What to do when you lose your Green Card?
Was your Green Card lost or stolen? Do you know what to do to replace it? At Quiroga Law Office, PLLC we will tell you everything you need to know about it.
The Permanent Resident Card, also known as the Green Card, is one of the most important identification documents for an immigrant. This card does not only prove your immigration status, but it also evinces that you can legally live and work in the United States.
Without your Green Card, it will be difficult for you to leave the country and re-enter, as you will not be able to prove your status.
If your Green Card is lost or stolen, do not despair. Report what happened immediately to USCIS and the police.
If you do so there will be a record and you will have evidence if someone tries to commit a crime with your card. Then you will need to start the process to replace it immediately.
How can I replace my Green Card?
If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident and need to replace your Green Card, you must submit the application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You will also need to fill out the appropriate form and pay the related fees.
Depending on whether you were in the country or abroad at the time of the loss/theft, you must follow different steps:
If you are in the U.S. In addition to the Green Card replacement form, you will need to prove your identity. You can do this by showing documents such as a photocopy of your lost or stolen Green Card, a copy of your driver’s license, or a marriage certificate, if applicable.
If you are outside the U.S. If this is your situation, pay attention. Losing your Green Card outside the country is a serious event and you should take action promptly.
Without this document you will not be able to enter the country, additionally, the embassies and consulates do not have the authority to issue a replacement Green Card.
In most cases a re-entry permit is sufficient. If you do not have one you will need to process a Boarding Foil. This means requesting an appointment with the consular office and bringing the requested documents: police report of loss or theft, valid passport, photographs, plane tickets, evidence of your permanent resident status, among others.
How long does it take for the replacement of the Green Card to arrive?
According to USCIS estimates, a Green Card renewal may take between 6 and 14 months. However, the waiting time may vary depending on the number of pending procedures and requests.
If the renewal of the Green Card is approved, it will be sent to you by mail, if not, you will receive a notification with the reasons for the rejection.
For the Boarding Foil, the waiting time is shorter and may take between a few business days and a few weeks.
Once approved, you will have between 15 and 30 days to return to the United States. If you do not, you will have to start the process again.
When you return to the US you will have to apply for a replacement, following the steps mentioned above.
If you have questions about the process, it is recommended that you consult with your immigration attorney.
At Quiroga Law Office, PLLC we are willing to help you and advise you about the immigration procedures that you and your family need.
Do not hesitate to contact us, our team of lawyers will take care of your case and will be with you throughout the process.
Request a consultation or call us, (509) 498-3485.