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What Happens If My Green Card Is Lost or Stolen?


As a lawful permanent resident in the U.S., your Green Card is your proof of your lawful permanent residency in the U.S. Without it, you will be unable to show police officers and immigration enforcement authorities that you have a right to live and work in the U.S. This makes it crucial that you know what to do should your Green Card ever become lost or stolen.

If you’ve just realized this has happened to you, don’t panic. Trust us – you are not the first person who has lost their Green Card. Also, losing your Green Card doesn’t mean you’ve lost your lawful permanent resident status, but it can complicate your daily life – especially if you find yourself involved with law enforcement officers.

When a Green Card Is Lost or Stolen within the U.S.

Replacing a Green Card that was lost or stolen within U.S. borders is fairly simple, although you should always consider hiring an attorney to assist you with the process. This is because any dealings you have with U.S. immigration officials are extremely sensitive – the consequences of a mistake or clerical error can be significant.

Once you’ve acquired an attorney’s representation, they will assist you with completing and filing the Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Keep in mind that the process to replace a lost or stolen Green Card this way can take up to six months, which can affect your need to travel outside the U.S. or begin a new job.

When a Green Card Is Lost or Stolen outside the U.S.

If you are out of the U.S. when your Green Card gets lost or stolen, you must notify the police department in the jurisdiction where your card was stolen and obtain a police report.

You must also get a travel document (carrier documentation) to board a plane or ship headed back to the U.S. To do this, you must also file a Firm I-131A, Application for Travel Document with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

When you return to the U.S., you should have an attorney assist you with the Form I-90 to replace your missing Green Card.

Contact Us for Help Today!

For help with any Green Card matters, you can trust The Alband Law Firm for reliable legal assistance. Learn more about what we can do for you by scheduling a consultation.

Get in touch with us today by contacting our firm online.