Permanent resident cards (Form I-551, or commonly known as green cards) can be issued or replaced only by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States. The Embassy cannot issue a replacement green card. If you left your green card in the United States and you are outside of the United States, you should ask a friend or relative there to send you the card by express courier.
Lost Green Cards: If you have lost your green card and have been out of the United States for less than 12 months, the Consular Section may be able to issue you a boarding foil which would allow you to return to the United States.
To apply for a boarding foil, you must contact the Consular Information Unit at HavanaConsularInfo@state.gov to receive instructions and an interview appointment. On the day of your interview, you must appear with the following documents:
- Completed Form 1-131A – Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation);
- Receipt of USCIS I-131A Fee Payment. Pay the USCIS processing fee of U.S. $575.00 prior to your appointment using their Electronic Payment System. This is the only way to pay this fee.
Be sure to read the instructions before you apply, as the fee is non-refundable.
- Police report if your green card was lost or stolen in Cuba;
- Statement (affidavit) explaining what happened to your green card;
- A passport valid for at least six months;
- One passport-style photo measuring 5 X 5 cm on an off-white background and taken within the last six months (without glasses);
- Copy of the green card, if available;
- Travel itinerary or e-ticket for return trip, if available; and
- Evidence of your last departure from the United States, to include
- U.S. Entry and Exit stamps in your passport showing “A” number; and
- Airline tickets, boarding pass/flight itinerary.
Boarding foils are issued within 1-2 working days, provided you come with all the required documents and have paid the filing fee in advance. The foil is valid for 30 days.
Expired Green Cards: If you have an expired green card with a 10-year validity period, you do not need a boarding foil. The airline may board you with the expired card, providing you meet all their other conditions for travel. Please contact your airline for confirmation. If your expired card did not have a 10-year validity, and you have been out of the U.S. for less than 12 months, you may follow the instructions above to apply for a boarding foil.
You should not leave the United States again until you have applied for and received your new card. You can apply for your replacement card electronically through the USCIS website.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Boarding foils may be issued only to Lawful Permanent Residents who are returning to the United States after an absence of less than one year. If you have been out of the U.S. for more than one year, please send an email to the Consular Information Unit at HavanaConsularInfo@state.gov for instructions.