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Lost Green Card

A green card is an essential document for every permanent resident or conditional resident in the U.S. It is a legal document that allows a non-US citizen to stay in the U.S. legally. In case you lose your green card, efforts should be made immediately to replace it with a new one. You might apply online through E-filing of form I-90 or file it through a paper form. If you are outside the U.S. when you lose the green card, you will have to follow a different process. In either case you might have to go through a myriad of legal and technical formalities that you might sometimes find difficult to handle yourself. Professionals or Experts might be of help in guiding you through such situations. Listed below are a few commonly asked questions regarding lost green card that have been answered by Experts.

If a permanent resident of the U.S. loses his/her green card does he/she need the number to apply for a renewal?

If a permanent resident loses the green card he/she may contact either USCIS customer information service at 1-800-375-5283 for queries as to how to apply for a renewal, or the closest USCIS agent. The green card number is usually required which can be found at, however, some sort of identity proof is required before the officials can give you specific information. However, generally personal information will not be given via telephone.

Is the green card essential for flying from Hawaii to Guam or a stamp will do as a proof of legal resident?

Case Details: Having lost my green card while abroad, I recently applied for a replacement. 

If you have lost your green card you have to go to the U.S. embassy of the country concerned and file an application for a transportation letter. Armed with this letter you should be able to board the airline. A secondary inspection will be carried out once you reach Guam. Here you have to file an application through form I-90 to get your lost green card replaced.

If someone finds his/her green card while an application has been filed for a lost one, would there be any legal problem?

If the original green card is found while the application for a replacement is pending there is nothing to worry about. Both the cards will be valid. The person may keep both of them but should use only one. A Xerox copy of both can be made and preferably the new one could be used.

What to do when overseas passport has expired and you are waiting for a replacement of a lost green card?

Case Details: I applied for a replacement of my lost green card. It appears it would take a long time to get it and I have been advised to use my British passport. With my passport having been expired long time back, how can I get another passport and the green card?

The only way you can get the passport is through a personal visit to the British embassy. For the green card you may visit online at "infopass" and schedule an appointment with the concerned officer of the local USCIS office requesting a temporary stamp. The I – 551 stamp will help you get driver’s license to be able to prove residency. Once you get the license you may wait for the green card to arrive by post.

I have lost my green card and I don’t remember my alien number. How can I get my green card replaced?

You may visit and make an appointment with the immigration officer who may be able to help you. Form I – 90 has a place where the alien number has to be inserted but even without that it is possible to get the green card. However, it may take a little more time while they complete the process of verification.

Losing the green card may sometimes land you in a difficult spot and it may involve legal hassles and a complicated procedure to get a replacement. While in some cases it is not entirely impossible for the person to handle it, an Expert might be helpful in navigating some of the legal issues that might arise while negotiating with the consular authorities.

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