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Boarding Foil – Emergency Green Card Replacement

Permanent Resident Cards (commonly known as Form I-551 Green Card) can be issued or replaced only by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States. The Embassy is unable to issue a replacement card. If you left your Green Card in the United States and you are outside the United States, you should ask a friend or relative there to send you the card by express mail.

If you have lost your Green Card, the Immigrant Visa Unit in Vienna, Austria may be able to issue you a Boarding Foil which would allow you to return to the United States. In order to issue a Boarding Foil, the Immigrant Visa Unit must interview you and obtain confirmation of your permanent resident alien status from the Department of Homeland Security.

For assistance with a lost Green Card, please send an e-mail to ViennaImmigrantVisas@state.gov briefly explaining your situation. Please make sure to provide your alien registration number, complete name, date and place of birth, and your contact information.

We also request that you attach

  • a scanned copy of pages 1-5 of the completed form I-131A
  • Pay the fee for the I-131A online in ELIS *(see exception below) – The fee of $575.00 must be paid online prior to your appointment at the U.S. Consulate in Vienna. There is no other method of payment.
  • Click here to pay online: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Be sure to read the instructions before you apply, as the fee is non-refundable.

Bring a copy of the receipt to your appointment, or email a copy to us at ViennaImmigrantVisas@state.gov.

* a copy of the biographic data/photo page of your valid passport
* a copy of your departure record from the United States
* a copy of your return flight reservation
* a copy of the police report for your lost or stolen Green Card, if applicable

Please make sure to bring the form I-131A to your scheduled interview along with your valid passport, a receipt of the payment fee, a recent passport photo in color, documentary proof of when you last departed the United States, your return flight reservation, as well as the police report for your lost or stolen Green Card (if applicable).

Transportation letters/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 issued letters are valid for 30 days.

*Expired Permanent Resident Cards – If you have an expired permanent resident card with a 10-year validity period, you do not need a transportation letter/boarding foil. The airline may board you with the expired card, providing you meet all their other conditions for travel.

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 now through the USCIS website.

Please note: Boarding Foils may be issued only to Permanent Resident Aliens who are returning to the United States after an absence of less than one year.