Will the U.S. government replace my green card?

Having a Green Card entitles you as a foreign visitor to live and work in the United States. Sometimes circumstances that are out of your control intervene and for whatever reason, you lose your card. Still, that does not mean you should panic. You may ask the U.S. government to send you a replacement card.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website explains when you should submit an application to replace your Green Card. If any of the following circumstances apply to you, consider filing to replace your card as soon as you can.

Reasons to replace your card

If you are either a lawful permanent or conditional resident, you must replace your card under the same circumstances. You may have lost your card or someone had taken it or destroyed it, or you may never have received your initial card. Additionally, you may have changed your name or some of your biographic information is out of date.

If you are in the country as a lawful permanent resident, there are additional reasons you may have to replace your Green Card. You may have to replace an obsolete form of identification like a Form AR-3 or you are only now taking up your actual residency in the United States. Alternatively, you have reached your 14th birthday and need to replace an older card unless your current card expires before you turn 16 years old.

How to replace your card

If you have a reason to replace your card, you should file a Form I-90 to request a new card. You may send your application by mail, but you do not have to. The USCIS allows you to send your application online. By filing online, you can receive updates about your case and communicate with the USCIS about your request.

Denials and appeals

However, there is no guarantee that the USCIS will approve your application for a replacement. If this happens, you may try to get the government to reverse its decision. You cannot appeal the denial, but you may ask the USCIS to either reexamine or reconsider its decision.

To reexamine a denial, you should file a motion to reopen. In this motion, you will state whatever new facts you would submit if the government reopens your case as well as include evidence to support your case. If you file a motion to reconsider, you must show that the USCIS did not apply immigration law correctly when it denied your request and that the evidence you had given them did not support the denial.