Expired, Lost/Stolen Green Cards

Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues Permanent Resident Cards (I-551) to immigrants who are legally admitted for residence in the United States. Permanent Resident Cards (commonly known as “Green Cards”) can only be issued or replaced in the United States and cannot be obtained overseas.

If you have one of the following items, a boarding foil is not required*:

  1. An LPR with an expired Green Card that was issued with a 10-year expiration date (and you have been outside of the U.S. for less than a year);
  2. An LPR who has an expired Green Card with a two-year expiration date and you also have Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing that you filed a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, or Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (and you have been outside of the U.S. for less than a year). The Notice of Action extends the validity of the card for a specified length of time, generally one year; or
  3. Orders from the U.S. government (civilian or military) showing that time outside the Unites States was on official government business.
  4. A valid Reentry Permit

* Check with your airline or transportation carrier before you file Form I-131A because, in some situations, they may still refuse to let you board even if you are in one of the categories above. In that case, you will need to file a Form I-131A.

If you have left your Green Card in the Unites States, you should ask a friend or relative there to send you the card.

If your Green Card has been lost, stolen, or destroyed, you may be able to obtain a “Boarding Foil” valid for 30 days or less, for a single entry. To issue a “Boarding Foil”, the consular officer interviews you to confirm that you hold a Lawful Permanent Resident status in the United States.

How to apply

Step 1: Pay the I-131A filing fee  online.

  • If you plan to file a Form I-131A to apply for a LPR boarding foil, please note that you must pay the filing fee online on the USCIS website  before appearing in person at a consular section. Information on the new form and fee is located here . You must bring evidence of payment, in the form of a printed email receipt notice or confirmation page, when you appear in person to file Form I-131A. As with all immigration fees, USCIS does not issue refunds, regardless of the decision on the application. USCIS will also not provide applicants an I-131A fee payment refund if the individual should have applied for an SB-1 instead of a boarding foil.

Step 2: Schedule an appointment for an interview

To request an appointment, please email IVPhnomPenh@state.gov. Our office will respond to you with an appointment time within three business days. Please prepare and bring the required documents in step 3 below when you come in for the interview.

Step 3: Bring the following documents

  1. A completed Form I-131A , Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation).
  2. Payment receipt for the I-131A online, i.e. a printed email receipt notice or confirmation page
  3. A valid passport
  4. Your airplane tickets (the one ticket showing your departure date from the U.S.)
  5. Evidence of your U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident status (e.g. passport showing the admission stamp to the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident, copy of your green card if available)
  6. Evidence that you were in the United States within the last 12 months, or any other documentation/letters from USCIS regarding your current status.
  7. Police report from when the card was loss or stolen. Detailed explanation is required as to when and to whom you reported loss or theft of the card, if police report is not available
  8. One passport-style color photograph with white background taken within 30 days. Note: applicants are not permitted to wear eyeglasses in the photos.

Processing time will depend on the circumstances of your case and the amount of information and evidence you provide. The normal processing time can be from one to two weeks. Also, at least two visits to the embassy or consulate are required. (i.e. One for the interview, the other one for picking up your passport when approved.) Therefore, it is important that you apply for the boarding foil as soon as possible or at least one month before your planned departure to the United States.