If you lose your green card, it’s natural to panic. The green card is evidence of your permanent residency and you cannot travel outside the country without it. However, a new phone app has made green card replacement easier.
In July, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the paperwork to replace a lost, expired or damaged permanent residence card can now be processed on a cell phone.
The app can be downloaded for free after creating an online account at https://myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov/. It means green card holders are able to not only use their phones to download the I-90 application for a new one, but fill it out and send it back.
The app allows green card holders to take photos of any other document required with the I-90 such as the copy of a government-issued ID and to submit them along with the application.
The new service was announced by U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in July.
In a press release USCIS stated:
“The new mobile-responsive design provides an intuitive method for answering questions, navigating through sections, and uploading evidence on a mobile device. Instructions for filing Form I-90 require providing certain evidence, such as a copy of government-issued identification. For those filing through a mobile device, it may be easier to take a photo of the evidence and upload it directly from their mobile devices. The redesigned online form also provides a more personalized experience, as users are directed to answer only those questions specific to their case.”
USCIS points out no substantive changes were made to the policy itself and the online content was the same as the paper forms.
You should always keep your green card in a safe place. However, green cards expire every 10 years. You should plan ahead and apply for renewal when the expiration date on your green card is six months away. If that date has already passed, you don’t need to panic. You are still a permanent resident. However, you should re-apply as soon as possible.
It’s a different scenario if you are a conditional resident whose card shows a two-year expiration date.
In this case, your status does expire in two years. The purpose of conditional residence is to allow USCIS to look again at whether the marriage that permitted you residency is indeed bona fide before you are allowed to stay in the U.S. permanently.
During the two years of your conditional residency, you benefit from all the day-to-day rights of a permanent resident. You are allowed to work, travel in and out of the country, and count your time here toward the three or five years of residence you have to accumulate before applying for U.S. citizenship.
Find out more about green cards here on our website. If you are seeking permanent residency or more information about green card replacement, an experienced Texas family immigration lawyer can help you. Call us at (512) 474-4445.