What if I am overseas and not in possession of my Permanent Resident Card?
A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States is required to present a valid, unexpired Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, when seeking readmission to the United States after a temporary absence of less than one year.
An LPR must obtain a transportation letter in order to board a commercial carrier to travel to the United States if the LPR’s permanent resident card has been:
- Expires while temporarily outside the United States
- Not yet received, and the “Processed for I-551” stamp affixed in the LPR’s passport has expired
It is recommended that transportation letters be requested one week before the intended date of return to the United States. Transportation letters are only valid for 30 days. Requests for transportation letters must be made in person at a U.S. Embassy, consulate, or USCIS office abroad. For LPRs in Moscow, the request for a transportation letter can be made at the USCIS Moscow Field Office. To submit a request for a transportation letter, please make an appointment at www.infopass.uscis.gov. USCIS personnel will give the LPR a transportation letter request to fill out at our reception window located within the U.S. Embassy at Novinskiy Bulvar 19/23. In addition to the completed transportation letter, the LPR must submit the following documents:
- Valid passport
- Evidence of time outside the U.S. (e.g. airline tickets, entry/exit stamps in passport)
- Police Report (if applicable and available) when the permanent resident card was lost or stolen
- Passport size photographs (3)
- Return tickets to the U.S.
- Conditional residents, whose I-551 cards have a two-year expiration date, will also need to submit evidence that they filed Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, if their conditional resident cards have expired.
- For residents with expired cards, please bring proof of filing of the I-90 form. You may find the form and instructions on www.uscis.gov. You must file the I-90 for replacement of your card and bring your receipt with you to request a transportation letter.
How do I renew my Permanent Resident Card?
Permanent Resident Cards cannot be extended or reissued outside the United States. Upon return to the United States, an LPR with an expired Permanent Resident Card must file Form I-90, Application to Replace a Permanent Resident Card, at the corresponding USCIS office in the United States as soon as possible.
What if I have remained outside the U.S. for more than a year?
If an LPR has remained outside the United States for more than 364 days without a Reentry Permit, or beyond the validity of a Reentry Permit, then the USCIS Moscow Field Office will be unable to issue a transportation letter. However, the individual may be eligible to apply for a Returning Resident Visa (SB-1) with the Department of State Immigrant Visa Section at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
What if I lost my Permanent Resident Card but I have a Reentry Permit?
An LPR with a valid, unexpired Reentry Permit is allowed to board a commercial carrier in order to return to the United States as a permanent resident.