Chicago Law Office of Christine Contreras

Stolen or Lost Immigration Documents: What to Do Next

For legal permanent residents, the green card is likely to be the most precious document they have in their possession. Nonetheless, life happens, and it is possible that a green card may be lost or stolen. This post will go over some of the basics on what a person should do if his or her immigration documents end up missing or stolen.

Form: The form required to replace a lost green card is Form I-90. It can be filed either online or in paper form.

Fee: The fee for filing I-90 for a lost or stolen card is $455. In addition to this, a biometric services fee of $85 is always required when filing for a replacement because your card has been lost or stolen.

Evidence: At the time of filing, you must submit all evidence and supporting documentation listed in the Specific Instructions section of Form I-90. Evidence includes as many of these items as you have:

  • A copy of your Permanent Resident Card
  • Government-issued form of identification that contains your name, date of birth, photograph, and signature (for example, passport, driver’s license, or military identification document)

You will also have to provide the following pieces of information:

  • The location where you applied for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status.
  • The location where your immigrant visa was issued or USCIS office where you were granted adjustment of status.
  • Whether you have ever been in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings or ordered removed from the United States. If the answer is “Yes,” you must provide a detailed explanation.
  • Whether since you were granted permanent residence, if have you ever signed Form I-407, Abandonment by Alien of Status as Lawful Permanent Resident, or otherwise been determined to have abandoned your status? If the answer is “Yes,” you are not eligible to file Form I-90.

Timing: You should file this paperwork as soon as possible, as the replacement process could take up to 6 months.
If you need to travel abroad before you receive the replacement green card, you can make an appointment with your local USCIS office using InfoPass. At the appointment, request an I-551 stamp in your passport (similar to the sample image on the right). The stamp is temporary proof of your permanent residence status. Generally, the temporary stamp will be valid for one year.

If You Get Denied: If USCIS denies your application for a replacement green card, you will receive a letter that explains the reason for the denial. While you cannot appeal a negative decision, you can submit a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider with the same office that issued the denial.

Before you begin this process, you should contact a qualified immigration attorney. The attorney will be able to review your case and determine the likelihood of success or diagnose the potential reasons your application could be denied.

Need help with the renewal of your green card? We are here to help! Get in touch with us today to set up an appointment.