By Radhika Balaji, Associate Attorney.
On January 12, 2021, USCIS announced that it will issue a revised Form I-797, Notice of Action for Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Cards to extend the validity of the Permanent Resident Card, commonly known as “Green Card”, if it has expired or is about to expire. This Form I-797, printed on secure paper, will serve as evidence of extension of the Green Card. USCIS is pursuing this process since Applicants with expiring Green Cards will no longer receive biometrics appointment where they used to issue a “sticker” as evidence of Green Card extension.
This will particularly help those who stuck outside the US due to COVID-19 and whose Green Cards have expired. This process allows for extension of the Green Card for one year simply by filing the application without having to appear for biometrics, typically scheduled in the US.
When is this effective? – From January 2021
What is documentary evidence of current validity of expired green cards? – A copy of the expired Green Card and the revised Form I-797, Notice of Action for Form I-90.
How long is the extension valid? – 12 months from the expiration on the face of the Green Card.
Why is the USCIS issuing the revised Form I-797? – The purpose of this revised I-797 is because it will serve as evidence of identity, employment authorization and authorization to return to US after temporary international travel.
Where can I receive this revised Form I-797? – a) Applicants who file Form I-90 to replace an expiring Green Card will receive the revised Form I-797 for Form I-90 in the mail in 7-10 days of filing. b) Applicants who have been scheduled for biometrics (fingerprint and photo) appointment will not receive the revised Form I-797, instead will be issued an extension sticker at the biometrics appointment.
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