If you want to live and work in the United States and you are a citizen of another country, a green card is essential. With a green card, a foreign national can be a permanent resident in America and eventually apply for citizenship. Unfortunately, some green card holders run into problems with their documentation. If your green card expires, this could mean trouble.

Job Issues

A valid green card helps people from outside of the United States secure jobs. If your green card is defunct, that could impact your ability to hold down employment. For someone who is a new hire and has an expired green card, there is a potential solution. Foreign passport holders may also use their passport's I-551 stamp to show proof of lawful residence inside of the United States.

Driver's License Issues

Getting a driver's license as a foreigner in the United States isn't difficult if your green card is valid. People with expired green cards may run into some problems when either applying for a new license or renewing their current one. License application and renewal procedures vary by state, but it may be possible to use your I-551 stamp if you're waiting for your green card to get renewed.

Home Loan Issues

There aren't any other ways to prove permanent residency other than your green card if you're attempting to secure a home loan. Legal foreign residents can apply for many different types of home mortgage loan programs that offer attractive interest rates. Individuals with expired green cards may have to put their dreams of home ownership on hold while a green card lawyer resolves the issue.

Green Card Renewal Process

The best solution to your immigration problems is to plan ahead and make sure your green card gets renewed. The process may take a few months, but if you have a plan, you won't have to worry about costly and time-consuming alternative solutions that may not work. A green card is the key to showing you're in this country legally and following all required procedures towards becoming a citizen.