Green Card Holders
Lost and Expired Green Cards
Lost and Expired Green Cards
For more information, go to the USCIS website here.
A permanent resident alien returning to the United States from a visit abroad of less than a year, may apply for readmission by presenting an Alien Registration Card (also known as “green card”) to the immigration authorities at a port of entry.
A permanent resident alien who intends to remain abroad for more than a year should, at least 30 days prior to the proposed date of departure, apply while in the United States to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) Form I-131, Application for Travel Document for a Reentry Permit. This permit is valid for two years and may not be extended. If such a permit is obtained the alien may use it to reenter the United States within the period of validity. Every alien applying for readmission must satisfy the immigration authorities that he or she is eligible in all respects for admission. Click here to download the Customer Guide to apply for Travel Document.
Permanent resident aliens who are unable to return to the United States within the travel validity period of the Alien Registration Card (less than a year), or the Reentry Permit, may apply for a special immigrant Returning Resident (SB-1) visa.
To file the petition for the returning resident you must request an appointment with the US Embassy in Mexico City through the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
To qualify as returning resident, you must show:
* that you were a lawful permanent resident when you departed the United States,
* that when you departed you intended to return to the USA and have maintained this intent,
* that you are returning from a temporary visit abroad and if the stay was protracted, it was caused by reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible,
* and that you are eligible for the immigrant visa in all other respects.
If you have lost your permanent resident status, and you wish to apply for a Returning Resident visa, you must submit evidence to support the above requirements along with the “Application to determine returning resident status” (form DS-117) (PDF - 976kb) and pay a fee of $180 or the equivalent in Mexican pesos. If the application for returning resident status is approved by the consular officer, the immigrant visa unit will send you information regarding the process of the returning resident (SB-1) visa.
If the returning Resident (SB-1) visa is refused on the grounds that the alien has given up his residence in the United States, a nonimmigrant visa may or may not be possible to obtain, depending on whether the applicant has established a residence abroad to which he will return. If the applicant wishing to return to the United States cannot submit convincing evidence of compelling ties abroad he may have to apply for an immigrant visa on the same basis by which he/she originally immigrated, if that is possible.
Exception for Military and US Government employees
The one-year time limitation does not apply to the spouse or child of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, or of a civilian employee of the U.S. Government stationed abroad pursuant to official orders. In this case, the spouse or child must present the card mentioned above, not have relinquished residence, and be preceding or accompanying the member or employee, or be following to join the member or employee in the United States within four months of the return of the member or employee.
- Emergency Green Card Replacement
- Abandonment of LPR Status
Fraud Notice / Warning
Department of State Warns of Impostor or Fraudulent Websites, Emails or Print Advertisements
For more information on Fraud Notices and Warnings, visit the Travel website of the Department of State.
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