May 5, 2008: Should I File An I-90 In Person, On-line, Or By Mail?

Should I file An I-90 In person, On-line, Or By Mail?

My father-in-law’s permanent resident green card was stolen. He lives in Ocala, Florida and wants to come here to Miami to the immigration office to get a new one. Is this something that can be taken care of through an attorney so he doesn’t have to travel here? He is legally blind but still can see a bit so I’m trying to make it easier for him.
— Julie

If otherwise eligible, your father-in-law must file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident card. Since your father-in-law’s green card was stolen, there are two ways he may apply for a new card. He can either send the application by mail to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, P.O. Box 54870, Los Angeles, CA 90054-0870 or he can electronically file it through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website http://www.uscis.gov/. Either way, he will have to pay the $370.00 filing fee ($290.00 for the application and $80.00 for the fingerprinting), which must be made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Assuming he properly fills out the form and encloses the appropriate filing fee, he will be scheduled for a fingerprint appointment at a local Application Support Center (ASC). He should not have to travel to Miami, Florida for this appointment because USCIS should schedule it at a local ASC, which will probably be in Orlando, Florida or Tampa, Florida since he lives in Ocala, Florida. The ASC will take his photo for the new green card during the appointment, so he does not need to submit any with the Application. If he has a copy of the green card, he should bring it to the fingerprint appointment. If he does not have a copy, he must bring a driver’s license, passport, or any other form of identity with his biographic information.

Before your father-in-law files the Application, regardless of whether he has any criminal history, he may want to consider consulting with an experienced immigration attorney. If he does have a criminal record, the immigration attorney should review his record and to evaluate what effect, if any, it will have on his ability to renew his green card. The attorney can assist him in the filing of the I-90 on-line as well.

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Attorneys