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Immigration Form I-90: What You Need to Know

An Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, or Form I-90, is a form from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which allows applicants to obtain, replace or renew a Green Card (proof of permanent residency status) for a variety of reasons. While you can try to navigate the process of obtain, renew or replace your Green Card on your own, in many situations you’re probably better off hiring an immigration attorney to help you or recognize that mistakes and omissions, nefarious or not, can have adverse consequences to your Green Card application.

The following information provides an overview of Form I-90 and identifies situations where hiring an immigration lawyer to help you complete the form may be in your best interest.

When is Form I-90 Needed?

An individual will need to complete Form I-90 in the following situations:

  • The Green Card has been lost, stolen or destroyed.
  • An issued Green Card was never received.
  • There is an error on the Green Card that is the fault of the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Biographical information has changed since the current Green Card was last issued.
  • The Green Card is about to expire or will expire within six months.
  • The permanent resident has turned 14 years of age.
  • The permanent resident will obtain commuter status.
  • An individual who has commuter status will take up residence in the United States.
  • The individual has been automatically converted into a lawful permanent resident.
  • The individual has an earlier edition of the Alien Registration Card that must be replaced with a current Green Card.

Form I-90 is not to be used by an individual who is a conditional resident and looking to remove the conditional status on their Green Card. In this situation, Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, will be needed. More information can be found on our Getting a Green Card Through Marriage page.

Description of Form I-90

Form I-90 consists of seven pages. A copy of the form can be downloaded at the USCIS’s Form I-90 page. The following eight Parts make up Form I-90:

  • Part 1: Biographical information about the applicant.

  • Part 2: Immigration status information from the applicant, as well as the applicant’s reason for needing Form I-90.

  • Part 3: Prior immigration history and information. Depending on how some of these questions are answered, an attorney may be needed (see below).

  • Part 4: Impairment or disability information about the applicant. This information is requested in case the applicant needs assistance when called in for an interview and fingerprinting.

  • Part 5: The applicant is asked to sign and certify the information provided is correct.

  • Part 6: If an interpreter was used to help complete Form I-90, they will sign and certify this section, as well as provide his or her contact information.

  • Part 7: If someone helped the applicant complete Form I-90, they will sign and certify this section, as well as explain who they are and how they can be contacted.

  • Part 8: Depending on how the applicant answered certain earlier questions on Form I-90, this is where additional information and explanations will go.

When to Hire an Attorney to Help Complete Form I-90

Ultimately, the choice is yours whether you want or need an attorney to assist you complete Form I-90. If you hire an immigration attorney he or she will help ensure Form I-90 is completed properly and provide peace of mind. They will ask you questions and review your history to identify any potential issues you might have or pitfalls to address. If there are potential problems, the attorney will take steps to address them before they can cause confusion or delay.

Those who answer “yes” to questions 4 and 5 in Part 3 will almost always want to hire an immigration attorney to help them with Form I-90. Question 4 asks if you have ever been in exclusion, deportation or removal proceedings or removed from the United States. Question 5 asks if you have ever filed Form I-407, Abandonment by Alien of Status as Lawful Permanent Resident or otherwise been determined to have abandoned your immigration status.

Answering yes to either question may bar you from getting your Green Card. If you feel you’re still eligible for a Green Card despite answering “yes,” you’ll need to carefully explain the situation in Part 8 of the form. It is strongly recommended you hire an immigration attorney to help prepare this explanation and confirm you are still eligible for a Green Card.

Form I-90 Fees

The application fee for Form I-90 is $455. There is an additional biometrics fee of $85 for the fingerprinting process. Both these fees may be waived by completing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. In order to waive these fees, the applicant will need to prove financial hardship resulting in the inability to pay the fees.

Every Form is Important: Best Ensuring Success in the Immigration Process

An immigration attorney may be a luxury to some, but when the reasonable fees and costs are examined in the context of the added value and protection an immigration lawyer can provide, then the answer to whether you should hire counsel is fairly straight forward. Don’t be foolish and filled with regret wondering why you were denied a Green Card or your renewal as delayed. Protect yourself and your future in America.

Call the New York immigration lawyers and former New York City prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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