Lost/Stolen/Expired Green Card (Boarding Foil)

If you are a permanent resident of the United States and are temporarily in Switzerland (your last departure from the United States was less than one year), but seeking to return to the United States and do not have your permanent resident card, you may need a boarding foil to return to the United States.

You must appear in person to apply for a boarding foil. The Boarding foil is valid for only 30 days and cannot be extended. Therefore, plan your return accordingly.

To apply for a Boarding foil, please follow these two steps: 

Step 1

Be sure to read the instructions before you apply as the fee is non-refundable.
Please note that the fee cannot be paid at the Embassy. 

Step 2

Schedule and bring following documents to your boarding foil appointment:

  • Send an email to BernIV@state.gov to request an appointment
  • Bring all documents listed below to your appointment:- valid passport
    – completed Form I-131A
    – evidence of payment in ELIS
    – one US passport size photograph
    – Evidence of your last departure and return
    (flight ticket/electronic itinerary)
    – proof of your permanent resident status
    (copy of Green Card if available)
    – police report of stolen or lost permanent resident card

Boarding foils may be issued within 2-3 working days. You may pick-up your boarding foil in person on a later day or provide us a stamped self-addressed envelope for mailing.

The Boarding foil can only be mailed to a Swiss or Liechtenstein address.

For your information: Neither the U.S. Embassy nor the U.S. Government can accept any liability for passports or visas lost in the mail.


Expired Permanent Resident Cards – If you have an expired permanent resident 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. However, some airlines may be reluctant to let you board with an expired card.

U.S. Military Family Members with expired Permanent Resident Cards – You do not require a boarding foil if you are in possession of an expired permanent resident card with a 10-year validity period, and you are now returning after having resided outside the United States on official overseas U.S. military orders. You may travel with your expired card and military orders.