How to Deal with a Lost Green Card
People make mistakes. People get involved in situations that are beyond their control and that might negatively influence their lives. For the Green Card holders, one such situation is losing one’s green card. This can happen and this sometimes happen, but the most important thing to remember is that this is no cause for alarm. Lost green card can be easily replaced and before you know it, you will be issued a new one that will replace the old one.
It is absolutely essential to have your green card on you at all times if you are a permanent resident of the US. Without the green card that you can produce, you can encounter a number of problems. For instance, you can find it difficult to keep a job or to find a new one, simply because the green card is necessary for non-US residents to have a legal job. There are even some states in which you cannot go outside unless you have a green card on you, like for example in Arizona. It is because of this that you have to replace a lost green card as soon as possible.
The good news is that this is a rather simple and easy process that will set you back some money, but nothing that will be too much for you. The first step in doing this is to get your hands on an I-90 form, also known as Application to Replace Permanent resident Card. You can obtain this form from the USCIS office that is closest to you, or you can visit the USCIS website for the electronic I-90 form. It is absolutely essential that you fill in the form correctly and that you do not put in any faulty information. If you have it, you need to include the copy of the permanent resident card that you have lost (which is why it is always a good idea to make one in the first place) and include it with the form.
Next, you will be asked to come to the nearest USCIS office where you will be doing your biometrics, fingerprints and a photograph. When going in, take your passport with you and include some additional passport photos just in case. It will set you back $365 in order to replace your green card, with the check attached to the I-90 form. In addition to this, you will probably be charged additional $85 for the expenses of biometrics. This money will be made out to US Department of Homeland Security.
After that, you will have to wait for the USCIS to decide whether you will be allowed to replace your green card, which is usually the case. You will get a receipt number and you can then check the current status of your case at the USCIS website, at My Case Status. If, for any reason, your request to have your lost green card replaced is denied, you are allowed to submit a motion to reconsider with that same office.
If you should lose your green card abroad, you need to report the lost green card to the local law enforcement. Of course, you will keep the copy of the report. You also need to publish a classified in the local newspaper, keep the receipt of the payment as well as the newspaper that ran your classified. The next step is to visit the nearest US consulate or embassy where you can get a transportation letter that will allow you to re-enter the US without a fee, which will allow you to then replace your lost green card once you get back to the US.