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Replace a Green Card

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How to Apply to Replace Your Green Card

If you are a permanent resident who needs to replace your green card or a conditional resident who needs to replace your two-year green card for any of the reasons listed below, you may apply for a replacement card by filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.

If you are outside the U.S. and have lost your green card, contact the nearest U.S. consulate, USCIS office or port of entry before attempting to file a Form I-90. If your Form I-90 application is approved, you will be mailed a replacement green card with a 10-year expiration date from the date it is issued.

When to Replace A Green Card

You will need to replace your green card if:

  • Your previous card was lost, stolen, mutilated or destroyed
  • Your card was issued to you before you were 14 and you have reached your 14th birthday (unless your card expires before your 16th birthday)
  • You have been a commuter and are now taking up actual residence in the United States
  • You have been a permanent resident residing in the United States and are now taking up commuter status
  • Your status has been automatically converted to permanent resident status (this includes Special Agricultural Worker applicants who are converting to permanent resident status)
  • You have a previous version of the alien registration card (e.g., USCIS Form AR-3, Form AR-103 or Form I-151 – all no longer valid to prove your immigration status) and must replace it with a current green card
  • Your card contains incorrect information
  • Your name or other biographic information on the card has been legally changed since you last received your card, or
  • You never received the previous card that was issued to you by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

How to Find Out the Status Of Your Application

You may check the status of your application online at “My Case Status”  If you have immigration-related questions, you may call the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283. You should be prepared to provide the USCIS staff with specific information about your application, such as your receipt number, Alien Registration Number, name and date of birth.

How to Appeal If Your Application Is Denied

If your application for a replacement green card is denied, you will receive a letter that will tell you why the application was denied. You will not be allowed to appeal a negative decision. However, you may submit a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider with the same office that made the unfavorable decision. By filing such a motion, you may ask the office to reexamine or reconsider its decision.

A motion to reopen must state the new facts that you would provide if your case is reopened and must include appropriate documentary evidence. A motion to reconsider must establish that the decision to deny your application was based on incorrect application of law or immigration policy, and further establish that the decision was incorrect based on the evidence in the file at the time the decision was made. 

What The Law Says

Section 264 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states, "Every alien in the United States . . . shall be issued a certificate of alien registration or an alien registration receipt card in such form and manner and at such time as shall be prescribed under regulations . . ." It also says, "Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him . . .. Any alien who fails to comply with [these provisions] shall be guilty of a misdemeanor..." The specific requirements and procedures for applying to renew an expiring green card are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR section 264.5.




Last updated: 11/04/2010

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Moses Apsan and his staff, based in New York City and Newark, NJ provide exceptional legal services throughout the world, in all aspects of immigration to the United States, including non-immigrant (temporary visas), immigrant visa (Green Card) and deportation defense. In addition Mr. Apsan, has been practicing Bankruptcy law and Divorce laws for over 30 years, He was the President of the Federal Bar Association, New Jersey Chapter (1997-2002). He speaks Portuguese and Spanish..
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