Green Card

When your Green Card is Lost or Stolen


Are you worried about your lost or stolen green card? And you don’t know what to do. No worries, we are here to guide you about the pathways to retrieve or get your green card again. Only the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can issue or replace Permanent Resident Alien Registration Cards (also known as Form I-551 or “green cards”).

A Legal Permanent Resident whose green card was lost, stolen, or expired during his stay outside of the United States for less than one year or before the expiration of a re-entry permit, may apply for a boarding ticket to return to the United States. So, in this case, you should immediately approach the embassy to inquire about the pathways and procedures to get back the green card.

But if you lost your Green Card during your stay in the territory of the United States, you are required to file Form I-90 by following the simple procedure of green card retrieval.

Processing time for the lost or stolen Green Card

The process of getting your Green Card (reissued) is quite a time taking. If you need to travel during processing time for the lost or stolen Green Card, you can get I-551 Stamp from the USCIS office by filing Form I-551.

For this, a foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp or a machine-readable immigrant visa (MRIV) with a temporary I-551 printed notation is an accepted “List A” document. Similarly, proof of permanent residence is also required to obtain or renew a driver’s license.

Although each state has its policies and standards, the I-551 stamp will suffice in most cases. The applicant must appear at the Embassy/Consulate to be examined by a Consular Officer for visa issuance. This procedure can take several weeks to complete.

What should you do if you’ve traveled outside of the United States?

Please keep in mind that if you’ve been out of the country for more than a year, you’re unlikely to be eligible for a boarding pass. Instead, you might have to apply for the status of returning resident. All potential LPR Boarding foil candidates must schedule an appointment online through Global Support Services (GSS) or call on nearest USCIS office. You can get further guidelines from USCIS’s official website about getting and holding permanent resident status.

Form I-131A:

Boarding foil applicants must file Form I-131A, whereas Form I-90 will no longer be accepted for this purpose. Furthermore, applicants must pay a $575 fee using the USCIS online payment system (ELIS) before scheduling an appointment at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. For this, applicants will require their ‘A’ number to pay the boarding foil fee, which they can get from the nearest USCIS office.


You must pay the filing fee before appearing in person at a consular office to apply for an LPR boarding pass. When you come in person to file Form I-131A, you must bring proof of payment in the form of a printed email receipt notification or confirmation page.

On the I-131A Form and Directions page, you may discover further information and instructions about the procedure to get a LPR boarding pass and the required documents for it.

Can the I-131A fee paid to USCIS be refunded?                                           

USCIS does not refund any immigration payments, regardless of the outcome of the application. While, if an applicant later believes that an LPR boarding foil was unnecessary, USCIS will not refund in any case. You can get in touch with the appropriate USCIS Field Office for further information.

Which documents/evidence does an LPR require at an airport?

Instead of a boarding pass, an LPR may present at least one of the following documents to enter into the United States:

  • An expired Permanent Resident Card with a 10-year expiration date, OR
  • A valid Permanent Resident Card (with a two-year validity) OR
  • Form I-797 (Notice of Action) indicating that status is extended OR
  • Orders from the U.S. government (civilian or military) showed that time outside the U.S. was on official government activity.

Moreover, LPR is advised to consult their air carrier before completing an I-131A and paying the fee.

How much does a Green Card Replacement Cost?

The typical total green card replacement charges are $540, including $455 for card replacement and $85 for biometric services. While some of the applicants have an exemption from paying the replacement and biometric charges. Furthermore, the other required and relevant details are available on Form I-90.

Appealing against denial of an application

If USCIS declines your application for a replacement of a green card, you will receive a letter from USCIS explaining the reason in detail. An adverse ruling cannot be appealed. However, you can file a request to reopen or reconsider the case with the same office that made the adverse judgment.

Immigration Attorney:

If USCIS rejects your green card replacement application, we recommend you seek immediate legal advice from an immigration attorney.


  • retrieved on February 9, 2022.
  • retrieved on February 9, 2022.
  • retrieved on February 9, 2022.
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