What to do when your green card gets lost?

In a world full of backing up the essential data and then recovering and restoring it with just a single click, you came across a point where you suddenly lost your green card (permanent resident card), or it gets stolen or misplaced during traveling.  Panicked?  Nervous? Fear of losing your permanent residence status? The answer is you need not to because you are not the first one to lose your green card. But not having a green card might arise many difficulties in traveling or in getting a new job and many other activities. So you rush to take measures to replace it with a new one. You don’t have to worry as this article is a comprehensive guide about what to do in such a scenario.

how long does it take to replace a lost green cardFile a complaint 

Before going through the replacement process you need to file a legal complaint. Now the question is how to file a complaint? Keep this in mind that you have to file a complaint as soon as possible. Doing so will guarantee that no other person will be able to utilize the card for illicit purposes and if someone tries to do so, you won’t be responsible. Filing a legal complaint is generally required when you complete your card replacement process however most of the people skip this step but you should not!

Gather relevant documentation

It’s better to collect all the relevant documents before the process starts because you will need them anyway at some point in between the process. The documents may include the written complaint of how your green card was stolen or lost or misplaced, any copy of your green card, driving license or birth certificate, copies of legal certificates in your use, and passports.

 By doing this earlier, It would save your time and help in your process to get over quickly.

Contact the US Embassy

The important thing you need to do with immediate effect is simply informed the respective authorities that are US embassy, consulate or USCIS office from where you received your immigrant visa.

 Card lost inside the US 

If your green card is stolen or misplaced inside the US, the method is basic. You have to file an I-90 form and an application to replace the green card as soon as possible. It will six months or more but it won’t be problematic for your residence status only if you are to start a new job or travel abroad.  

Card lost outside the US

On the off chance, if your green card is stolen or misplaced outside the premises of the US, the immediate step you need to take is to contact or notify the concerned authority that is US embassy, consulate or USCIS office near your area. This would play the same part as the police would’ve done if it happened inside the US. Later you can travel back to the US by filing an I-131A form to your nearest US embassy or consulate. Upon returning to the US you must file an I-90 form and follow the process.

What to expect

Now you have submitted your application. Your request has been processing by concerned authorities. During the whole process, you might be contacted for some additional details such as original documents of copies you have provided, interviews for additional information.

Please note it is a time taking process and it may take 6-8 months or maybe a year to get a replacement card.

You will get the replacement card through the mail in case of approval of your application and if for some odd reason your application is rejected, you would get to know the reason through the mail.