A green card is physical proof that you have earned the right to live and work in the United States as long as you observe its terms. As such, it goes without saying that misplacing your green card can be devastating.
Fortunately, losing a green card does not have to mean the end of the road as far as the pursuit of your American dream is concerned. There are a number of steps you can take to replace a missing or damaged green card. Here’s what you should know:
Circumstances that may warrant a replacement of your green card
Besides misplacement, here are some of the reasons why you might consider replacing your green card.
- If the card is stolen
- If you legally change your name since acquiring your previous green card
- If the card expires (usually 10 years after issue)
- If the original card contains inaccurate information
The process of replacing a green card
The process of replacing a lost green card begins by downloading and filling out Form I-90 from the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. You can also fill out this form online from the comfort of your home.
Submitting Form I-90
Once you download Form I-90, you need to focus on the section “Reason for Application.” To replace a lost, damaged or stolen green card, you will need to check the box labeled, “My previous card has been lost, stolen or destroyed.”
Submitting your biometrics
After submitting Form I-90, you will receive an invitation to submit your biometrics at the local FBI field office. This is to ensure that the USCIS updates your fingerprints and I.D picture.
The waiting period
Once your biometrics are taken, the Potomac Service Center should process your green card replacement. You can track your application process online.
Whether you dropped your wallet and green card at the club or had it destroyed by your dog, it helps to note that green card replacement is possible. You may want to find out how you can safeguard your residency rights while awaiting the replacement of your green card.