Green card holders need a valid passport and green card when traveling outside the United States. Learn what other travel documents you may need.
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What is a Green Card?
A Green Card, known officially as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants to the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The card establishes the holder’s permanent resident status in the United States. A Green Card holder is legally authorized to live and work anywhere in the United States. The card also serves as evidence of identity and employment authorization.
Who is eligible for a Green Card?
You may be eligible for a Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
-You have been sponsored by an employer to come to the United States to work.
-You have been sponsored by a family member to come to the United States.
-You are a refugee or asylee and you have been granted refugee or asylee status in the United States.
-You are a victim of human trafficking or you are the spouse or child of a victim of human trafficking and you have helped law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the human trafficking crime.
-You have been granted amnesty in the United States.
How to apply for a Green Card?
Applying for a Green Card (permanent residence) is a multi-step process that can take several months to complete. The first step is to file an immigrant petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the petition is approved, you will be notified and will need to complete an application for a green Card.
You will need to gather a number of documents before beginning the application process, including proof of your identity, proof of your relationship to the petitioner, and proof of your eligibility for a Green Card. You will also need to provide photos, fingerprints, and signatures as part of the application process.
After you have submitted your application, you will be interviewed by a USCIS officer. If your application is approved, you will be granted a Green Card and will be able to live and work in the United States permanently.
What are the benefits of having a Green Card?
green card holders (permanent residents) enjoy a series of privileges and benefits not available to non-immigrants or citizens of the United States. Some of the more common benefits are:
The right to live and work permanently in the United States
The right to protection from deportation
The right to apply for U.S. citizenship (after meeting certain requirements)
The right to sponsor certain family members for Green Cards
The right to vote in some local elections (if you are 18 years of age or older)
What travel documents does a Green Card holder need?
As a Green Card holder, you are allowed to travel freely within the United States and its territories. However, if you plan to travel outside of the country you will need to have a few documents in order:
-A valid Green Card
-A valid passport from your country of citizenship
-A plane ticket or other proof of travel plans
If you are traveling to a country that requires a visa for entry, you will need to obtain one before boarding your flight. You can apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of the country you are traveling to. For more information on visas and the application process, please visit https://www.usa.gov/entry-visas.
Please note that if your Green Card is expired or will expire while you aretraveling abroad, you may not be able to return to the United States unless you apply for and are granted a reentry permit before leaving. For more information on reentry permits, please visit https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-issued/expired-green-card/obtaining-reentry-permit.
Finally, it is always a good idea to check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are traveling to see if there are any specific entry requirements or recommended vaccinations for that country. For more information on finding an embassy or consulate near you, please visit https://www.usembassy.gov/.
How long is a Green Card valid for?
A Green Card is valid for 10 years, after which it needs to be renewed. If you are a permanent resident who needs to travel outside the United States, you will need to carry a few specific documents with you in order to be able to re-enter the country.
These include your Green Card, passport from your country of citizenship, and a valid visa (if you are from a country that requires one). It is also a good idea to carry proof of your ties to the United States, such as a recent utility bill or bank statement showing your address in the US, or a lease or mortgage agreement.
What are the conditions of a Green Card?
To be eligible for a Green Card, you must first meet a set of basic conditions. If you are eligible, you will then need to go through a number of steps in order to get your Green Card.
The conditions that you must meet are:
-You must be eligible for one of the immigrant categories set forth in U.S. law;
-You must have a valid foreign passport;
-You must have an approved immigrant petition;
-You must have a medical examination and receive immunizations against certain infectious diseases;
-You must not have any inadmissible health or criminal conditions; and
-You must show that you have the financial ability to support yourself and any dependents during your time in the United States.
Can a Green Card holder apply for US citizenship?
Yes, a Green Card holder can apply for US citizenship. The process is the same as for anyone else applying for citizenship, with a few exceptions. First, you must have held your Green Card for at least five years. Second, you must have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the past five years. And third, you must be able to show that you have lived in the state or USCIS district where you are applying for at least three months.
If you meet all of these requirements, you can start the citizenship application process by filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. You will also need to pass a civics test and an English test, and attend an interview with a USCIS officer. For more information on the citizenship application process, please see our page on Applying for Citizenship.
What happens if a Green Card holder violates the terms of their Green Card?
If a Green Card holder violates the terms of their Green Card, they may be subject to removal (deportation) from the United States. Some of the more common violations that can lead to removal from the United States include:
-Failing to maintain continuous physical presence in the United States
-Abandoning their lawful permanent resident status
-Committing certain crimes
-Violating the terms of their Green Card (e.g., working without authorization)
If you are a Green Card holder and you have committed any of these violations, you may be placed in removal proceedings. Removal proceedings are conducted by an immigration judge, and they will ultimately determine whether or not you will be allowed to remain in the United States.
How can a Green Card holder renew their Green Card?
Green Card holders are required to renew their Green Cards every 10 years. The process to renew a Green Card is similar to the process of applying for a Green card for the first time
To renew your Green Card, you will need to:
– Complete and sign Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.
– Include the filing fee or evidence of fee exemption.
– Include 2 passport-style photos taken within the last 6 months.
– Include any supporting documents required by Form I-90.
– Mail your completed application package to the address listed on the form instructions.
Once USCIS receives your renewal application, they will review it to make sure it is complete and there are no errors. They may also request additional information or documentation from you. If everything is in order, they will approve your Green Card renewal and mail you your new Green Card.