REPLACE/RENEW GREEN CARD
As proof of your authorization to live and work in the United States, a valid green card must always be in your possession.
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Now that you have a Green Card, don’t take it for granted. Small enough to fit in your wallet, this document serves as official identification, proof of your lawful permanent residency, and proof that you are allowed to work in the United States. A valid Green Card also allows you to re-enter the United States after you have been abroad.
By law you must always have it with you, but it is also important to replace it if it is lost, stolen, or damaged. Unless you received your Green Card on a conditional basis, you must also renew it from time to time. Here’s what you need to know about replacing and renewing your Green Card.
How to Report and Replace a Lost or Stolen Green Card
If you lose your Green Card, or if it was stolen while you were in the United States, report it to the local authorities (police) immediately. If you have a copy of the card, and/or any information pertaining to it, be sure to bring it to the police station. You should also do the following:
- Print out the current version of Form I-90, which is available on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
- Read the instructions carefully to see which supporting documents you’ll need (ie: copies of your birth certificate, driver’s license, passport, and so forth).
- Fill out the form you’ve printed, or complete it online and provide the requested copies of supporting documents.
- Review the form and then send everything, including the $455 filing fee to USCIS (or follow the instructions for filing online).
- Await information from USCIS about your biometrics appointment (there is an $85 biometrics services fee associated with this appointment).
- Go to an appointment at your local immigration field office to obtain an I-551 stamp or temporary proof that you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
- Await receipt of your new Green Card by mail.
If your Green Card was lost or stolen while you were outside the U.S., you can get the travel document you need to re-enter the United States by completing an Application for Travel Document (Form I-131A) and filing it at the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. As soon as you get back to the U.S., you should apply for a new Green Card by completing and filing Form I-90 with USCIS.
Related from: I-90, APPLICATION TO REPLACE PERMANENT RESIDENT CARD
How to Report and Replace a Damaged or Destroyed Green Card
You must also replace your Green Card if it has been damaged or destroyed. In either case, you can do so by completing and filing Form I-90 with USCIS. The filing fee is $455 and the biometrics services fee is $85. You may file the form online, or send the paper application to:
P.O. Box 21262
Phoenix, AZ 85036
(for applications sent by mail — United States Postal Service only)
1820 E. Skyharbor, Circle S, Floor 1
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(for applications sent by courier service — FedEx, UPS, and DHL only)
How to Renew Your Green Card
Your permanent Green Card is valid for 10 years. You must renew it by filing Form I-90 with USCIS if:
- Your card will expire within six months or has already expired.
- You just turned 14 and your current card will expire after your 16th birthday.
- You just turned 14 and your current card will expire before your 16th birthday.
If there is no expiration date on the permanent Green Card you now have, you must renew it immediately. The absence of an expiration date indicates that the card was issued before 1990 and is therefore invalid.
However, you cannot use Form I-90 to renew your Green Card if you have one issued on a conditional basis. Instead, you must use Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, to remove conditions on a Green Card obtained through marriage; or
Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions, to remove conditions on a Green Card obtained through financial investment in a U.S. business before the card you now have expired.
Other Reasons for Replacing Your Green Card
Legally, there are many other reasons why you must renew or replace your Green Card. You can do so by filing Form I-90 with USCIS if:
- You are legally classified as a “commuter” but you are now actually taking up residence in the U.S.
- If you have been a permanent resident living here but you can now be legally classified as a “commuter.”
- If you are a Special Agricultural Worker whose status was automatically switched to “permanent resident.”
- If you have an old/outdated “alien registration card” that is no longer viable proof of your immigration status.
- If there is erroneous information on your current Green Card.
- If any of the information on the card (such as your name) has legally changed as a result of marriage divorce or other circumstances.
- If you successfully applied for but never received a card from USCIS.
For information about filing and/or biometrics services fees associated with these categories, visit the Form I-90 page on the USCIS website.
Becoming a US citizen entails specific rights, duties, and the following benefits: consular protection outside the United States; ability to sponsor relatives living abroad; ability to invest in the US real property without triggering additional taxes; transmitting US citizenship to children; protection from deportation and others. U.S. law permits multiple citizenship. A citizen of another country naturalized as a U.S. citizen may retain his previous citizenship