WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced this week a proposal to require nearly 750,000 lawful permanent residents carrying “green cards” without an expiration date to replace their current cards.
USCIS published in the Federal Register a rule open for public comment that proposes to require lawful permanent residents to apply for a new Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551), commonly referred to as a “green card,” during a 120-day filing period. The change would allow USCIS to issue more secure permanent resident cards, update cardholder information, conduct background checks, and electronically store applicants’ fingerprint and photographic information.
Permanent Resident Cards are issued as evidence of the holder’s authorization to live and work in the United States. In August 1989, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) began issuing new cards with a 10-year expiration date and required residents to apply periodically for a new card. Between 1979 and 1989, however, the cards were issued without expiration dates. These are the cards that are the subject of the proposed rule.
The rule proposes that affected lawful permanent residents file an Application to Replace Lawful Permanent Residence Card (Form I-90) in order to replace their current “green card.” The Form I-90 requires applicants to provide current biographic and biometric (photographs and fingerprint) information. Application Support Centers across the United States and new automated filing procedures would give USCIS the ability to process a large number of applications during a short period of time.
In addition to proposing a 120-day filing period, the rule also proposes to remove all references in the regulations to outdated Form I-90 application procedures and correct the title and edition date of Form I-90.
Finally, the rule proposes a mechanism for terminating “green cards” without an expiration date. Under the rule, USCIS would be able to terminate permanent resident cards without an expiration date via notice in the Federal Register.