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Lost Your “Green Card” While Overseas? Here’s How to Fix It!
With the holidays approaching, many of us are planning on spending some quality time overseas. Permanent resident aliens(someone who has a green card) may simply enjoy their time overseas and come back to the U.S.Aby showing their green cardand passport at the airport.However, if card holders unfortunately losetheir green card while traveling abroad, they willbe denied entrance when they come home to the U.S. for lacking enough evidence to support their Lawful Permanent Resident(LPR) status.He will not even be allowed to board the plane flying back to the U.S.
Usually, one thing green card holders might try to do when they losetheir card whileabroad is file for a new one. However, the application which must be filed for a replacement green card, Form I-90, can only be filed while the green card holder is physically present within the U.S. What the card holdershould do instead is apply fora Transportation Letter from the local US embassy or consulate.
A Transportation Letter canget you to board the planeto fly back to the U.S. However, it does not guarantee that you will be admitted by U.S. customs. You will be inspected as an LPR. If you are going to be denied entry to the U.S., it will be based on other reasons, for example, if you were intending to live in another country other than the U.S.A.
If you lost your green card while overseas, the first thing you should do is to keep calm. After all, a green card is only evidence supporting your LPR status, and losing itdoes not mean that you have lost that status, only the card. Once you are certain about the fact that you have lost your green card, you must call the local police as soon as possible. After that, you need to keep the police report detailing that your green card has been lost or stolen. Then you need to contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate to report your situation and ask whether you need to arrange an appointment or to be present during the application for Transportation Letter. The required documents, which may vary depending on your local U.S. embassy or consulate rules, usually include:
Some embassies will charge a $165 for processing the application, such as the U.S. embassy in Riga, Latvia,while some will process it for free,such as the embassy in Seoul, Korea. The processing time also varies from Consulate to Consulate. For example the embassy in New Delhi will take approximately 10 working days to process it while the embassy in Beijing will need at least 14 working days to process it.
Transportation Letters can also be applied for by card holders whose green cards have expired or who have already been approved to be an LPR but not received their first green card before travel overseas. All Transportation Letter applicants must file an I-90 petition to get a new green card as soon as they arrive at the U.S.
For card holders who are planning on an overseas trip, it’s very important to do some preparation before you leave. According to the general requirements for Transportation Letterapplicationsabove, we highly recommend that you do the followings prior to and during your trip:
All documents above need to be placed separately from your green card. It can save you a lot of time in applying for a Transportation Letter if the need arises. However, the most important thing is, of course, trying not to lose your green card.
We wish everyone who is planning an overseas trip a pleasant journey.
Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients nationwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled thousands of immigration cases.
At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high-quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, PERM, and I-485 cases. In the past fifteen years, we have successfully helped thousands of clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang (email@example.com) for a free evaluation.
Zhang & Associates, PC.
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