What To Do If I Lost My Green Card


Green Card is an important documentary proof and evidence required by immigrants living and working in the United States of America. A green card is a colloquial name given to an identification card issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department to individuals who have applied and have been authorized to become the permanent residents of United States. These individuals have been legally accepted as the citizens of the United States who have the right to live and work in the United States of America indefinitely. The green card expires in 10 years and needs to be renewed after every ten years. This rule, though, does not exist for the Green Cards issued during 1977-1989 which never expires. Further, those individuals who have been granted a conditional permanent residence status due to an investment or marriage need to renew their Green Cards in 2 years.


What To Do if I Lost My Green Card?

Green Card is an important identification card for any immigrant in US. The individual is expected to carry a green card along with him or her at all time. Failure to carry the green card is punishable. Therefore in case, your green card is lost, things become quite stressful since a valid US green card is an absolute necessity to prove an individual’s permanent status in the country. In case anyone loses his/her green card, he/she needs to follow the following steps in order to prove their residential status.


Steps To Re-Apply Green Card

In order to reapply for a green card, the individual needs to get the latest version of the USCIS Form I-90, the form required to file a replacement for a green card. The form can be obtained by visiting the website of USCIS. Either download the form or file the form online on the same website. The individual filing for a replacement of a green card needs to provide his/her social security number along with his/her US address, county of birth, name, signature, and a valid reason for fining for this new card.

  • The individuals are advised to read the instructions carefully before filling in the form.
  • The individuals also need to submit the copies of supporting documents as mentioned in USCIS Form I-90 such as passport, driving license, birth certificate. These supporting documents are basically required as proof of identity of the individual.
  • The individuals also need to submit the requisite fees along with the application. The payment, however, can be made through check or money order.
  • Avoid mistakes in filling USCIS Form I-90 since any mistake would simply delay the green card availability. Once the application is correctly filled up form along with supporting documents, it can be submitted either electronically or by mailing through US Mail.
  • The individual would then receive an intimation of the biometrics appointment from the department. On such an appointment, photograph and fingerprints of the individual would be taken for the new green card.
  • The individual can get temporary proof of green card if needed by making an appointment with the local immigration field office in the area. In case accepted by the office, the office can give an I-551 stamp on the passport of the individual which proves that the individual is a permanent resident of the US. This stamp would help till the time the new green card is issued to the individual.


Lost Green Card Abroad

In case the Green Card is lost outside US, the individual cannot file in an above-mentioned way. Merely filling up the form I-90 would not suffice. In such a scenario, the individual needs to visit the US Embassy and Consulate nearby and report the loss of the card. The individual should also try to obtain any additional documentation from the embassy which would help the individual re-enter the United States.


Lost Green Card Fee

The individual filing for a replacement of a lost green card to pay a fee of USD 455 for the USCIS Form along with a fee of USD 85 for the biometrics. Thus the total USCIS fee payable by the individual is currently USD 540.


Green Card Replacement Time

After the individual applicant files the duly filled in form along with the requisite fees and supporting documents to the concerned authority, the documents are processed. The processing of the application of such a green card issue might take around six months. The new green card usually is sent by the concerned department to the individual at the address mentioned via mail.


How To Find The Status of Application?

While the green card takes time to be issued, in case the individual wants to check the status of the new card, the individual can check by calling 1-800-375-5283 or check the online status on the website.

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