Your green card matters a lot to your life, work and study in the United States. Unfortunately, if your 10-year valid green card is damaged or lost, you must replace it with a new one to prove your U.S. identity. Don’t worry about losing your green card. In this article, we will show you a complete guide on how to replace a green card and get your life back to normal. Read below and replace a green card.
When to Replace a Green Card?
If you always keep your green card in good condition, you don’t have to replace it. However, you must replace your green card if you have:
- Your green card was lost, stolen, mutilated, or damaged.
- You got your green card before you turned 14, and now you’re 14. Your card will expire when you are 16.
- You have incorrect information on the card, such as the wrong last name or birth date.
- You never receive a green card.
- You have legally changed your name or other personal information.
- You have an old alien registration card, such as USCIS Form AR-3, Form AR-103, or Form I-151. You need to replace your current green card because they can’t prove your immigration status.
- You have been a permanent resident of the United States, but you are now taking up commuter status.
- You have been a commuter, but have automatically acquired permanent residence.
- Your green card does not have an expiry date that was issued between 1979 and 1989. And you can’t be recognizable from the photo when you take it as a child.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Your Green Card?
The current and standard green card replacement fee is $540, including a filing fee of $455 and a biometric fee of $85 for your photo, signature and fingerprint). And there are some applicants who only pay for biometrics or pay nothing. For example, you don’t have to pay the fee. If you qualify as a fee waiver, your card has an error made by DHS, or you have never received a green card. And you just pay $85 if you turn 14 in the last 30 days, and your green card expires after you turn 16.
How Long Does It Take to Get a New Green Card?
The process of changing your green card will depend on the specific situation, ranging from 1.5 to 12 months. Usually, when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives your green card replacement application, they will immediately check your situation and help you process it. Of course, if you want the most up-to-date process time, you can visit the USCIS website. In addition, if you urgently need a green card replacement, you can obtain an Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp to prove your identity before receiving the new green card from USCIS.
How to Replace Green Cards
If you need to replace your green card, you must complete Form I-90 (“Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card”), which can only be submitted within the United States. If you are traveling on board and need to replace your green card, there are a few extra steps you must follow. Here you can see the options and different requirements for obtaining a replacement green card, depending on whether you are inside or outside the United States.
Replace a Green Card in the United States
When you are in the U.S., you can apply for your green card replacement online or by mail. Follow the steps below to help you choose the best way to replace your green card.
How to apply online
- Launch the USCIS website, create a new account, or log in if you already have one.
- Fill out Form I-90.
- Upload your photocopy of the supporting documents.
- Review your answers and sign your form electronically.
- Pay your application fee at Pay.gov (if required).
- Submit Form I-90 online.
How to apply by mail
It’s up to you to choose online or by mail to replace your green card. But you must have your green card replacement by mail if you are in one of the following situations:
- You are applying for a fee waiver.
- You never got a green card.
- Your green card has an error made by USCIS.
- You received a 10-year green card before you turned 14, and it won’t expire until you turn 16.
When applying by mail, follow the steps to replace your green card.
- Download and complete a paper Form I-90 from the USCIS website.
- Write a check order or complete a credit card authorization form (if required).
- Gather your supporting documents.
- Send your replacement application – Form I-90, supporting documents, and payment to USCIS. And there are two places you can mail to according to the shipping method you choose:
|United States Postal Service (USPS)
|P.O. Box 21262, Phoenix, AZ 85036 USCIS
|DHL, FedEx or UPS
|1820 E. Skyharbor, Circle S, Floor 1, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85034
Replace a green card outside the United States
When you are outside the United States, you need to take extra steps to obtain a replacement green card. Form I-90 can only be filed in the United States.
If your green card is lost or stolen
First, you must inform the local police to request a police report and contact your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for further assistance. When you return to the United States, you must have a green card. If you lose it, you need to apply for a “boarding foil”, Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation), which can allow transportation carriers to travel to the United States. After returning to the United States, you must follow the above methods to file your I-90 form and obtain a replacement green card.
If your green card expires
Your green card expires when you are outside the United States. You must contact the nearest U.S. Consulate, USCIS International Field Office, or U.S. Port of Entry (POE), and let them know about your situation, and file your green card renewal as soon as you return to the United States.
Can I expedite my green card replacement?
Yes. If you need an urgent green card replacement to travel abroad, get a new job, or apply for a mortgage, you can speed up your green card replacement. After submitting your application, you can generally request expedited processing by calling the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) or by asking Emma after receiving a receipt notice. Keep in mind that the USCIS Contact Center will not refer the expedited request to the appropriate office without a receipt number. In addition, you must meet certain criteria or meet or fulfill certain circumstances:
- Severe financial loss to a company or individual.
- Emergencies and urgent humanitarian reasons.
- Non-profit organization whose request furthers the cultural or social interests of the United States;
- USCIS error.
Can I get a temporary green card?
Yes. As you know, it’s slow to replace your green card, but you need a green card to prove your status, you can get a temporary green card by scheduling an appointment at your nearest USCIS field office to get an Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp, also known as “I-551 stamp” in your passport. The ADIT stamp can be used as a temporary green card for 1 year. Here you can follow the steps to apply for an ADIT stamp.
- Complete and submit Form I-90 to USCIS.gov.
- Pay your application fee and get your receipt number.
- Schedule a USCIS appointment online or call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to request the ADTI stamp. Prepare with your I-90 receipt number, alien registration number, green card expiration date, and why you need an urgent temporary green card. When you call USCIS, you can say “Infopass Appointment” to reach a live agent when you are asked, “How can I help you?”
- Attend USCIS Infopass Appointment at your local USCIS office. You need to provide the necessary documents: a valid passport, copy of the green card, InfoPass appointment notice and proof of urgent need, such as airline tickets, a doctor’s letter and a job offer. After they have checked your documents, the officer can give you the I-551 stamp on your passport. So you can use the stamped passport just like a green card.
Should I report a lost/stolen green card to the police?
Of course, yes. If your green card is lost or stolen, you must report it to the nearest police station and obtain a copy of the police report. In addition, you must monitor your credit reports all the time. In case someone potentially uses your green card for any unusual activity, such as identity fraud.
What to do if my Green Card Replacement Request is denied?
Unfortunately, if your green card replacement application is rejected, you will receive a letter explaining why they denied your application. You can’t appeal the denial. However, you can file a motion to reopen or a motion to have USCIS reconsider its decision. And you have to describe some new information and some appropriate evidence if you think the government has made a mistake. Usually, it takes about 45 days to review an appeal against a refusal. USCIS can either approve your request or refer the case to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) for further review, which is completed in six months. In addition, you can seek professional legal assistance, such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), especially when you have a complicated case. And there are some non-profit organizations that provide low-cost or free immigration legal services.
What is the difference between replacing a green card and renewing one?
The process of renewing and replacing green cards is similar. The main difference between them is the green card situation. Renewal is only for those with an unexpired green card. However, replacement is suitable for some green card holders with expired, lost or stolen green cards.
All in all, as you replace the green card with the appropriate instructions, you won’t receive a denial. In addition, if you have any problems, you can visit the U.S. government website to ask for help.
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