The Permanent Resident card (Green card) is evidence that you are a legal resident of the country and you can work and live permanently anywhere in the United States. If you have lost your Green card, do not panic. Search for the Green card in every place that you can think of. If you cannot find the card, you must go ahead with the replacement process as the permanent resident card is a very important legal document that you need to carry with you at all times. There are certain steps to be taken immediately when you realize the Green card is not in your possession.
File a Police Report :
Contact your local police station and report that you’re Green card is lost/stolen. This will prevent misuse of your card by any other person for any illegal activities and also ensure that you are not responsible for any activities that may have happened in the meantime. It also opens a chance for you to get back your lost green card, in which case, it saves you the time and effort to replace the green card with the USCIS. To file a police report, you can walk into your local police department or you may file the complaint over the phone.
Gather supporting documentation :
If your Green card is lost, you need to file for a replacement with the USCIS. It is important to replace your Green card quickly as it is the proof of your legal status in the country. Before you file an Application for the Renewal of Green Card, it is best you collect all the supporting documents required which helps make the renewal process quicker and hassle free. Here’s a list of the documents you need:
A written statement about how your Green card was lost/stolen.
A police report is the most credible document that you can submit as proof of lost/stolen card.
A copy of your Green card.
Copies of other legal documentations (Driver’s license, Birth Certificate)
Two passport style photos with your Alien Number written behind.
File Form I-90, Application for Green card Renewal :
You must first notify the USCIS office, U.S Consulate / Embassy where you first applied and received your Green Card from. The next step would be to fill Form I-90, Application to replace Permanent Resident card. Download the form and read the instructions carefully before filling up the application.
Once you have completed your application, you need to send it to the local USCIS office along with the supporting documents and the application fee.
The entire Process of Renewing your Green Card may take 4-5 months. Meanwhile, if there arises a situation where you need to travel overseas or apply for a new job, before you receive the replacement card, you can make an appointment with your local USCIS office using InfoPass. This service enables you to get your passport stamped with the “temporary proof of permanent resident” status, I-551 stamp, by the USCIS officer at your appointment. This will usually be valid for a year or till the date at which the passport expires, whichever is earlier.