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Replace Resident Card: What to Do When Your Green Card is Stolen or Lost

As most people already know, one’s green card is proof of the holder’s right to work and to live in the US. So, what happens when one loses or gets his green card stolen? It will be one nerve-racking experience for sure.

If you find yourself in this situation, stop panicking. You can still do something about it. And you’re not the only person who went through this ordeal. Losing your green card doesn’t automatically mean you also lost your US permanent resident status. Though it can be a serious concern when applying for jobs, traveling, or doing some daily activities, you can solve it by applying to Replace Resident Card.

Below are two major scenarios which would determine your next course of action:

Stolen or Lost Green Card within the United States

If you got your green card stolen or if you lost it within the United States, the process of replacing it is simple. All you have to do is to fill up and file a form called the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card or Form I-90 the moment you lost your card. Your new card will be available after six months or more. The problem here is not the replacement procedure but the amount of time you have to wait before you can get your new card. This is especially true for those who need to travel to another country or start working for a new company.

If you badly need to travel to a different country earlier than the date you can receive your green card. The best thing you can do is to set an appointment with the local office of USCIS. You can schedule the said appointment through Info Pass. During your scheduled meeting with the USCIS, ask them to have your passport stamped with an I-551. The said stamp will serve as your temporary proof of US permanent residency status. The good thing about this temporary stamp is that it’ll be valid for up to one year.

Aside from this purpose, I-551 can also be utilized for other purposes. In the case of an employee who is still waiting for his replacement resident card in order to be authorized to work, the said stamp can serve as a valid proof of his US resident status. Though the purpose shall only be limited for his employment, it’s a great relief to have such an alternative instead of merely waiting for the replacement card.

Stolen or Lost Green Card outside the United States

If you got your green card stolen or if you lost it outside the United States, you can start to replace resident card by notifying the police who have jurisdiction of the area where you lost your card or had it stolen. You have to get a copy of the official police report of the incident since this will be your proof when you apply for card replacement. Also, you have to take note that carrier documentation will be necessary for you to board an aircraft.

To get this document, you have to prepare the following:

●  Form I-131A

●  Carrier Documentation or Application for Travel Document

Once you have these, you need to file them at the Consulate or US Embassy in the country you are in. Once you arrive in the United States, you have to fill up and file the form called Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card or Form I-90 to replace your lost or stolen card.

If you need help in replacing your lost or stolen green card, call Immigration Path today and get immediate assistance from a team of experts. 

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1 comment

Jack Green September 11, 2019 at 11:16 am

Thank you for writing this. I’ve actually lost my green card a few months ago and I’m filing for the I-90 (Application to Renew/Replace Permanent Resident Card). I’m hoping to complete this in the next few days but I’m getting hung up on a few questions that require my green card. The form is specifically asking for my immigrant category (found on my green card). any thoughts? much thanks!


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