Get tips for traveling with a temporary green card, including what you need to do before you leave the United States and what to expect at the airport.
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Applying for a Green Card
If you are planning to travel outside the United States with a temporary green card, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you will need to apply for a reentry permit from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This permit will allow you to reenter the United States after traveling abroad. Without a reentry permit, your green card will be canceled and you will not be allowed to return to the United States.
Second, you need to make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date of your planned return to the United States. If it is not, you will need to renew your passport before traveling.
Finally, you should carry your green card with you at all times when traveling outside the United States. It is also a good idea to make copies of your green card and keep them in a safe place in case you lose your original document.
Renewing a Green Card
If you are a permanent resident who obtained your green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, your green card will be valid for only two years. You will need to renew your green card before it expires if you want to remain a permanent resident of the United States.
To renew your green card, you will need to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and pay the necessary fees. You should file Form I-90 approximately six months before your current green card expires.
If you are outside the United States when your green card expires, you will need to contact the nearest USCIS office or U.S. consulate for information on how to renew your green card.
Applying for a Travel Document
If you have a temporary green card, also known as a limited-duration green card, you may need to apply for a travel document before you can leave the United States. A travel document allows you to return to the United States after traveling abroad.
You will need to apply for a travel document if:
-You are a lawful permanent resident with a temporary green card that will expire while you are outside the United States; or
-You are a conditional permanent resident with a temporary green card that will expire while you are outside the United States and you cannot remove the conditions on your residency without returning to the United States.
To apply for a travel document, you will need to file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. You should file Form I-131 as far in advance of your trip as possible, and no later than 45 days before your trip. There is no filing fee for this form.
When you file Form I-131, you will need to include supporting documentation such as:
-Your current green card;
-Evidence of your ties to the United States; and
-An itinerary of your upcoming travel plans.
If you are applying for a reentry permit, advance parole, or refugee travel document, you will also need to include two passport style photographs with your application. These photographs must be 2 inches by 2 inches, with a white background, and taken within 30 days of filing your application.
Once USCIS has received and processed your application, they will send you an appointment notice for an interview at a local USCIS office. You will need to bring the original documents that you submitted with your application, as well as any documents that have been added or updated since then. At the interview, an officer will ask you questions about your application and about your plans for traveling outside of the United States. After the interview, the officer may approve or deny your application on the spot. If additional processing is needed, they will send you a notice indicating when and where to return for another interview or to pick up your approved travel document.
Applying for a Passport
If you have a temporary green card, you must apply for a passport from your country of citizenship. You cannot use your green card to travel outside the United States. Once you have your passport, you can travel freely to and from the United States.
Obtaining a Visa
If you are traveling to the United States with a temporary green card, you will need to obtain a visa before your trip. A visa is an official document that allows you to enter the country and stay for a certain amount of time.
There are many different types of visas, but the most common type for travelers with a temporary green card is the B-2 visa. This type of visa allows you to stay in the United States for up to six months.
To get a B-2 visa, you will need to fill out an application and submit it to the nearest US embassy or consulate. You will also need to provide proof of your status as a legal permanent resident, as well as evidence that you have enough money to support yourself during your trip.
Once your application is approved, you will be given a visa that you must present when you arrive in the United States. Be sure to keep your visa safe; if you lose it, you will not be able to enter the country.
Entering the United States
If you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States (Green Card holder), you are allowed to travel outside of the country and re-enter, as long as you have your Green Card with you. If you plan to be away from the United States for more than one year, or if your Green Card will expire while you are outside the country, you will need to get a Reentry Permit before leaving.
If you have a Green Card and leave the United States without first getting a Reentry Permit, USCIS considers this abandonment of your permanent resident status.
You may apply for a Reentry Permit at any time before leaving the United States. If you have already left, and did not obtain a Reentry Permit before leaving, you may apply for what is called an “Advance Parole Document”. This document allows you to return to the United States after traveling abroad, and is generally used by people who have applied for Adjustment of Status (a Green Card) but have not yet received their new Green Card.
Traveling Within the United States
If you are a permanent resident of the United States with a Green Card you are free to travel within the country as you please. However, if you have a temporary green card, there are some restrictions on your travel.
Specifically, if your green card is valid for less than six months, you are not allowed to leave the United States and return. This restriction exists because the government wants to make sure that you are actually living in the country and intend to make it your permanent home.
If you need to travel outside the United States while your green card is valid for less than six months, you can apply for a re-entry permit. This permit allows you to leave and return during the period that your green card is valid. To apply for a re-entry permit, you must fill out Form I-131 and submit it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
There is no fee to apply for a re-entry permit, but you will need to include photos with your application. USCIS recommends that you apply for a re-entry permit at least two months before you plan to travel. If your application is approved, USCIS will send you a physical copy of your permit, which you should carry with you when you travel.
It’s important to note that a re-entry permit does not guarantee that you will be allowed to enter the United States. When you attempt to re-enter the country, officials at the port of entry will still have the final say on whether or not you can enter.
Leaving the United States
If you are a permanent resident of the United States (i.e. you have a Green Card), you are free to travel outside of the country for short periods of time. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you leave:
1. Make sure your Green Card is up to date. If it will expire within the next 6 months, you need to renew it before you leave.
2. Get a re-entry permit if you plan to be gone for more than 1 year. This will allow you to re-enter the United States without having to apply for a new Green Card.
3. Make sure you have a valid passport from your country of citizenship. You will need this to re-enter the United States.
4. Keep your travel plans and contact information up to date with the USCIS office in case they need to reach you while you are away.
Green Card Holder Rights and Responsibilities
As a green card holder, you have the right to:
-Live and work in the United States permanently
-Attend public schools
-Apply for a driver’s license
-Join the U.S. military (with some restrictions)
-Receive Social Security benefits and Medicare (after you have worked in the United States for a certain period of time)
-File income taxes
-Apply for a green card for your family members
You also have responsibilities as a green card holder. These include:
-Obey all laws of the United States
-Do not commit any crimes
-Register for Selective Service (if you are a male between 18 and 26 years old)
Green Card Holder Resources
If you are a green card holder traveling outside the United States, it is important that you understand the requirements and regulations for returning to the country. Depending on the country you are visiting, you may need to obtain a reentry permit or advance parole before leaving.
You should also carry your green card with you at all times when outside of the United States, as well as other identification such as a passport from your home country. If your green card is lost or stolen while you are abroad, notify the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately so they can assist you in obtaining a replacement.