Do’s and Don’ts When You Lose your Green Card

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Having your green card lost or stolen can be very frightening, but if you keep these do’s and donÈts in mind, you can get your green card back without too much hassle:

– Do stay calm. While it can be scary to have a green card stolen or lost, this is unfortunately something that happens to permanent residents everyday. There are solutions and options, so remain calm and work to solve the problem. Even if you have lost your green card, remember that your green card status (permanent residency) is permanent, and losing your green card does not mean that you have lost your immigration status.

– Don’t forget to look. Retrace your steps and look for your card. If you have visited a store or another location, call that location and ask someone to look in the lost and found section of their store or place of business. In some cases, when someone finds a green card that you have lost or dropped, they will return it to a lost and found or will submit it to the police. Call around and try to locate your card.

– Do report the loss of your green card and apply for a new one. If you cannot find your card within a few hours, it is important to report your card as lost or stolen and to apply for a new one. You donÈt want your green card used for crime and you need to carry your green card at all times. You will need to file USCIS Form I-90 to replace your card. If you are outside the US when you lose your card, consult with the nearest US consulate, embassy, or USCIS office in your destination; you will need additional documentation to re-enter the US without your green card. If you have lost your green card outside the US, file a report with the police and get a copy of the report. As well, file a notice of the loss in a newspaper classified section and get proof of payment of the ad. These steps will prove that you have lost your card. At a consulate, USCIS office or embassy, you will need to apply for a transportation letter to ensure that you can re-enter the US.

– Don’t delay filing Form I-90. By law, you are required to carry your green card with you at all times. If you need to travel or if you think you will need to prove your status before your new green card arrives, you can request a temporary proof of permanent residency from a US immigration field office.