How to Report and Replace Your Lost Or Stolen Green Card
Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.
Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from the Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: July 27, 2021.
If you have a lost or stolen green card, knowing what to do next is essential. This guide covers everything you need to know about replacing it.
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How Do You Renew or Replace Your Green Card If It Got Lost or Stolen?
A green card is also known as your permanent resident card, which serves as proof that you legally live and work in the United States. If your green card is lost, getting a replacement can be extremely time-consuming and challenging.
As the immigration attorney Atlanta immigrants can count on, we at Manji Law, P.C. are prepared to help you through these challenges. We’ve also put together this comprehensive guide to help you know what to expect before you begin taking action.
Rest assured that losing your green card does not mean losing your permanent resident status, so there is no need for you to worry. However, before thinking of traveling or applying for a job, you might consider getting a new green card to avoid trouble.
It’s important to note that whether you have lost your green card while in the United States or abroad could change the status of your replacement request.
If you lost your green card in the United States, a replacement green card is simple. Once you file Form I-90, it could take up to six months to receive your new card. If you want to travel abroad, you have to make an appointment with your local USCIS office by calling 1-800-375-5283. When at the appointment, request an I-551 stamp on your passport that is available for a year. If you do not own a passport, contact the U.S Consulate or the U.S. Embassy to request a passport.
On the other hand, if you lost your green card outside the United States, you might want to notify the police to obtain a police report. Primarily, you need to get a travel document, namely a carrier transportation, to get onboard successfully and avoid all the hassle when you return to the United States.
To get such a document, you need to file form I-131A, an Application for Travel Document, and pay a $575 filing fee. Find the nearest U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy to request a boarding foil (transportation letter).
Once you have returned to the United States, there is still one thing you have to do. You must file Form I-90, an Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.
How Time-Consuming Is The Lost Green Card Replacement Process?
To replace your permanent resident card, there are some essential steps you need to follow. Firstly, you need to fill out Form I-90 or the Application to Replace Permanent Green Card. Completed government forms have to be sent to the USCIS. You might be asked to provide evidence, documentation, or support a filing fee. Our guide will explain and walk you through the entire process of replacing your lost green card.
Besides losing your green card, there are other situations when you must replace your green card. If damaged, expired, lost, issued with wrong information, or if you never received your original green card, you absolutely need to replace it.
As mentioned above, the replacement process might depend on whether you lost your green card while in the United States or outside the U.S. For more information, you can browse our website or call a green card lawyer directly at 678.902.2999 without hesitation!
How To Replace Stolen Or Lost Green Card Fast
Replacing your green card due to it being stolen could take a lot of time. Once you’ve filed Form I-90, you might need temporary proof of your status as a green card holder. Schedule an appointment at a USCIS office and get an “Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications (ADIT)” stamp added to your passport.
Lost Green Card Replacement Processing Time
If your green card is lost, the replacement process will take a while. But once your green card replacement application is approved, you will receive your new green card by mail.
How Long Does It Take To Replace Permanent Resident Card?
The average processing time for replacing a lost, stolen, or damaged green card is six to nine and a half months. However, it is good to know that the estimated time constantly changes. You can check the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for an exact estimation.
Report Stolen or Lost Green Card
Permanent residents who lost their green cards must file Form I-131A and submit it to the U.S. Embassy. If you notice that your card is missing, you can go to a police station to file a police report. Such a report is the most credible type of document to show to immigration authorities. Continue with applying for a replacement card, calling your bank, and documenting everything you do.
How To Report A Lost Or Stolen Green Card in the U.S.
If you do have a copy of your green card, you can submit it with your application, together with your driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, or a non-driver ID. You should mail your form and pay a $450 application fee to USCIS.
Your replacement green card can be denied for different reasons. In that case, you need to submit a motion to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) so they can reconsider their decision. For USCIS to reconsider your denial, you must file Form I-290B (Notice of the Appeal and Motion) within 30 days to the office where you initially submitted your replacement request. You will be charged a fee of $675 upon filing the request.
If you have an expired permanent resident card, you will continue to be a lawful permanent resident. No fines, penalties, or additional fees will be imposed. However, since 2007, owning a green card without an expiration date has become illegal and it must be immediately replaced. To board with an expired green card, you must hold an original notice of action (Form I-797).
What’s The Lost Green Card Replacement Fee?
The standard green card replacement fee is $455, to which the $85 cost of the biometrics services is added.
With both of these fees added together, you must pay a total of $540. Some applications do not require you to pay for biometrics services.
Seek Legal Advice if Your Green Card Is Lost or Stolen
If you are older than 18, you are required to carry your green card with you at all times, so you can prove your lawful permanent resident status. Not having your green card with you is a misdemeanor, and if you are found guilty, you may face jail time of up to 30 days and a fine of up to $100. Since the law imposes that you have to carry your green card, not its copy, losing it or having it stolen is not an uncommon event.
If you are asking for a visa renewal, a green card, or looking for residency in the United States, having an immigration lawyer on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
At Manji Law, P.C., attorney Jameel Manji and the office team are here to help. Whether you speak English or Spanish, our law firm will deliver exceptional results and will guide you through each step of the process. Please call us at 678.902.2999 or browse our official website for more information. We look forward to assisting you!
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