will receive a 10-year green card, and next time you need to renew it, you’ll need to file form I-90 instead.

If an I-90 is the right form for you, there is much more flexibility with when you can file your application. You generally should file your application within the 6 months before your card expires, but consequences are less harsh for late filings.

If you realize that you filed form I-90 by mistake, when you should have filed form I-751, you will likely still be able to correct the error and avoid any serious consequences (which, in the worst case scenario, could lead to removal proceedings). We recommend that you read our blog post here for tips on how to file a late I-751, and contact us right away to determine the next best steps for your specific situation.


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