A Guide to Replacing and Reporting a Lost Green Card

Tadeo & Silva Immigration Attorneys discuss reporting a lost green card and know how this can be replaced. Get to know more.

Author: Massiel Silva Tadeo, Founder, Tadeo & Silva

Attorney Massiel Silva Tadeo is a partner and owner at The Tadeo & Silva Law Firm. She specializes in removal (deportation) defense, family immigration, and hardship waivers. Published on: May 24, 2022. Last updated on: March 27, 2023.

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Reporting Your Lost Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)

Losing your green card can be a stressful and fearful event. After all, a green card serves as legal proof of your right to live and work in the U.S.

You may wonder: how can you get a job or re-enter the U.S. without it?

The good news is that the application to replace a permanent resident card is not that complicated. In the meantime, you don’t have to live in fear because there is other evidence you can use to prove that you have the legal right to live and work in the U.S.


The First Thing You Need to Do When You Lose Your Green Card

Once your green card is lost or missing, contact your local or international police department and file a report.

Why should you obtain a police report if your government-issued ID documents, such as a green card or military ID, are lost or stolen? Reporting a lost or stolen green card (or military ID) will protect you if the documents are found at a crime scene.

You could get in trouble if your government-issued ID is linked to a crime scene and you have not reported them as missing or stolen.

Application Form to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) 

To start the process of replacing your lost green card, you will need to file a Form I-90.

You can file this form online or in person. If you file for green card replacement online, you will submit and pay the fees online. Additionally, you will be able to check on the progress of your application and receive any updates online.

You can also file your Form I-90 and pay the applicable fees in person by submitting it at a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office.


Are You Required to Replace Your Green Card?

Apart from losing or missing your green card, other circumstances require you to replace your green card to retain your lawful permanent resident status.

These circumstances include:

  • your card is mutilated or destroyed
  • your previous card contains any incorrect information
  • you have legally changed your name
  • you have not received your green card even after you have filed all the necessary documents
  • your green card expires, and you need to renew it

Replacing Your Lost Green Card

So, you lost your green card and cannot find it anywhere. It is time to sit down, calculate the filing fee, and assemble the documents you need to apply for a new green card.

Once you have reported your green card as lost or missing, follow the steps below to get a green card.


Steps to Take to Replace a Lost Green Card

Here are the steps you will take to replace a lost or stolen green card:

  • Visit a USCIS office or website to obtain a current version of Form I-90.

  • Get copies of supporting documents such as a driver’s license or passport.

  • Confirm the current USCIS green card replacement fee and organize payment.

  • Go through the completed form and confirm no errors or inconsistencies.

  • You will receive your biometrics appointment via mail at a later date.

  • Once your biometrics are taken, you will receive your replacement green card by mail, so check your mail regularly.

What Happens After Your Application to Replace Green Card is Submitted?

Processing your replacement form will take time, so you need temporary proof of permanent residence. Visit your local immigration field office and get a stamp I-555 that you can use before your replacement green card arrives.

After the authorities process your forms, they may approve or deny your application. If your application is rejected, an immigration attorney may help you submit a motion to reopen your case.

Tadeo & Silva Law Firm understands how immigration services work. We can help you file for a replacement green card or a new permanent resident card.

Contact us today if you have immigration issues from a stolen, lost, or expired green card. We can offer you the legal representation you need when dealing with any government agency for your immigration issues.

What Does it Cost to Replace a Lost Green Card?

The typical replacement fee is $455, and an additional $85 for the biometrics appointment fee. However, some people do not pay anything, while others only pay the biometrics fee. You can find the exact fees when you apply to replace a permanent resident card.

I Lost My Green Card, but I Need to Travel

You cannot travel outside or re-enter the U.S. without your green card. At the same time, you can only file Form I-90 within the U.S. If you lose your green card while traveling abroad, you cannot file replacement forms until you return to your home country.

You must apply for a boarding foil so that carrier lines can carry you back to the U.S. without your green card. A boarding foil is the only way to avoid significant penalties for entering the U.S. without your green card.

You must submit Form I-131A and pay the filing fee to apply for a boarding foil. Here are the documents you need to process for the form to be processed:

  • a filled form I-131A

  • your passport

  • a copy of your passport’s biographic page

  • evidence of your departure from the U.S., such as boarding passes 

  • proof that you paid the filing fee

What if I Find My Green Card After Reporting it Lost or Stolen?

Finding a lost or stolen green card is a relief, especially if you have not started the application to replace it. You don’t have to wait for months before getting your green card. However, informing your local USCIS office of this new development would be best. They may be able to cancel your green card application process, saving you time and money.

Contact Tadeo & Silva Law Firm for More Guidance

No matter the situation, seek legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney before filing a new or replacement green card application. At Tadeo & Silva Law Firm, we always strive for the best outcome for our clients. Contact us today for green card replacement advice and other immigration services.

We can help you navigate the complex immigration process with ease, protecting your rights and securing your green card status. With our help, you can rest assured that your green card application process will go smoothly and quickly. Contact us today for more information about lost green cards and other immigration issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Have to Report a Lost Green Card?

Yes, you have to contact your local police department or an international police department and report that your green card has been lost or stolen. You must present the police report when applying for a green card replacement.


How Long Does a Green Card Replacement Application Take?

Expect to wait 6 – 9.5 months for your replacement green card. Ensuring you haven’t provided incorrect information on your application is vital because you may be forced to restart the process.


What to Do if You Lost Your Green Card and have No Copy?

If you don’t have a copy of your lost green card, you must provide evidence that you are a lawful permanent resident. You can use your passport or a driver’s license that displays your legal name, date of birth, and photo. You must also provide other documents such as birth, marriage, or naturalization papers.

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