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Green Card Holders
  • Lost and Expired Green Cards

    Lost and Expired Green Cards

    • How to Apply To Renew a Green Card

      If you are a permanent resident whose 10-year green card has expired or will expire within the next 6 months, you may begin the renewal process by:

      For more information, go to the USCIS website here

  • Returning Resident

    Returning Resident

    • 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 mexicocityiv@state.gov

      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

    Emergency Green Card Replacement

    • Criteria for Expedited Processing of an Application

      USCIS will expedite an application, including an application for a travel document, Form I-131, in certain situations, which may include:

      • Severe financial loss to company or individual
      • Extreme emergent situation
      • Humanitarian situation
      • Nonprofit status of requesting organization in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States
      • Department of Defense or National Interest Situation (Note: Request must come from official United States Government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to our Government.) 
      • USCIS error
      • Compelling interest of USCIS

      You may maket an expedite request by contacting the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1 (800) 375-5283 or by submitting a written request and supporting documentation with your application.

  • Abandonment of LPR Status

    Abandonment of LPR Status

    • Maintaining Permanent Residence

      You may lose your permanent resident status (green card) if you commit an act that makes you removable from the United States under the law, as described in Section 237 or 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (see the “INA” link to the right). If you commit such an act, you may be brought before an immigration court to determine your right to remain a permanent resident.

      Abandoning Permanent Resident Status


      You may be found to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you:

      • Move to another country intending to live there permanently
      • Remain outside of the United States for more than 1 year without obtaining a reentry permit or returning resident visa. However, in determining whether your status has been abandoned, any length of absence from the United States may be considered, even if less than 1 year
      • Remain outside of the United States for more than 2 years after issuance of a reentry permit without obtaining a returning resident visa. However, in determining whether your status has been abandoned any length of absence from the United States may be considered, even if less than 1 year
      • Fail to file income tax returns while living outside of the United States for any period
      • Declare yourself a “nonimmigrant” on your tax returns

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