How Do I Replace My Permanent Resident
Card (Green Card)?
What is a Permanent Resident Card?
A Permanent Resident Card,
commonly known as a Green Card, is evidence of your status as a lawful
permanent resident with a right to live and work permanently in the United States.
It also is evidence of your registration in accordance with United States
immigration laws. The Permanent Resident Card is also called USCIS Form I-551.
Who Needs to Replace a Permanent Resident Card?
You will need to replace your
permanent resident card if:
previous card was lost, stolen, mutilated, or destroyed;
card was issued to you before you were 14 and you have reached your 14th birthday;
have been a commuter and are now taking up actual residence in the United States;
have been a permanent resident residing in the United States and are now taking up
status has been automatically converted to permanent resident status, this
includes Special Agricultural Worker applicants who are converting to permanent
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Form AR-103, or Form I-151 - all no longer valid to prove your immigration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 the current permanent resident card (Form
card contains incorrect data;
name or other biographic information on the card has been legally changed since
you last received your card; or,
never received the previous card that was issued to you by the USCIS.
What Does the Law Say?
Section 264 of the
Immigration and Nationality Act provides that, "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 states, "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" and may be subject to
fine and/or imprisonment upon each conviction. The specific requirements and
procedures for applying to replace a permanent resident card are included in
the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR § 264.5.
Please note: If you are a
conditional resident and your status is expiring, these instructions do not
pertain to you. You are to use USCIS Form I-751 (Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence) to
apply to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status.
How Do I Apply to Replace My Permanent Resident Card?
If you are a permanent
resident, who needs to replace your card, or conditional resident who needs to
replace your two-year card, for any of the reasons listed above, you may apply
for a replacement card by filing a USCIS Form I-90.
A Form I-90 can be
downloaded from this site, or ordered by calling the USCIS Forms request line
at 1 (800) 870-3676, or by submitting a request on-line here. After receiving
Form I-90, read it carefully. Detailed information is provided in the
instructions for Form I-90.
Applicants may also file Form
I-90 on-line using an Internet connection. Please see Introduction to E-Filing.
If you are outside the U.S. and have
lost your alien registration card, contact the nearest American 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 Permanent
Resident Card,Form I-551,
with a ten-year expiration date from the date of issuance.
How Can I Find Out the Status of My Application?
If you have
immigration-related questions, you may call the USCIS National Customer Service
Center (NCSCS) 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, your Alien Registration Number, name, and date of birth. Or, you may
check the status of your application online at Case Status Online. Please
remember that an E-Filed receipt number may not be available through Case
Status Online for 72 hours.
If My Application is Denied, How Can I Appeal?
If your application for a
replacement alien registration 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 are to be provided in the reopened proceeding and
must be accompanied by the appropriate documentary evidence. A motion to reconsider must establish
that the decision to deny your application was based on an incorrect application of law or USCIS policy,
and further establish that the decision was incorrect based on the evidence in
the file at the time the decision was made. For more information, please see
How Do I Appeal the Denial of Petition or Application which provides
information on how to file a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider.