Form I-90, Explained


Understanding the “Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card”


Sample Form I-90
Sample Form I-90 (“Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card”)


What is USCIS Form I-90, and what is it used for?

The I-90 form (officially called the “Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card”) is the application used to renew or replace a green card. You must file Form I-90 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if your green card is expired or soon-to-expire or if it has been lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed, among other reasons.

In this guide, you will learn:

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Who Needs to Complete Form I-90?


Not every permanent resident must file Form I-90 to get a new green card. Here’s a general overview of who should and should not file Form I-90:

Who should use Form I-90?

Most permanent residents use Form I-90 when they need to renew or replace their green card. These include permanent residents whose 10-year green cards have expired or will be expiring in the next 6 months, as well as permanent residents whose green cards, for example, have been lost, stolen, damaged, or completely destroyed. See below for a list of situations when a Form I-90 is needed.


Who should not use Form I-90?

If you have a conditional green card, which expires 2 years after being issued, you must follow a different process to replace it with a “permanent” green card that’s valid for 10-year renewable periods. That process is known as “removing the conditions” on the green card. You’ll file Form I-751 (officially called the “Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence”) if you have a conditional marriage-based green card or Form I-829 (officially called the “Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status”) if you gained U.S. permanent residence by investing in a U.S. business.


How Do I File Form I-90?


Depending on the reason you’re requesting a new green card, you may file Form I-90 either online or by mail (using a paper Form I-90):

Who may file the I-90 online?Who must file the I-90 by mail?
Your green card is expired or expiring within 6 months.You’re applying for a fee waiver.
Your green card was lost, stolen, mutilated (damaged), or destroyed.Your green card was issued, but you never received it.
Your name or other personal information has changed.Your green card contains an error (or errors) made by USCIS.
You have an old — and now invalid — version of the green card.You received a 10-year green card before age 14, and it will not expire before you turn 16.
You’re a “commuter,” meaning you live in either Canada or Mexico but travel to the United States for work.
You’ve been a “commuter” (see row above) but now live in the United States.
Your immigration status was automatically converted to “green card holder” (applies to a narrow group of people, such as “Special Agricultural Workers”).

How to apply online:

  1. Create a new USCIS online account or sign in if you already have one, and follow the instructions.
  2. Complete the online Form I-90.
  3. Upload your supporting documents (see below to determine which ones you need)
  4. Review your answers, and sign electronically.
  5. Pay your fees, if any, at Pay.gov.
  6. Submit your online Form I-90 (see “What Happens After Filing Form I-90?” below).

How to apply by mail:

  1. Download and complete a paper Form I-90 (see “How Do I Fill Out Form I-90?” below for general instructions).
  2. Write a check or money order or complete a credit card authorization form (see below for details) for the fees (if any).
  3. Gather your supporting documents (see below).
  4. Mail your renewal or replacement application — Form I-90, supporting documents, and payment (if any) — to USCIS (see below).

Where do I mail my completed I-90 form?

If you’re filing a paper I-90 by mail, you must send your form, supporting documents, and payment (if applicable) to one of the following addresses, depending on the shipping method you choose:

Through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS)Through DHL, FedEx, or UPS
USCIS
P.O. Box 21262
Phoenix, AZ 85036
USCIS
Attention: I-90
1820 E. Skyharbor, Circle S, Floor 1
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

How Do I Fill Out Form I-90?


In this section, we’ll take a closer look at each section of Form I-90 (the official Form I-90 instructions are available on the USCIS website, under “Filing Options”). But first, let’s cover some ground rules:

  • If a question does not apply to you, type or print “N/A” (for “not applicable”) in the space provided for your response.
  • If your answer to a question is the number zero (0), type or write “none.”
  • If you complete a paper Form I-90, you must type or write your answers in black ink and make sure all information is accurate. Simple mistakes can cost you extra time and money.

Form I-90 instructions

Part 1: Information about you

This section is mostly straightforward. It asks for basic personal information, such as your name, parents’ names, birth date, and gender.

Other questions that may not be as obvious:

  • Alien Registration Number (or “A-Number”): You can find this number on your green card.
  • USCIS Online Account Number: This is different from your A-Number, but don’t worry about it if you don’t have one. If you do, log in to your account and find your account number on your profile page.
  • Legal name change: If your name changed since you first received your green card (because you got married, for example), be sure to check “Yes” on item 4, fill out item 5, and provide documents proving why your name changed, such as your marriage certificate or divorce papers.
  • Mailing and physical addresses: You may live at a different address than where you receive mail. If someone other than you accepts mail on your behalf, include their name on line 6.a., where it reads: “In Care Of Name.”
    • If your mailing and physical addresses are the same, leave item 7 blank. (IMPORTANT: USCIS will not mail green cards to non-U.S. addresses, so if you plan to be out of the country when your green card expires, apply for a new one in time to receive it before you leave.
    • If you currently commute between the United States and Canada or Mexico for your job, you may provide a non-U.S. address as your mailing address, but you’ll need to follow instructions for item 2.h.1., indicating the U.S. Port of Entry (POE) you’ll use, which is also where your green card will be mailed for pick-up.)
  • Class of Admission: Item 14 asks how you obtained your green card. Enter the three-character immigrant code found on current green cards under “Category.” It’s typically two letters followed by a number, such as “IR1.”
  • Date of Admission and Date of Birth: When entering dates, such as when you were approved as a U.S. resident, use standard U.S. format: mm/dd/yyyy (month, followed by day, followed by year).

Part 2: Application type

  • Select the one item number that describes whether you are a permanent resident (regular green card holder); commuter resident (a Canadian or Mexican resident who travels to the United States for work); or conditional resident (a spouse with a 2-year marriage-based green card or an investor with a 2-year green card), in which case you must fill out a different form, not Form I-90 (see “Who Needs to Complete Form I-90?” above).
  • Based on the immigration status you checked, you will be directed to Section A or B to check why you are applying for a new card (for example, you lost your green card, or it contains inaccurate information).

Part 3: Processing information

  • Item 1 asks where you originally filed (submitted) your green card application, which should be either a U.S. consulate or embassy or a USCIS office.
  • Item 2 asks where your green card was approved, which typically is the same answer as item 1.
  • Item 3 asks where you were headed to live and at which port of entry (POE) you arrived. If, for example, you were moving to Seattle from Spain but first landed in New York City, you would enter Seattle for 3.a. and New York City as your POE for 3.a.1.
  • If you have ever been in immigration court, you must explain in detail what happened.
    • If you can’t provide evidence of your right to U.S. permanent residence, seek legal counsel to proceed.
    • If you have ever “abandoned” your green card status to live outside the United States, talk to an immigration attorney before completing Form I-90.

Part 4: Accommodations for individuals with disabilities and/or impairments

If you have a disability or need help to complete this application — for example, if you’ll be arriving in a wheelchair at your biometrics appointment — you can use this section to ask for assistance and explain what accommodations would be helpful.


Parts 5–7: Applicant’s statement, contact information, certification, and signature

It’s essential for you to understand that you’re signing a legal document. If you needed help completing Form I-90, you’ll need to indicate in this section that you used an interpreter and/or attorney to help you. They must also sign the form and provide some personal information.


Part 8: Additional information

If you needed extra space to answer any of the questions in the previous sections of Form I-90, you would enter or write that information here.

If this page still does not provide enough space for your answers, you can attach separate sheets of paper — just make sure to include your name and A-Number (if you have one) at the top of each sheet. For every question that you’re providing an additional answer, make sure to indicate the page number, part number, and item number. And finally, don’t forget to sign and date each sheet!


What I-90 Supporting Documents Are Required?


The supporting documents (or “evidence”) required for filing Form I-90 vary depending on the reason why you need a new green card, but they generally include a copy of your green card unless:

  • You never received it
  • It was lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed
  • Your immigration status was automatically converted to “green card holder” (applies to a narrow group of people, such as “Special Agricultural Workers”)

The chart below can help you determine which supporting documents you need based on your particular situation.

What documents are needed for Form I-90?

Evidence Categories and Sample Documents for Form I-90
Reason for green card renewal or replacement (evidence categories)Required supporting document(s)*Sample documents
You green card is expired or will expire within 6 months.Green cardOld/outdated green card:
  • Form AR-3
  • Form AR-103
  • Form I-151
You received a 10-year green card before age 14, and it will not expire before you turn 16.
Your green card contains an error (or errors) made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
You have an old — and now invalid — version of the green card.
Your card was lost, stolen, mutilated (damaged), or destroyed.Green card

OR

Government-issued ID showing your name, birthdate, photo, and signature

Government-issued IDs:
  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Military ID
Your green card was issued by USCIS, but you never received it.Government-issued ID showing your name, birthdate, photo, and signature

AND EITHER

Your latest Form I-797 (“Notice of Action”)

OR

Your passport page with an I-551 stamp

Your name or personal information has changed.Green card

AND

Legal document(s) showing your new or correct name or personal information

Legal documents:
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce papers
  • Birth certificate
  • Adoption papers
  • Passport
  • Other court documents
You’re a “commuter,” meaning you live in either Canada or Mexico but travel to the United States for work.Green card

AND

Evidence of your employment within the past 6 months

Evidence of employment:
  • Pay stubs
  • Employment Verification Letter
You’ve been a “commuter” (see row above) but now live in the United States.Green card

AND

Proof of U.S. residence

Proof of U.S. residence:
  • Lease agreement
  • Property deed
  • Utility bills dated within the past 6 months (if the bill is in your spouse’s name, also send your marriage certificate; if it’s in your parent’s name, include your birth certificate)
Your immigration status was automatically converted to “green card holder” (applies to a narrow group of people, such as “Special Agricultural Workers”)Government-issued ID showing your name, birthdate, photo, and signature

AND

Evidence of temporary-resident status

Government-issued IDs:
  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Military ID

Temporary-resident status:

  • Form I-797 (“Notice of Action”)
  • Form I-700 (“Application for Status as a Special Agricultural Worker”)
All other reasonsGreen cardN/A

*Photocopies of documents are sufficient. Do not send originals unless specifically instructed to do so. If any of your documents is written in a language other than English, you’ll need to include a certified translation of that document with your Form I-90.


What Happens After Filing Form I-90?


Once USCIS has received your green card renewal or replacement application — including Form I-90, supporting documents, and payment (if applicable) — USCIS will send you updates by mail and to your USCIS online account. (USCIS will automatically create an online account for you if you hadn’t already.)

These updates will include:

  • A confirmation letter that USCIS has received and accepted your application
  • A biometrics appointment letter (sent within 1–2 weeks after USCIS receives your application) detailing where and when USCIS will take your fingerprints, photo, and signature (if applicable)
  • A Request for Evidence (RFE) letter if USCIS needs additional documentation or information (you must respond and upload the required materials to your USCIS online account by the deadline stated in the letter)
  • A decision letter stating whether your Form I-90 was approved or denied

If USCIS has everything it needs to process your application and approves your request, you will receive your new green card within the timeline stated above, though delays are possible.


How to check the status of your I-90 application

The confirmation letter you receive from USCIS will include a 13-character “receipt number” (3 letters and 10 numbers). You can use this receipt number to track the progress of your I-90 application.

To check the status of your application, you’ll need to use the USCIS “CHECK STATUS ONLINE” tool. Enter your receipt number in the space provided, and then click “Check Status.” If you entered your receipt number correctly, you will be able to view when USCIS received your application and its current status.

IMPORTANT: Do not include the dash symbol (-) but do include the asterisk (*) — if there is one — when entering your receipt number.


How Long Does It Take to Process Form I-90?


The average processing time for Form I-90 is currently between 1.5 months to a year for renewals and 5.5–13.5 months for replacements. The wait time varies based on the applicant’s situation and location, as well as USCIS’ current workload.


How Much Is the Fee for Form I-90?


The current filing fee for Form I-90 is $455. In most cases, you must also pay an $85 biometrics fee, for a total cost of $540. Please note that these fees are nonrefundable.

You may be exempt, however, from paying one or both fees:

  • You pay $0 if:
    • Your green card was issued by USCIS, but you never received it.
    • Your green card contains an error (or errors) made by DHS.
    • You qualify for a fee waiver (see below).
  • You pay only $85 if:
    • You turned 14 in the past 30 days, and your green card will
      expire after you turn 16.

How do I pay the I-90 fee?

How you’ll pay depends on whether you filed Form I-90 online or by mail:

  • If you file online: You will need to pay electronically through Pay.gov. There is no additional fee for paying through Pay.gov.
  • If you file by mail: You may pay by money order or check, made out to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (do not abbreviate) or by credit card (by completing Form G-1450 (officially called the “Authorization for Credit Card Transactions”). Cash is not an acceptable form of payment.

Is there a fee waiver for Form I-90?

A fee waiver is available for Form I-90 if you meet certain requirements.

To qualify for a fee waiver, you must prove to the U.S. government that you cannot afford the fees because you have low income, experience financial hardship, or receive public benefits.

To apply for a fee waiver, you must complete a separate form and submit supporting documentation about your financial situation. If approved, both the filing and biometrics fees ($540 total) will be waived, and you will pay $0.

See our guide to immigration fee waivers to learn more.



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