Law Commentary
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What Do You Do When You Lose Your U.S. Green Card?

Losing your green card can be a frustrating and stressful experience, but it is important to remain calm and take the necessary steps to replace it as soon as possible. The green card, also known as the Permanent Resident Card, is an important document that allows you to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. It is also evidence of your status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

If you have lost your green card, there are several steps you should take:

  1. Report the loss to the authorities. If you lose your green card while you are in the United States, you should report the loss to the authorities as soon as possible. This can help to protect you from identity theft and other fraudulent activity. You can report the loss of your green card to the local police department, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), or the Department of State.
  2. Replace your green card. If you have lost your green card, you will need to replace it as soon as possible. To do this, you will need to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. You can file this form online or by mail.
  3. Gather the necessary documents. In order to replace your green card, you will need to gather a few documents. These may include:
    • A government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license or passport
    • Evidence of your permanent resident status, such as a copy of your original green card or a naturalization certificate
    • Evidence of your U.S. residence, such as a utility bill or lease agreement
    • Two passport-style photos
  4. Pay the required fee. There is a fee to file Form I-90 and replace your green card. The current fee is $540, but it is subject to change. You can pay the fee by credit card, debit card, check, or money order.
  5. Wait for processing. Once you have filed Form I-90 and submitted all of the required documents, you will need to wait for your application to be processed. Processing times may vary, so it is important to be patient. You can check the status of your application online using the receipt number provided to you when you filed the form.
  6. Attend an appointment. If your application is approved, you will be required to attend an appointment at a local USCIS office. At the appointment, you will be asked to provide biometric information, such as fingerprints and a photograph. You may also be asked to participate in an interview to confirm your identity and eligibility for a green card.
  7. Receive your new green card. If everything goes smoothly, you should receive your new green card in the mail within a few weeks of your appointment. Make sure to keep it in a safe place so you don't lose it again!

If you lose your green card while you are outside of the United States, the process for replacing it may be a bit more complicated. You will need to follow the steps outlined above, but you may also need to consult with the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where you are located. They can provide you with guidance on how to replace your green card from abroad.

It is important to note that if you have lost your green card, you may not be able to travel outside of the United States until you have replaced it. If you do need to travel, you may be able to obtain a travel document known as a Transportation Letter. This letter will allow you to return to the United States, but it is not a replacement for a green card.

If you have lost your green card and are unable to replace it, it is important to act quickly to address the situation. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Report the loss to the authorities. If you lose your green card while you are in the United States, you should report the loss to the authorities as soon as possible. This can help to protect you from identity theft and other fraudulent activity. You can report the loss of your green card to the local police department, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), or the Department of State.
  2. Contact the USCIS. If you are unable to replace your green card, you should contact the USCIS for assistance. They may be able to provide you with guidance on how to proceed. It is important to keep in mind that replacing a lost green card can be a complex process, and it may take some time to resolve the issue.
  3. Consider obtaining a Transportation Letter. If you need to travel outside of the United States and are unable to replace your green card, you may be able to obtain a travel document known as a Transportation Letter. This letter will allow you to return to the United States, but it is not a replacement for a green card.
  4. Consider applying for a temporary resident card. If you are unable to replace your green card and need to remain in the United States, you may be able to apply for a temporary resident card. This card, also known as a Form I-688B, will allow you to live and work in the United States temporarily while you resolve the issue with your green card.
  5. Consult an immigration lawyer. If you are having difficulty replacing your green card and are not sure what to do, you may want to consider consulting with an immigration lawyer. An experienced lawyer can provide you with legal guidance and help you navigate the process of replacing your green card.

Losing your green card can be a difficult and stressful experience, but it is important to remain calm and take the necessary steps to address the situation. By following the steps outlined above, you can work towards resolving the issue and obtaining a replacement green card.

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