Losing a Green Card can unsettle anyone. This vital document, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, acts as proof of your authorization to live and work in the United States permanently. Immediate steps should be taken to replace it, ensuring your ability to prove legal status, re-enter the U.S. after travel, and for employment verification purposes. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Montgomery County immigration lawyer from our firm to learn about what to do if you’ve lost your green card. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What Immediate Actions Should I Take if I Lost My Green Card?
First, report the loss to the police. Having a police report can provide evidence of the card’s loss, which is crucial for the replacement process. Next, you’ll need to file Form I-90, “Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card,” with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The filing can be done online or by mail, offering convenience and flexibility. It’s important to check the USCIS website for the most current filing fees and instructions.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), specifically Section 264(e), it’s mandated that all permanent residents carry proof of their status. Failure to do so can lead to difficulties with law enforcement or immigration authorities. Thus, promptly replacing your lost Green Card is not just a matter of convenience but a legal requirement. Additionally, when applying for a new card, ensure all information provided is accurate and truthful to avoid complications under INA Section 212(a)(6)(C), which addresses fraud and misrepresentation.
How Long Will the Replacement Process Take?
USCIS processing times vary. After submitting Form I-90, expect to receive a notice for a biometrics appointment where fingerprints and a photograph will be taken. This step is essential for the background check and issuance of a new card. While waiting, USCIS may issue a receipt notice that can serve as temporary proof of your status. Keep in mind, the entire process can take several months, so it’s advisable to start immediately after discovering your card is missing.
Always consider consulting with an immigration lawyer to ensure that you’re taking the correct actions according to your specific situation. Remember, the goal is to minimize disruptions to your life and maintain your legal status in the United States.
If you have further questions or are currently facing an immigration-related matter of any kind, please don’t hesitate to contact Cohen & Patel today.