How to Replace a Green Card
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When Do I Need to Replace a Green Card?
A green card, or permanent visa, is a very important immigration document. It provides proof that the holder is a lawful permanent resident, and can legally work and live in the U.S. permanently.
At times, green card replacement may be necessary, such as when:
- The green card contains erroneous or outdated data
- The green card was destroyed, mutilated, lost, or stolen
- The green card is no longer valid
- You have legally changed your name or other information and the green card does not reflect the changes
- You are changing your immigration status (for example, from commuter status to permanent resident status)
- Your green card was issued to you when you were younger than 14 years of age, and you are now older than 14 years old
How Do I Replace a Green Card?
The main form to fill out to replace a green card is Form I-90, “Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.” This form can be obtained for free through the website operated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Once obtained and completed, the form can then be submitted in paper form through the mail or electronically online.
You may need to submit other data in relation to the replacement. For example, if you need a replacement green card because your biographical data has changed, you must also submit documentation to prove that your new data is accurate and truthful.
How Much Does Green Card Replacement Cost?
Again, there is no cost to obtain Form I-90; it can simply be downloaded online for free. However, there is a filing fee of $365 that must be paid when you file the form. If you don’t pay the fee, your form will not be accepted by immigration authorities.
In general it may take anywhere from 2-6 months for the replacement process to be fully completed. This time period may vary with each individual case, so it’s best to plan ahead if you’ll be needing a replacement green card.
What if I Never Received my Green Card or it is Missing in the Mail?
You are required to complete and submit Form I-90 if any of the following apply:
- It has been more than 30 days since USCIS mailed you the Green Card, but you didn’t receive it yet
- You did not receive your Green Card, and you have not moved from the address you provided in the visa application process
- Your Green Card was returned to the USCIS by the Post Office because it was “undeliverable”
- Your Green Card was issued containing incorrect information due to an administrative error by USCIS
When Should I NOT Submit Form I-90?
You should NOT submit Form I-90 if you are currently under Conditional Resident Status and seeking to remove the conditions.
Instead, you should submit Form I-751 in order to remove conditions on a Green Card issued through marriage, or, Form I-829 for removing conditions based on financial investment in U.S. businesses.
If you are still unsure of which form you need to fill out, or for more guidance on how to replace a green card, you may wish to consult with an immigration lawyer.
Do I Need a Lawyer in Order to Replace a Green Card?
It is very important that you keep your green card current. You should periodically check to see that all information is reflected accurately on the green card itself. If you need help replacing your green card, an immigration lawyer can be of great help to you. Your lawyer will be able to review your personal information history for green card replacements.
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Last Modified: 05-16-2014 10:51 AM PDT
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