What if Green Card Never Arrives

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What if I never received my green card? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. People get green cards mailed to them after several different kinds of applications. One would be after marriage and an approved I-130. The green card should be sent to the beneficiary’s house. We also have situations where people get an employment-based green card. We have situations where someone processes their case through the council that oversees. They pay their ELIS fee, and then their green card is supposed to follow them to the United States.

Now, we have had in our office many situations where the green card simply never arrives. And sometimes that’s the post office’s fault. Many times that’s USCIS’s fault. And then of course, sometimes it’s the client’s fault. I don’t think we’ve had any that were actually our fault at the firm. I might be wrong about that. But that’s pretty rare, because we know how to do this.

Now, the major problem with delivery of green cards is that the address is slightly off. And so, if your address is wrong or not been updated, this can cause a real problem. So whenever you’re interacting with an immigration officer, whether it’s at your interview or at the embassy, it’s always a good idea to ask them, “Hey, what address are you going to send this green card to if you approve the case?” And make sure that everybody’s on the same page.

Now, we had an associate here once who filed for her husband to get a green card. And I remember that the mail in her apartment building was real shady. Sometimes it came, sometimes it didn’t. So about two months before her interview for her husband, she made sure to become friends with the postal lady and would talk to her every day and tell her how important it was to get her green card delivered for her husband. And I think that’s a really good approach. And I remember, as the case was interviewed and approved, then our associate was very anxious about that. I remember she went home for lunch every day to wait for the mail. And we had no problem with that, because you really do want to get that green card, because if you don’t, it can be a huge hassle.

And it goes back to that issue I mentioned before of who made the mistake? Was it the immigration services’ mistake? Was it the client’s mistake or was it the post office’s mistake? Now, sometimes the post office will indicate that it had been delivered, but sometimes they deliver it to the wrong house, if you can believe that.

Now, one of the great things about working with an attorney is that we use our address here. And we have all identity documents, like work cards and green cards, sent here to our office. And our office doesn’t change. Very rarely. We stay here for a long time. We don’t plan on moving anytime soon. And so if you’re in a fluid situation, it’s good to have a lawyer, because you can just use that as your central processing place for all your documents.

But if they send it to the wrong address, you might have to pay for that fee again. It depends if you made the mistake or if USCIS made the mistake. So most likely if you’ve explored every option and reached out to USCIS, they generally don’t destroy the cards right away. They wait a little bit to see if somebody comes and sort of claims them by calling the 1-800 number. But after a while, they do destroy them and you have to file an I-90. And then the question… A I-90 is how to get a replacement green card. And the question is who pays for the fee? Is it free? Or do you have to pay the filing fee, which is certainly well over, I think, $500.

So you are going to want to really track down exactly what happened. If it was your mistake, you should just pay the fee and get it over with. If it wasn’t your mistake, you might want to just go ahead and pay the fee, because sometimes they’ll just reject the application outright, and you’ll be starting all over three or six weeks later. So if you can afford it, it might be better just to pay the fee, to get that actual green card.

A lot of things don’t start happening till you get your green card. Now, if you have your work card, you might have a little bit more time, and you might be able to push back with USCIS trying to get them to pay for it or to do it for free. So if you have questions about this, we’ve handled many situations like this. Some members of our team are very good at A, tracking down the missing green cards or B, getting a new application going.

So feel free to give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can find us on Instagram @hackinglawpracticellc. You can also email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us on our Facebook group. That’s called Immigrant Home. We’ve been posting new information in there every day. And if you like this video, we ask that you please share it out on social and that you subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos, just like this one. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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