Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Permanent Residents

Lost or Stolen Green cards

U.S. 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 can never be obtained overseas. A green card is required for re-entry into the United States as a legal permanent resident.

If you left your green card in the U.S., try to arrange for someone to send it to you overseas.

If your green card has been lost or stolen, you may be able to obtain a "Boarding Foil" valid for a single entry of one month, authorizing a transportation line to carry you to the United States without penalty. To issue a “Boarding Foil”, we must be satisfied that you hold legal resident status in the United States.

How to apply

With effect from October 1,  2013, the Immigrant Visa Unit will operate on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday between 0900 – 1100 hrs except public holidays and Administrative/Training days.  Please check the Embassy website for closure dates before coming.

Step 1:  Schedule an appointment -"Boarding Foil" can only be processed between 10:00–11:00 AM on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday on an appointment basis.

To make an appointment, please email to stating BOARDING LETTER in the subject line. You should state your full name, date of birth, local contact number, your intended date of travel as well as the circumstances of the loss / theft of your Permanent Resident card in the body of your email.

NOTE: We cannot process Boarding Foil requests on weekends, holidays, in the evenings, or without an appointment.

Step 2:  Bring the following documents - On the day of your appointment, please bring:

  • A completed Form I-90 Page 1 – 3
  • A completed Form DS-156 (Please see: )
  • Evidence of your identity (valid passport)
  • Your airplane tickets (the one showing your departure date from the U.S.)
  • Evidence of your U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident status (e.g. passport showing admission to the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident)
  • Evidence that you were in the United States within the last 12 months
  • Police report when the card was loss or stolen (original and photocopy).
  • Confirmed flight itinerary for a direct journey from Singapore to the United States.
  • One passport-style color photograph with white background taken within 6 months.

Processing time will depend on the circumstances of your case and the amount of information and evidence you provide. If you provide inaccurate information, or do not know your alien registration number, it can take significantly longer.  An interview is usually conducted after the application is submitted.  If the application is approved, the ‘boarding foil’ will be issued and be ready for collection after 3 to 5 business days.  

Note there is no fee for this service.

Application to Determine Returning Resident Status

When a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States remains abroad for more than one year, or beyond the validity period of a Re-entry Permit, without permission from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the person is generally considered to have abandoned U.S. residency and could lose LPR status.

In order to re-enter the United States, the individual may apply for a “special immigrant” visa, also known as “Returning Resident Visa SB1”.  To be eligible for an SB1 visa, the individual must demonstrate to a consular officer that he/she departed the U.S. with the intention of returning after a stay of less than one (1) year abroad or the validity of the Re-entry Permit (2 years), and his/her failure to return to the U.S. as planned was due to reasons beyond the individual’s control. 

As part of the SB1 application process, an interview at the U.S. Embassy is required. SB1 applicants must submit the following documents at the time of their interview to determine if they qualify for Returning Resident Status:

  • Non-refundable filing fee of US$275 paid at the Embassy. This is not the visa application fee. Payment of the filing fee does not guarantee that the application will be approved.
  • Form DS-117 
  • Proof of legal permanent residence (Form I-151, I-551, Reentry Permit/Travel Document, etc.).
  • Dates of travel outside of the U.S. (airline tickets, passport stamps, etc.)
  • Proof that the protracted stay was due to reasons beyond the applicant’s control.
  • Proof of ties to the U.S. and intention to return (tax returns, evidence of economic, family, and social ties to the U.S.)

A consular officer will review the submitted documents and evaluate whether an applicant is eligible for an SB1 visa. If approved, the applicant must still meet all other documentary and legal requirements to qualify for a new immigrant visa (including paying an application processing fee as well as medical exam and vaccination fees).  If not, a new visa petition must be filed on behalf of the applicant.

For additional information, visit the Department of State’s webpage Returning Resident Visas.