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What should I know about replacing a green card?

Having a green card means you have the right to stay and work in the United States. As an immigrant, you may hope that someday you can become a citizen of this country. However, you want to be sure that nothing causes you to lose your residency status. This includes replacing your green card if you have to. 

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website explains why and how to replace your green card. The USCIS also points out that the government may turn down a replacement application, so it is important to know this fact going forward. 

When to replace your green card 

There may be many reasons to replace your green card. No matter whether you are a lawful or conditional permanent resident, you need to replace your card if you lose it, if your card has wrong information, you have undergone a legal name change, or you never received a green card that the government had sent you. You may also need a new or replacement green card if you change your immigration status. For example, you may wish to change your immigration from commuter to actual residency. 

How to replace your green card 

To replace your green card, you need to file a Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. You can file by a number of means. You may choose to send it through the mail, but if you prefer doing it online, you can send your application through your personal computer, tablet, or smartphone. Filing online allows you to check your application status and view updates on your application. If the government approves your application, you should receive a new green card. 

Application denial 

Be aware that the government might deny your renewal application. Expect to receive a letter explaining their reasoning. However, you can try to change their minds and receive a new green card. You cannot appeal a replacement denial, but you can submit a motion to the government to reconsider its decision or a motion to reopen. 

A motion to reconsider must demonstrate that the government did not apply immigration law correctly when it turned down your application. You must also explain that that the evidence in your file supports a case for replacement and that the government made the incorrect decision. A motion to reopen would explain that you have new facts to submit to the government if it reopened your renewal case. Be ready to submit evidence supporting your assertion. You may need an experienced immigration attorney to assist you with your motion.