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How long does a green card last?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2023 | Green Card

When you get a green card, you’ll become what is known as a permanent resident. You are not a citizen, although you may be on your way to obtaining that status. As a permanent resident, you are allowed to live and work within the United States.

But the term permanent resident implies that this will never run out, the same as citizenship. Is that true, or is your green card going to expire? And if it does expire, what does that mean for your status?

Permanent residents

For those who are permanent residents, the green card should say when it expires. This is usually printed directly on the card, so there shouldn’t be any confusion. As a general rule, it lasts for 10 years.

It doesn’t mean that you have to leave the United States when it expires. You are a permanent resident and you can stay on a long-term basis. You just have to make sure that you renew the card at the right time so that you do not accidentally become out of status.

A conditional resident

One important thing to keep in mind is that there is another type of green card. This is given to those who are known as conditional residents. It only stays valid for two years. This is because there are special conditions on your case. You do have the option to file a petition to see if you can get them removed. When that is successful, you will then be issued another green card, and this will be the standard one that lasts for 10 years. But if you have not yet done that, do not assume that you have 10 years when you only have two.

Immigration can be complex in the United States. It’s very important to understand what legal steps to take.