How to Replace Your Green Card
When you become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) in the United States you will receive a green card, which is proof of your LPR status and your ability to live and work permanently in the U.S.
If your green card is lost, damaged, or stolen, it’s time to get a new one.
Aside from those reasons, there are many other circumstances that require you to get a new green card. Here is how and when to replace your green card.
How Do You Get a Replacement Green Card?
In order to start the application process to replace your green card, for both permanent residents and conditional permanent residents, you must file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, which you can do by mail or online.
Processing may take several months. You can check the processing times for USCIS forms. Once the agency approves your application, you’ll be mailed a new green card.
If you believe that your card was stolen, be sure to report it to the police. When you file your application for a replacement card through Form I-90, include a copy of the police report.
Getting a replacement green card is important.
To ensure that you properly file Form I-90, along with all of the necessary supporting evidence that’s required to process it, it’s in your best interest to consult with an immigration attorney.
A skilled attorney can guide you through the entire process.
When Should You Replace Your Green Card?
If your green card is lost, severely damaged, destroyed, stolen, or expired, it’s obvious that it will need to be replaced.
Other reasons for a replacement card include, when:
- Your card contains information that’s inaccurate
- Your name or biographic information has changed
- You didn’t receive the previous green card that was sent to you
There are many other instances (that don’t apply to conditional green cards) when USCIS requires that you replace your green card, including when:
- You obtained your green card before the age of 14, and you’re now turning 14 (LPRs who turn 14 years old must obtain a new green card)
- You’ve been a permanent resident living in the U.S. and have now become a “commuter,” which means you reside in Mexico or Canada and work in the U.S.
- You’ve been a commuter and have now taken up residence in the U.S.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Green Card?
At the time of this writing, USCIS charges a $455 fee to process Form I-90. If you have to attend a biometrics appointment, you should expect to pay an additional $85.
USCIS periodically adjusts its fees, so you may want to check the fee to process your USCIS form.
What if You Need Evidence That You’re a Green Card Holder While You Wait for Your Replacement Card?
If you’ve lost your green card and need evidence of your LPR status as you wait to get a replacement, you can obtain an Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp, also known as an “I-551 stamp,” following your filing of Form I-90.
(Form I-551 is the Permanent Resident Card, aka green card).
This stamp, which is placed in your unexpired passport, is essentially your green card and is proof of your status as a lawful permanent resident.
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How Do You Get an ADIT Stamp?
You can obtain an ADIT stamp by placing a call to the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 and speaking to a representative to schedule an appointment to receive an ADIT stamp. The USCIS representative can advise you about which documents to bring to the appointment, which may include:
- An unexpired passport
- The receipt notice you received after you filed Form I-90 (Form I-797, Notice of Action)
- A copy of the front and back of your lost or stolen green card (if it’s possible)
It’s important for you to know that an unexpired Form I-551 stamp in a valid passport is as effective as having a physical, unexpired green card in hand, and it will serve as valid proof (for up to a year) of your status as a lawful permanent resident who can travel outside of the United States and reenter. Your Form I-551 stamp is a valid I-9 document for employment as well.
If you urgently need to travel outside of the U.S., consider bringing documents to the appointment for the ADIT stamp that demonstrate your pressing need for the stamp. These might include business correspondence, airline tickets, a travel itinerary, or a health document about a sick relative.
After you’re approved for the stamp, it will be imprinted in your unexpired passport, or placed on your Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.
What Should You Do if You Lose Your Green Card While Traveling Abroad?
If you are outside of the United States and you lose your green card, you will have to schedule an in-person appointment at a U.S. embassy or consulate to get the replacement process started. Once you’re back in the U.S., you’ll need to file Form I-90 to replace the physical card.
Do You Need to Talk to an Immigration Attorney About How to Replace a Green Card That’s Been Lost or Stolen?
If you need to replace your green card, call Warren Law Firm to schedule a consultation. Our team can answer your questions and provide the guidance you need to help you get a new permanent resident card.
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