A permanent residency (green card) is an important immigration document, that functions as a proof of work authorization, travel document, identification document, etc. Based on whether you received the green through a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident relative, through a U.S. employer, or through self-petition, the green card may be valid for 10 or fewer years.

Regardless of whether your green card is set to expire soon or is lost, it’s important that you act quickly to apply for a replacement card. This article covers the steps you must take to replace a lost green card.

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Steps you must take to renew a lost green card – in Oklahoma City

You may have lost your green card during a recent vacation, while traveling for work, during a move, or hid it so good that you can’t even find it yourself. Whatever the reasons may be, here are the steps you must take to apply for a replacement green card.

Step 1 – Complete and submit Form I-90: The first step to applying for replacement of your lost green card is by filling and submitting a Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.

There are two ways to file Form I-90. You can file Form I-90 through the mail by printing the paper Form, completing it, and mailing it with the required documents and a filing fee. Or, you can file Form I-90 online by creating a USCIS account and completing the application. Whether you decide to file online or through snail mail, you must submit a clearest copy of the lost green card and a filing fee of $540. If a copy of the green card is unavailable, you may submit a copy of your passport biometric page, driver’s license, or other governmental ID.

If you decide to file Form I-90 by mail, make sure the check reflects the correct amount of $540 and is signed by you. For credit card payments, you the cardholder must complete Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transaction, and sign it.

If you are a 10-year green card holder, you may apply to replace the lost card by completing Form I-90. Similarly, you may also complete Form I-90 to replace a lost conditional 2-year green card. However, it’s important to note that if your conditional 2-year green card is set to expire within the next 90 days, you must instead file a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. If a 2-year conditional green card holder files Form I-90 within 90 days of its expiration, the USCIS will deny the application.

Step 2 – Receipt of application (I-797C): After you correctly fill out Form I-90 and submit the application with the required documents and fees, you will hear from the USCIS usually within 2 to 4 weeks confirming that they received the application. This application receipt correspondence from the USCIS also called Form I-797C, is a notice of action – in most cases, the form states that the USCIS has accepted your application. However, if Form I-90 was not filed correctly, or your application lacks the required documents, the USCIS will mail you the notice of action with a Request for Evidence (RFE), or even reject your application. This is precisely why you must ensure that Form I-90 has been filled completely and accurately and that your application is accompanied by all required documents and correct fees.

While your green card replacement application is pending, you may use the receipt notice as proof of your permanent residence status for 24 months from the green card expiration date. This information is correct as of the date this article is written, please contact USCIS or consult with an immigration attorney to confirm the most recent rule.

Step 3 – Attend the biometric appointment: Generally a few weeks after the successful submission of your green card renewal application, USCIS will reach out to you with a biometric appointment date. In most cases, the biometric appointment is nothing to worry about, the USCIS will take your photographs and fingerprints. The purpose of this appointment is to ensure that the green card holder does not have a serious criminal record or a history of immigration violations.

Step 4 – Receive the replacement green card: Every case is different and depending on the USCIS case load and processing times, the wait time for your replacement green card will vary. On average it takes anywhere from 6 to 9 months from the date you file your I-90 to the day you receive your new green card. If the USCIS requests for evidence (RFE), it may take much longer before you may receive your card in the mail.

Green Card Replacement Attorney: OKC Immigration Lawyer

If you need help with your I-90 application, or you want to make sure the application packet is prepared correctly significantly reducing the likelihood of USCIS rejections or an RFE, please contact the law office of Vivid Niroula. You can reach us by calling our office at (405) 456-9250, or by filling out the Contact Us Form.