Chapter 3 - Reissuance of Secure Identity Documents

A. General

Benefit requestors may file to renew their USCIS-issued secure identity documents that have expired or replace ones that have been lost, stolen, mutilated, or destroyed, or that contain an error. 

The following table provides general information on how to request that USCIS reissue certain secure identity documents.

How to Request Replacement or Renewal of USCIS-Issued Secure Identity Documents

Secure Identity Document

How to Request Replacement or Renewal

Permanent Resident Card (PRC)

  • Complete and properly file an Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Form I-90) with USCIS, with appropriate fees (if required), in accordance with the Form I-90 instructions. [1] 

  • An LPR who is temporarily outside the United States for less than 1 year and who is not in possession of a valid PRC (for example, it was lost, stolen, or destroyed) may properly file an Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation) (Form I-131A) to request documentation to demonstrate to an airline or other transportation carrier that he or she is authorized to travel to the United States. [2] 

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

  • If inside the United States, complete and properly file an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) with USCIS, with appropriate fees (if required). [3] 

  • There is no process to seek a replacement EAD, including a combo card (employment and travel authorization documented on a single card), outside the United States. 

Reentry permit

  • If inside the United States, complete and properly file an Application for Travel Document (Form I-131) with USCIS, with appropriate fees.

  • An LPR who is temporarily outside the United States for less than 2 years and who is not in possession of a valid PRC (for example, it was lost, stolen, or destroyed) may properly file an Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation) (Form I-131A) to request documentation to demonstrate to an airline or other transportation carrier that he or she is authorized to travel to the United States. [4] 

Advance parole document 

  • If inside the United States, complete and properly file an Application for Travel Document (Form I-131) with USCIS, with appropriate fees. [5] 

  • There is no process to seek a replacement advance parole document, including a combo card (employment and travel authorization documented on a single card), outside the United States. In cases where an advance parole document was lost, stolen, or destroyed while overseas, requestors should contact the closest USCIS international office or U.S. embassy or consulate. 

Refugee travel document

  • Whether inside or outside the United States, complete and properly file an Application for Travel Document (Form I-131) with USCIS, with appropriate fees.
Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization 
  • Whether inside or outside the United States, complete and properly file an Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document (Form N-565). [6] 

B. Reissuing Non-Deliverable Secure Identity Documents

USCIS receives a number of secure identity documents returned by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) after attempting delivery. Reasons for return range from USPS error (such as misdirected mail or correct address not recognized) to requestor error (such as an untimely address change). Benefit requestors who believe their secure identity documents have been returned to USCIS as non-deliverable may contact the USCIS Contact Center. In some instances, USCIS may be able to attempt a second delivery to the original address. 

1. Background

Historically, the management of secure identity documents, including storage, remailing, and destruction, occurred at multiple sites across USCIS with each location having a separate staff performing Post Office Non-Deliverables (PONDS) functions in accordance with local policies. In 2016, USCIS undertook an initiative to reduce the handling of secure identity documents, more clearly define the scope of PONDS duties, and create a more consistent and manageable process. The Office of Intake and Document Production (OIDP) established a centralized PONDS Unit at the Lee’s Summit Production Facility in June 2017, which now oversees all PONDS operations.

Between June 2017 and October 2017, PONDS data showed 95 percent of secure identity documents were successfully re-mailed to requestors within 60 business days of being returned to USCIS. For documents that were unsuccessfully re-mailed, USCIS had previously kept documents for 365 calendar days. In 2018, USCIS began retaining non-deliverable secure identity documents returned to USCIS for 60 business days, or 12 weeks, before destroying them. [7] 

Before secure identity documents are destroyed, PONDS Unit staff must search all relevant data systems to see if a new address exists. If a new address exists, USCIS re-mails the card to the new address. If no new address exists, USCIS destroys the card and updates its status in applicable systems as destroyed, in accordance with PONDS procedures.

2. Reissuing Secure Identity Documents

In certain circumstances, USCIS reissues secure identity documents if the original identity document was not successfully delivered to the requestor and has been subsequently destroyed. Depending on the scenario, USCIS may require the requestor to properly file a new form with fee for USCIS to reissue the secure identity document. 

New Application and Fees Not Required

Generally, if USCIS-issued secure identity documents were non-deliverable due to USPS errors, USCIS may reissue the secure identity document without requiring a new application and fee.

However, lawful permanent residents and conditional permanent residents must always file Form I-90 to request a replacement PRC. [8] In some cases, USCIS would not require a new fee. [9] 

The table below provides common (but not comprehensive) non-delivery scenarios involving USPS errors.

Common Non-Delivery Scenarios Involving USPS Errors

Scenario

Example

New Application and Applicable Fee Required? [10] 

USPS lost, misdirected, or destroyed mail. [11] 

N/A

No

USPS incorrectly marked as deceased but requestor is not deceased.

N/A

No

USPS incorrectly marked yellow label on undeliverable envelope.

USPS label indicates requestor does not reside at address; however, requestor does.

No

USPS did not recognize a good address for requestor.

N/A

No

Generally, if USCIS-issued secure identity documents were non-deliverable due to USCIS or certain other errors, USCIS may reissue the secure identity document without requiring a new application and fee. The table below provides common (but not comprehensive) non-delivery scenarios involving USCIS and other errors.

Common Non-Delivery Scenarios Involving USCIS and Other Errors

Scenario

Example

New Application and Applicable Fee Required? [12] 

Requestor updated address timely but USCIS incorrectly entered address into data systems.

Requestor enters “123 Presidential Avenue” and USCIS erroneously enters “123 Residential Avenue.”

No

Requestor updated address timely but USCIS updated address after 48 hour document production hold and before undeliverable document was returned to USCIS as undeliverable.

N/A

No

Certain USCIS systems errors.

N/A

No

New Application and Fees Required

Generally, if USCIS-issued secure identity documents were non-deliverable due to requestor error, USCIS reissues the secure identity document only upon receiving a new application and fee. [13] The table below provides common (but not comprehensive) non-delivery scenarios involving requestor errors.

Common Non-Delivery Scenarios Involving Requestor Errors

Scenario

Example

New Application and Applicable Fee Required? 

Requestor submitted untimely address change.

  • Requestor updated address well after the 10-day timeframe set by INA 265 and after USCIS mailed his or her secure identity document, but the secure identity document was not returned to USCIS as undeliverable.

  • Requestor updated address after his or her secure identity document was returned to USCIS as undeliverable and destroyed.

Yes, requestor must resubmit completed application with fee.

Requestor updated address timely, but gave incomplete or incorrect address.

  • Instead of “123 Main Street,” requestor entered “Main Street 123” or “213 Main Street.”

  • Requestor omitted apartment or suite number or included incorrect apartment or suite number.

  • Requestor misspelled a part of the address, such as “123 Brandway” instead of “123 Broadway.”

  • Requestor listed the wrong state or zip code.

  • Requestor provided an invalid USPS address.

Yes, requestor must resubmit completed application with fee. 

Requestor provided future address, not current address.

N/A

Yes, requestor must resubmit completed application with fee. 

Requestor did not accept mail.

N/A

Yes, requestor must resubmit completed application with fee.

 

Footnotes


1. [^] See 8 CFR 264.5. See 8 CFR 103.7. There are certain conditions when USCIS may issue an Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp in place of a new Permanent Resident Card (PRC). One such condition may be applying for naturalization at least 6 months before the expiration of the PRC. Lawful permanent residents in this circumstance may contact the USCIS Contact Center for more information on how to obtain an ADIT stamp instead of filing Form I-90.

2. [^] The transportation letter does not replace the PRC. LPRs must still complete and properly file Form I-90 to obtain a replacement PRC.

3. [^] For more information on when a new Form I-765 and fee is required, see Employment Authorization Document.

4. [^] The transportation letter does not replace the reentry permit. LPRs must complete and properly file Form I-131 upon reentry into the United States to obtain a replacement reentry permit.

5. [^] In general, if a requestor applies for advance parole while in the United States, and departs the United States before the advance parole document is issued, the requestor may be found inadmissible to the United States upon return, or even if admitted, may be found to have abandoned his or her application. 

6. [^] For more information, see Volume 12, Citizenship and Naturalization, Part K, Certificates of Citizenship and Naturalization, Chapter 4, Replacement of Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization [12 USCIS-PM K.4].

7. [^] An economic analysis found that retention of non-deliverable secure identity documents for longer than 60 days costs USCIS more than production of a new identity document.

8. [^] See 8 CFR 264.5

9. [^] For additional information on required fees, see Form I-90 instructions. See USCIS Fee Calculator

10. [^] Applicants seeking a replacement of a PRC must always file Form I-90 to request a replacement card. See 8 CFR 264.5. However, in some cases, such as the scenarios described in the table, USCIS would not require a new fee. 

11. [^] For more information, see Find Missing Mail

12. [^] Applicants seeking a replacement of a PRC must always properly file Form I-90 to request a replacement card. See 8 CFR 264.5. However, in some cases, such as the scenarios described in the table, USCIS would not require a new fee. 

13. [^] Unless the requestor qualifies for a fee waiver. See Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912).

Appendices


No appendices available at this time.

Technical Update - Replacing the Term “Foreign National”

October 08, 2019

This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].

AFFECTED SECTIONS

 

Technical Update - Clarifying Policies and Procedures for Replacing Permanent Resident Cards

September 27, 2019

This technical update clarifies that, in circumstances involving the replacement or reissuance of a Permanent Resident Card, an Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Form I-90) is always required as outlined in form instructions and regulations. This may differ from the general reissuance policy.

AFFECTED SECTIONS

 

POLICY ALERT - Policies and Procedures for Secure Identity Documents

January 16, 2019

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address the general policies and procedures related to secure documents.

AFFECTED SECTIONS

 
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CHAPTERS

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