If you have gone through the green card process, you may be thankful to have fewer interactions with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. After all, the USCIS is notorious for charging expensive filing fees and taking forever to process applications.
Your green card is proof of your status as a legal permanent resident, so the Immigration and Nationality Act requires you to carry it at all times. Therefore, if you lose your green card or it sustains damage, you probably want to replace it as soon as possible.
Lost or damaged green cards
Losing your green card can be frustrating. It may also put some serious restrictions on your abilities both to travel and to prove your legal permanent residency. If you lose your card or it sustains damage, you should apply for a replacement green card as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the filing fee for the application is currently $455, and you must attend a biometrics appointment.
Stolen green cards
Applying for a new green card to replace a stolen one also requires filing a replacement application, paying the filing fee and having your fingerprints taken. Additionally, you should file a report with law enforcement. If someone tries to use your green card or steal your identity, this report is likely to come in handy.
A note of caution
If you have done anything to jeopardize your legal permanent residency, you may want to think twice before filing an application to replace a lost, stolen or damaged green card. After all, immigration officials may use the information they learn during your biometrics appointment to remove you from the U.S.
Ultimately, if you have any questions about your status or fear you may have committed an immigration violation, it is advisable to understand all possible risks before applying for a replacement green card.