Lost Your Green Card?

April 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

If your green card is lost or stolen, ensure that you get it replaced by filing Form I-90, Application for green card replacement with the USCIS.

A permanent resident card (green card) generally valid for ten years has to be renewed on its expiration. You will also not lose your permanent resident status in the US if you do not renew/replace your green card. Permanent resident status does not expire.

Even though your permanent resident status does not expire, per US immigration laws, you should always have proper evidence of your status (a valid, unexpired green card or temporary passport stamp). You will experience difficulties in getting employment, benefits and re-entry into the United States from abroad if you do not replace your lost green card. It is extremely important to apply for your new green card before you travel abroad and have with you on any trip the temporary documentation you received. If you try to re-enter the US with an expired green card, you might experience a delay during the inspection process at the port of entry.

Another important factor is that your employers will not accept an expired green card while verifying employment authorization for new hires. You can use other documents that you will find on Form I-9 (Employment eligibility verification form) such as social security card and driver’s license or carry temporary evidence of status, such as an I-551 stamp. Even the receipt notice that you received for your I-90, Application to replace permanent resident card will be of immense help.

It is also worth mentioning that if you do not get a replacement for the lost green card, you may not be able to file for American citizenship. Having a green card is one of the main eligibility requirements while filing the citizenship application.

The entire replacement process approximately will take three to four months.

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