When it comes to immigration, and an individual making their way through all the necessary legal channels, obtaining a green card is often seen as the final victory.
While it is true that the day an individual is approved for a green card is a day that will likely be remembered for the rest of their life, it does not necessarily mean that immigration laws are no longer an issue.
In addition to the many laws that must be followed, many people find themselves stressing over what they would do if they were to physically lose their green card. Most of the time this is due to people not knowing the procedure to getting a new green card.
The following post will be some tips and information that you might find handy in replacing a lost green card.
If you have lost your green card, there are 2 options available to you. Which of these options you utilize will be dependent on if the green card was lost outside of the United States, or on U.S. soil. If you lost your green card while on U.S. soil, then the process for replacement is pretty simple. You will be responsible for filling out the Form I-90, Application for Green Card Replacement.
As with all immigration forms you fill out, you should keep copies of everything for your own records, and to show as proof in case the need should ever arise. Make sure that you also send all the forms and required documentation to the right immigration services location, as they will vary depending on your geographical area. In order to assist you in being able to prove that you sent in documentation, make sure that you send all correspondence via certified mail, and ask for return receipts when you do so.
Now, if your green card was lost while you were outside of the United States, then the process is slightly more complicated. You will have to file a different form, commonly known as a waiver of the document. At the same time, you could (and probably should) file an application for a transportation letter, which will allow you to re-enter the country while the process is worked out.
There will be various documentation required of you throughout the process, including but not limited to your current passport (must be valid), and applicable police reports, and also proof that you have been living out of the United States borders for at least a year. A stamp on your current passport could pass as valid proof of that, although it is not guaranteed. Airline tickets also usually work.
In this case, you will need to fill out the Form I-90 as well. There is generally a fee added to the application fee, to the tune of roughly $130, although it has been known to change frequently. The application will state the exact amount. Make double-sure to check the fee status before you plan on returning to the United States, as if there are problems with the application, you might end up arriving in the United States, but unable to enter the country. It goes without saying that such situations should be avoided at all costs.