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Steps to take if Green card is lost overseas

Category : Green Card Renewal

Do keep in mind that without a valid greencard, you will not be allowed entry in the U.S. In some cases you will not be allowed to board a flight back into the country. It is very important to take care of important travel documents while abroad. It can be very stressful if the documents are lost and it could take days to be allowed entry into the U.S.

Many would try to apply for a new green card via Green card replacement application, Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, but very few know that a replacement for a greencard cannot be done from Overseas. The application holder has to be physically present on U.S. soil to apply/replace/re-apply.

These are the following steps to be taken in case Greencard is lost abroad.

  • Go to the nearest police station and file a complaint stating that the Green card is lost and obtain a legal police report of the same.
  • Once the police report is ready, head to the U.S. embassy or Consulate and request a boarding foil to gain entry back to the U.S.


Please note that obtaining a Boarding foil does not guarantee you to enter the country, but it only enables you to board a flight back into the U.S. At the port of entry, the Immigration authorities will decide if the person should be allowed entry into the country or not.

An overseas embassy officer can issue a Boarding foil provided he can verify the applicant’s Legal Permanent residential status. The applicant has to be physically present to report the loss or damage of Green card and to request a Boarding foil. A certain fee has to be paid along with the Police report.

The applicant will be asked to fill in Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, which will not be used to file for re-application but it is only for data collection purpose. The form will be returned to you once it has been scanned.

A boarding foil will be issued once the identity of the applicant is verified. This foil will be valid for a 30 day period. Upon arrival in the U.S., the legal permanent resident will need to submit Form I-90 for green card replacement with the exact fees.

Important Immigration Forms

U.S. Citizenship Form N-400 Green Card Renewal Form I-90

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