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 not overseas. A green card is required for re-entry into the United States as a legal permanent resident.

If you have left your green card in the U.S., please arrange for it to be sent to you overseas.

If your green card is lost or stolen, you may be eligible for a “Boarding Foil” valid for a single entry, within one month of issuance, which allows an airline carrier to board you without penalty for the United States.

With immediate effect, the new Form I-131A is the application form to be used by a lawful permanent resident (LPR) whose Form I-551 (green card) and or re-entry permit is either lost or stolen, to request for an appointment for a boarding foil.

If you plan to file a Form I-131A to apply for a Lawful Permanent Resident (green card) boarding foil, please note that you must pay the filing fee online on the USCIS website before requesting an appointment and appearing in person on the scheduled date at the consular section.  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.

It is important to note that USCIS will not provide applicants an I-131A fee payment refund if the applicant should have applied for an SB-1 instead of a boarding foil.  Please note that consular staff is unable to advise applicants on whether an application for an LPR boarding foil is appropriate. 

You may find additional information on and instructions for the I-131A on the I-131A Form and Instructions page. ”  (PDF 394 KB)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the I-131A fee paid to USCIS be refunded?  An I-131A fee will only be refunded in the event of U.S. government error.  USCIS will not process a refund if an applicant later determines that a LPR boarding foil was unnecessary.  Please contact the relevant USCIS Field Office for more information.

What evidence can LPRs present at an airport, rather than applying for a boarding foil?  To enter the United States, a LPR may present at least one of the following items in place of a boarding foil:

  1. An expired Permanent Resident Card with a 10-year expiration date, or
  2. A valid Permanent Resident Card (with a two-year validity), and a Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating that status is extended, or
  3. Orders from the U.S. government (civilian or military) showing that time outside the U.S. was on official government business.  These individuals should consult their air carrier prior to completion of an I-131A and payment of the fee.

Where can I obtain my A number or find out more information?  Please direct your inquiries to the nearest USCIS field office location.

How to apply

The Immigrant Visa Unit operates only on Tuesday and Wednesday between 0900 – 1100 hrs except public holidays and training days.  An appointment is required to request a boarding foil.

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

To make an appointment, please email stating BOARDING FOIL in the subject line. You should state your full name, date of birth, local contact number, your intended date of travel, and 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-131A  and evidence of I-131A filing fee payment (PDF 394 KB)
  • A completed Form DS-156 (PDF 87.3 KB))
  • Evidence of your identity (valid passport)
  • 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 (i.e., your last airline tickets/boarding passes used to leave the United States or similarly conclusive documents.)
  • 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 5 cm x 5 cm 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.  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.