How to replace a lost, stolen, or expired US green card

The lawful permanent resident card, commonly known as a “green card,” is evidence of a person’s lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the United States. The green card serves as proof of the person’s authorization to work in this country. It is also used to re-enter the United States and return to lawful permanent residency after temporary absence abroad not exceeding one year.

However, exceptions are made for Conditional Permanent Residents who obtained their card through marriage to a United States Citizen before the second anniversary of the marriage. The card, but not the person’s LPR status, expires after ten (10) years, and replacement forms can be submitted six (6) months before the expiration.


Do

Cartoon with check mark

  • use the proper form and answer all of the applicable questions
  • submit the proper documents and filing fees
  • make sure the information is correct when the card is received
  • make an appointment with a local USCIS office
Don't

Cartoon with x mark

  • file without consulting an immigration attorney
  • file for a replacement green card if…
  • worry if you need a replacement green card
  • miss any questions on the I-90 form

Paul Goldstein‘s recommendation to ExpertBeacon readers: Do

Do use the proper form and answer all of the applicable questions

The form to replace the green card is an I-90 and can be found at the USCIS website. It is important to use the correct and current form, as a prior edition will cause the service center to reject the filing. All parts of the form must be filled out properly.

Do submit the proper documents and filing fees

The correct filing fee, which includes the fee for your biometrics, can be found at the USCIS website. Failure to send the proper amount will cause the service center to reject the filing. Also, be sure to send a copy of the card that is being replaced, and two passport-style photographs taken within 30 days of the filing. If an individual is filing because his or her name has legally changed, submit certified copies of the court documents reflecting the change.

Do make sure the information is correct when the card is received

If the USCIS has made an error and issues the card with incorrect information, a replacement card can be requested. Send copies of the correct information and return the original card. There is no filing or biometric fee for this.

Do make an appointment with a local USCIS office

If the green card has already expired, set up an appointment at a local USCIS office. Be sure to bring a valid passport and receipt for the filing of the I-90. The office should issue a stamp in the individual’s passport.


Paul Goldstein‘s professional advice to ExpertBeacon readers: Don't

Do not file without consulting an immigration attorney

It is especially important to talk to an immigration attorney before filing for a replacement green card if an individual has ever had legal troubles. If after receiving the green card, the individual was arrested, has pled to a crime, has had his or her criminal file expunged, or has been convicted of any crime, the USCIS will discover this through the individual’s fingerprints and biometrics. Convictions for certain crimes will carry severe immigration consequences, such as initiation of removal proceedings and deportation from the United States.

If the individual’s record is clean, however, he or she can proceed without consulting an immigration attorney. If serious doubts or concerns arise, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney for help.

Do not file for a replacement green card if…

Don’t file for a replacement if the individual has filed for naturalization at least 6-months prior to the expiration of the green card. If, however, he or she has filed for naturalization within the 6-month period, that person must still file for a replacement green card.

Do not worry if you need a replacement green card

An individual can also file for a replacement card if it has been lost, stolen, mutilated or destroyed; the card was issued but never received; the card has incorrect data because of a USCIS error; the person’s name has been legally changed since the issuance of the card; the person has reached his or her 14th birthday; the LPR is taking up commuter status; the LPR is a commuter who is taking up actual residence in the United States; or if the person has a prior edition of the LPR card.

Do not miss any questions on the I-90 form

If information is missing, the filing can be rejected. If the information is incorrect, such as the reason for filing the form, it can be denied. This will result in having to re-file the form with a new filing fee


Summary

A careful analysis of the individual’s situation and properly filing the replacement form the first time is recommended to avoid unnecessary fees and delays. When in doubt, it is best to consult with an attorney who specializes in immigration law who can provide advice and guidance.

Similar Posts