When it comes to the green card, lost green cards cause more stress than just about any other immigration problem. Immigrants in the United States are expected to carry their green card with them at all times. Failure to do so can, in fact, be a misdemeanor. Equally importantly, not having a valid US green card at all times can make it difficult to prove your status as a permanent resident of the United States. If your green card is lost, there are several steps that you will want to take in order to ensure that you get your green card to prove your status:
1) Get the latest version of USCIS Form I-90. This is the form that you will need in order to file a green card replacement. You can get this form by visiting the USCIS website and downloading the required form. You can even file the form online at the same website. On the form, you will need to provide your Social Security number, US address, country of birth, name, the reason you need a new card, and your signature. It is important to carefully read the instructions before starting to fill out the form.
2) Get copies of the supporting documents you will need to file USCIS Form I-90. You may need your driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate in order to fill out the form. These can help prove your identity.
3) Submit the filing fee with your application. You can do this by money order or check. Before submitting payment, check the USCIS website to ensure that you have the correct current filing fee.
4) Check your USCIS Form I-90 carefully before filing it. Any mistakes on your application can delay your green card.
5) File your USCIS Form I-90. You can do this by mailing it through the US mail or by filing your form electronically. If you file USCIS Form I-90 electronically, you will submit your payment and the supporting documents through the online process.
6) Wait for a letter about your biometrics appointment. Arrive early at your biometrics appointment on the date that it is scheduled. At this appointment, your photograph and fingerprints will be taken for your new green card.
7) Get temporary proof of your green card status if you need it. You can do this by making an appointment at the local immigration field office in your area. This office can give you an I-551 stamp in your passport to prove that you are a permanent resident of the US. This stamp can be used in place of your green card until your new card arrives.
8 ) Wait for your new green card to arrive in the mail. It can take up to six months to get your new green card. If you believe that there has been an undue delay, you can contact the USCIS by calling 1-800-375-5283. You can also check the status of your application online at the USCIS website.
If you lost your green card while traveling outside the United States, you cannot file Form I-90. Instead, you will need to visit the closest US Embassy and Consulate in order to report your green card as stolen or lost, and you may need to get additional documents from the consulate or embassy so that you can re-enter the United States.