The green card is evidence for permanent resident status with a legal right to work in the US . The USCIS Form I-551 is the certificate of alien registration or an alien registration receipt card , which is popularly known as the green card.

The green card should be in possession of the resident citizen with proper validation at all times as it is also the proof of allegiance towards the US immigration laws. Any resident who fails to comply shall be held guilty of misdemeanor and, may be subject to fine and/or imprisonment upon conviction.

You will need to replace your green card and obtain a new one if:

  • Your previous card was lost, stolen, mutilated, or destroyed;
  • Your card was issued to you before you were 14 and you have reached your 14th birthday;
  • You have been a commuter and are now taking up actual residence in the United States;
  • You have been a permanent resident residing in the United States and are now taking up commuter status;
  • Your status has been automatically converted to permanent resident status, this includes Special Agricultural Worker applicants who are converting to permanent resident status;
  • You have a previous version of the alien registration card (e.g., USCIS Form AR-3, Form AR-103, or Form I-151 - all no longer valid to prove your immigration status) and must replace it with the current permanent resident card (Form I-551);
  • Your card contains incorrect data;
  • Your name or other biographic information on the card has been legally changed since you last received your card; or,
  • You never received the previous card that was issued to you by the USCIS.

Application Forms

Form I-90 is used for filing green card renewal application. A form I-90 can be downloaded from the official USCIS website or by calling a toll-free no. 1 (800) 870-3676. Renewal can also be done online via e-file; please Introduction to E-Filing for more filing information.

Filing for green card replacement

Filing Fee :

application fee for form I-90 is $365. And Biometrics fee: $85. You may submit one check or money order for both the application and the biometrics fee, for a total of $450. Please see Special Instructions for details.

All paper-based Form I-90 applications along with all supporting documentation must be filed at the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox facility:

For U.S. Postal Service:

P.O. Box 21262
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For USPS Express Mail and Courier deliveries:

Attention: I-90
1820 E. Skyharbor, Circle S, Floor 1
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

All applicants will receive an appointment notice for a biometric processing at an ASC (application service center) near you in the mail and will also specify the documents to be submitted at the time of appointment.

Travel overseas while Green card replacement is in process

Replacement process takes time, generally 3-10 months or more it all depends on the case plus information provided.

If one must travel during the process of green card replacement either for employment or personal reasons, it is advisable to get their passport stamped with I-551 at the local USCIS office to indicate that the applicant has filed for a new card.

The stamp in the passport is the proof of lawful permanent resident status of the passport bearer. It will enable a person to travel out of the U.S. and re-enter as the stamped passport indicates, the person has filed for green card replacement as required by law.

If your green card was lost or stolen while outside the United States, you will have to obtain a transportation letter in order to re-enter the US. Read about what to do for lost or stolen green card for more information.

Checking your Green card application status

Once you file the application via mail or e-file, you will receive a case number with the receipt notice via mail. This case number should be used for all your application status tracking purpose. You can either check your case status online at USCIS website or you may call the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283. All information regarding your application such as your receipt number, Alien Registration Number, name, and date of birth should be handy when making the call.

Note: Information provided in this article is an overview of green card renewal procedure and is not to be considered a legal advise; the matter provided is subject to change in accordance with USCIS rules and regulations.

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