A person who has been approved for a green card does not ordinarily lose his or her status as a permanent resident in the event that the green card gets lost or is stolen. According to the immigration laws of the United States, however, a person is required to be in possession of a valid green card at all times.
Renewal of Green Cards – even though your status as a permanent resident does not expire, your green card does, every ten years. Typically, the green card must be renewed six months before expiry of the existing green card. This can be done by submitting Form I-90 to your local USCIS office or filing electronically through www.uscis.gov
If you are eligible to apply for citizenship, then you can submit the application for citizenship (Form N-400) instead of renewing your green card.
Replacing Lost or Stolen Green Cards – it is important to report a lost or stolen green card to the police in order to prevent any misuse of your card. This procedure also requires you to apply for a new green card using Form I-90.
Furthermore, if you are eligible to apply for citizenship, then you can submit the application for citizenship (Form N-400) instead of renewing your green card.