Lost Green Card: Everything You Need to Know
A lost green card refers to a card (which one has misplaced) that serves as tangible and legal proof of your right to live and work in America5 min read
Updated October 28, 2020:
Lost Green Card
A lost green card refers to a card (which one has misplaced) that serves as tangible and legal proof of your right to live and work in America. A common alternate name for a green card is a permanent resident card. If you are 18 years or older, the law requires that you carry your green card to serve as proof of your residency in the States. You will need to replace your permanent resident card as soon as you get the chance if you lost it or someone stole it.
Replacing Lost or Stolen Green Cards
You need to fill out Form I-90, which is called the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, to replace your stolen or lost green card. Ensure that you pay close attention to the instructions when filling out Form I-90. If there are inconsistencies and omissions in your applications, delays and immigration problems can occur. You can download the application from USCIS or you can use CitizenPath services to file the application.
Steps to Take When Replacing a Lost or Stolen Green Card
You should take the following steps to replace a stolen or lost permanent resident card:
- Go to the USCIS website to download the most recent version of Form I-90.
- Get copies of your birth certificate, driver's license, passport, and other supporting documents.
- Send a check or money order for the filing fee.
- Review the application for errors, inconsistencies, and omissions.
- Check your mail for a letter about a biometrics appointment.
- Get an I-551 stamp or get temporary proof of your permanent resident or green card status by going to an appointment at your local immigration field office.
- Check your mail regularly for your replacement green card.
Additional Steps to Take When Replacing a Lost or Stolen Green Card
You should speak to a police officer at a local police station and fill out a police report to let them know that someone stole your green card or that you lost it. Bring any documentation about the green card along with you to file the police report. Some examples of documentation include a copy of the green card, a written account, and an approval letter for green card renewal.
Processing your Application: What to Expect
Authorities will review your request for a replacement green card after you submit the application. The authorities may contact you for more information like an interview, biometrics, and documents. When the authorities approve the application, they will send you a replacement green card by mail. However, if the authorities deny your application, you will need to submit a motion to have your case reopened and reconsidered. You cannot appeal a decision made by the authorities.
Traveling Outside the States
You will need your green card to re-enter the United States after traveling to a foreign country. If you don't have a green card when you attempt to re-enter the United States, you may not be allowed to enter. However, if you have a passport from your mother country, you may be able to do the following:
- Use Form I-90 to replace your lost green card.
- You will receive I-797, which is the Notice of Action, in the mail from USCIS.
- Schedule an appointment with your local USCIS office.
- Go to your appointment with the Notice of Action and passport and request "I-551."
Not only should you take your stamped passport with you when out of the country, but you should also have a copy of the Notice of Action with you.
Green Cards Lost or Stolen Outside the U.S.
If you want to get on an airplane bound for America, you will need to have a travel document. You can get a travel document by filling out Form I-131A, which is the Application for Travel Document. You will need to file it at a nearby U.S. Consulate or Embassy. Once you get to the United States, you will need to use Form I-90 to replace your stolen or lost green card.
Starting a New Job
You need a green card to provide your potential employer with proof of employment authorization. Therefore, if you lose your green card, your potential employer may refuse to offer you a position. However, the employer may accept a photocopy of the stolen or lost green card. The employer may also accept a Notice of Action as proof that you are working on replacing the green card.
Revealing Info to Employer
Unless your current employer asks for the green card, you do not need to tell your current employer that you lost your green card.
Cost to Replace
The USCIS charges $455 as a filing fee for Form I-90, which you must fill out to replace a stolen or lost green card. There is also a biometrics fee of $85.
It usually takes about four or five months to replace a stolen or lost green card. The period that it takes to replace green card often depends on the details of your case as well as the workload at your local USCIS location.
Reporting to the Police
You should report your stolen or lost green card to the local police department. That way, if someone tries to your green card to steal your identity, the police department will be able to use the report as a record. As for the USCIS, all you need to do is file the Form I-90.
The documents that you will need to provide with Form I-90 will depend on the answers you provided on the form. Most people need to provide a copy of an ID issued by the government and the USCIS filing fee. A passport, driver's license, and U.S. military ID are all acceptable examples of government-issued ID.
Before your green card expires, you will need to file a Form I-751, which is referred to as a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.
You can go to USCIS's website to check your application's status. However, you will need your Case Receipt Number.
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