If you are an American citizen and have lost your green card, do not worry! You can replace it without having to go back to your home country.
The first thing you need to do is contact the nearest the United States embassy or consulate in order to get a Temporary Visa Waiver. The temporary visa waiver will allow you to enter the country for up to one year while your permanent resident card is being processed. It costs $160 US Dollars and can take up to six months for processing.
If you are living abroad, contact the nearest the United States embassy or consulate as soon as possible so that they can send you a replacement green card. If this is not an option, then there are other ways of replacing your lost green card abroad. If you speak spanish and you reside in San Jose, CA; you probably want to take a look at this Información sobre el Consulado Mexicano San Jose page.
How do I replace my lost green card in the United States?
You can replace a lost green card by mailing a completed Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, to your local USCIS office. You must include a check or money order for the appropriate fee and proof of citizenship.
If you are outside the United States, you can submit an online request for a Replacement Green Card using e-Form G-1145 as long as you have been issued an EAD (Employment Authorization Document). You will need to provide evidence that proves your identity and U.S. citizenship.
Why do you need to replace it?
Your green card is a key document that proves your identity and U.S. lawful permanent resident status when you are in the United States or traveling outside the country. It also serves as an official government ID and provides access to many benefits and services for U.S. citizens and legal residents living in the United States or abroad. You should replace your lost green card only if:
You have been found ineligible for a replacement;
You were issued a conditional permanent resident status;
Your immigration status has changed, such as from conditional permanent resident to temporary lawful resident; or
You have not had any travel
Who needs a green card?
A green card is an identification document that gives you the right to live and work in the United States. Green cards are issued by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, formerly called the INS. The USCIS office issues two types of green cards: permanent residency cards for those who want to make the U.S. their home, and temporary residency cards for those who wish to stay in America temporarily or until they can return to their country of origin.