Can I Travel While Waiting for My Green Card Renewal?

If you’re wondering whether you can travel while you’re waiting for your green card renewal, the answer is yes! However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you book your trip. Read on for more information.

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Introduction

If you are a legal permanent resident of the United States, you may travel outside of the country and re-enter using your green card. However, if your green card is set to expire within the next six months, it is important to be aware of the following guidelines in order to ensure a seamless return back into the United States.

What is a Green Card?

A Green Card is a permanent resident card that allows a person to live and work in the United States. If you have a Green Card, you are considered a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

The Renewal Process

The renewal process for a green card is generally the same as the original application process. You will need to fill out forms, submit documentation, and attend an interview. The main difference is that you will not need to go through the entire application process again.

If your green card expires while you are outside of the United States, you will need to renew it before you can return. You should begin the renewal process as soon as possible to avoid any delays in your return.

Can You Travel While Waiting for Your Renewal?

If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you will be issued a green card that is valid for 10 years. Before your green card expires, you will need to renew it. The process to renew your green card is generally the same as the process that you went through to get your initial green card.

One common question that permanent residents have is whether or not they can travel while they are waiting for their green card renewal to be processed. The answer to this question is yes, you can travel while your green card renewal is being processed.

However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind if you plan on traveling while your renewal is being processed. First, when you apply for a green card renewal, you will need to submit a form called an I-90. On this form, you will be asked to provide information about your travels outside of the United States in the past five years.

It is important to note that if you travel outside of the United States while your I-90 is being processed, this could delay the processing of your renewal. Additionally, if you are traveling on an expired green card, you may encounter difficulties when returning to the United States. For these reasons, it is generally recommended that you wait until your I-90 has been approved before traveling outside of the United States.

The Risks of Traveling on an Expired Green Card

It’s generally not a good idea to travel on an expired green card, as it can pose some risks. If you are stopped by immigration officials, you may be detained and possibly deported. You may also have difficulty returning to the United States if your green card has expired.

If you must travel, there are some steps you can take to minimize your risks. Make sure you have all of the necessary documents with you, including your expired green card and a copy of your renewal application. It’s also a good idea to carry a letter from your employer or another family member explaining your need to travel.

If you are stopped by immigration officials, be polite and honest about your situation. Show them all of the documents that you have with you, and explain that you are in the process of renewing your green card. If everything checks out, they should let you continue on your way.

Of course, the best way to avoid any problems is to renew your green card before it expires. Start the process as early as possible so that you don’t have to travel on an expired card.

How to Renew Your Green Card While Outside the United States

If you are a lawful permanent resident, you may travel outside the United States and return using your green card. However, if your green card expires while you are outside the United States, you will need to renew it before you can re-enter.

There are two ways to renew your green card while outside the United States:

1. Apply for a new green card from a U.S. consulate or embassy; or
2. Apply for a “returning resident” visa from a U.S. consulate or embassy.

To apply for a new green card, you will need to submit Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, along with the required fees and supporting documentation to a U.S. consulate or embassy. Once your application is approved, you will be issued a new green card and can return to the United States.

If you are eligible for a returning resident visa, you will need to submit Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, along with the required fees and supporting documentation to a U.S. consulate or embassy. Once your application is approved, you will be issued a returning resident visa and can return to the United States.

Conclusion

To conclude, if you are planning on traveling while waiting for your green card renewal, it is important to check the requirements of the country you are traveling to. Some countries may not allow entry without a valid green card, so it is important to be prepared. Additionally, it is always a good idea to bring along copies of important documents such as your green card application and supporting documentation in case you need to prove your status while abroad.

Resources

There are a few different ways to find out if you can travel while your green card renewal is pending. One way is to check the website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS website has a section on “Travel During Renewal Proceedings.” Another way to find out is to call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 and ask an operator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you travel, it’s important to understand the rules and requirements for traveling while your green card renewal is pending. Below are some frequently asked questions that will help you plan your trip:

Can I travel outside the United States while my green card renewal is pending?
Yes, you can travel (but check the expiration date on your current green card to make sure it’s still valid for reentry). Keep in mind that if your green card renewal is denied, you will not be able to return to the United States.

Do I need to carry my renewal application with me when I travel?
Yes. When you return to the United States, you will need to show immigration officials your green card renewal application (Form I-90) and proof that you submitted it before your current green card expired.

What if my current green card expires while I’m traveling?
If your current green card expires while you’re outside the United States, you will not be able to return to the United States until your green card renewal is approved. We recommend applying for your renewal as early as possible so that you don’t risk having your current green card expire while you’re away.

Can I apply for a travel document if my green card renewal is denied?
No. If your green card renewal is denied, you will not be able to return to the United States. You may be eligible for a different type of travel document, such as a refugee travel document or advance parole, but only if you meet certain requirements. Consult an immigration attorney for more information.

About the Author

I am an immigration attorney and have represented clients from all over the world. I have also written extensively on U.S. immigration law.

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