All green cards issued after August 1989 have an expiration date, and permanent residents in California and around the country are required to submit immigration I-90 renewal forms when this date approaches. Renewing a green card is usually a straightforward process, but some applications are denied. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied an average of 30,242 green card renewal applications per year in 2016 and 2017, but that figure has since risen by more than 300% to 103,140 rejected renewal applications each year.

There are several reasons why green card renewal applications are denied. The most common of these is being convicted of a serious crime. The immigration authorities do not provide a list of which crimes are considered deportable offenses, but renewal applications are frequently denied when permanent residents have been convicted of crimes of moral turpitude, serious drug offenses, immigration fraud or smuggling. Making false statements on an I-90 green card renewal form can also lead to a denial.

Permanent residents whom a judge has ordered to be removed from the country will likely be unable to renew their green cards. I-90 applications are also likely to be unsuccessful when permanent residents reenter the country and immigration officials complete paperwork to begin the expedited removal process. Renewal applications could also be rejected because permanent residents send in the wrong forms or submit the correct form too early.

Attorneys with experience in U.S. immigration form may seek to help permanent residents avoid common pitfalls by ensuring that I-90 renewal forms are completed correctly and submitted when they are due. They may also explain the types of crime that commonly lead to denials. When permanent residents would like their spouses or unmarried children to join them in the United States, attorneys may help them to complete and submit family preference petitions.