If you’re only temporarily abroad (under one year), you can file your application from outside the US. However, it makes more sense to do so when you’re living in the United States. The USCIS schedules the biometrics screen once you’ve applied, and it’s generally in a few weeks. Likewise, the card must be sent to a US address. It’s acceptable to file outside the US if you’ll return soon.

Those who lose their green cards while abroad shouldn’t use Form I-90. Instead, they will request temporary documentation to reenter the US. Use Form I-131A, filing it at a US embassy or consulate in person.