On August 22, 2007, the USCIS published a proposed rule which would require approximately 750,000 lawful permanent residents carrying permanent resident cards (“green card”) without expiration dates to apply for a new Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card. This rule proposes to establish a 120-day period for those lawful permanent residents who possess green cards with no expiration dates to apply for replacement cards.
The proposed rule seeks to assist with the national security mission of the USCIS. The replacement cards are intended to ensure that the fingerprints and photographs of the lawful permanent residents are updated. In addition, the rule would enable the USCIS to conduct background checks, collect and store biometric information and provide more secure and tamper-resistant cards.
Affected individuals are not required to replace their cards until the Final Rule is published and becomes effective. However, the USCIS has stated that it will begin accepting applications now and early applications may be processed much quickly than those filed later. In order to renew the green card, applicants must file the Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, with the appropriate filing and biometric fee within the 120-day replacement period or earlier. The older versions of the cards will remain valid until the new cards are issued. The USCIS would announce in the Federal Register the date when all of the cards without an expiration date would be terminated.