Get information on whether you can travel while your Green Card application is pending. Also, find out what to do if your Green Card is lost or stolen while you are traveling.
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Applying for a Green Card
If you are a green card holder, you may travel outside the United States and return as long as your passport is valid and you have your green card with you. If your passport expires while you are outside the United States, you will need to get a new passport before returning. You can apply for a new passport at any U.S. consulate or embassy.
If your green card expires while you are outside the United States, you will need to get a new one before returning. You can apply for a new Green card at any U.S. consulate or embassy.
If you want to travel outside the United States for an extended period of time, you may apply for a reentry permit at any U.S. consulate or embassy. A reentry permit allows green card holders to stay outside the United States for up to two years without losing their status.
The Green Card Lottery
The Green Card Lottery, also known as the Diversity Visa Lottery, is a United States government program that makes 55,000 immigrant visas available every year to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.
The lottery is open to anyone from a qualifying country who meets the basic education and/or work experience requirements. To enter, applicants must submit an online application during the designated registration period. A computer-generated random draw selects winners, who are then notified by mail.
If you are selected as a winner, you will be given instructions on how to complete the visa application process. Once you have completed all the necessary steps, you will be issued a green card, which gives you permanent legal residence in the United States.
The Green Card Lottery is one of the most popular programs for people interested in immigrating to the United States. Every year, millions of people from all over the world enter in hopes of being selected for a chance at a new life in America.
Adjustment of Status
You can apply for a Green Card (permanent residence) in the United States through a process called “Adjustment of Status” (AOS). The AOS process allows you to apply for a Green Card without having to leave the United States. You must be physically present in the United States when you file your AOS application and when USCIS makes a final decision on your case. If you are applying for a Green Card based on employment, you may also be able to file your AOS application if you are outside of the United States, but you will need to consular process through a U.S. embassy or consulate.
Green Card Renewal
If you are a green card holder, you are required to maintain your status in the United States by renewing your green card every 10 years. The process for renewing your green card is the same as the process for applying for a green card, with a few exceptions.
To renew your green card, you must file a Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. You will need to submit evidence that you are still eligible for permanent residence in the United States. This evidence can include:
-A copy of your current green card
-Evidence of your continuous residence in the United States since you were granted permanent residence
-Evidence of your physical presence in the United States
-Evidence of your good moral character
Green Card Replacement
If your Green Card is lost or stolen, you must replace it. You should report a lost or stolen Green Card to the local police and get a copy of the police report. If you are outside the United States when your green Card is lost or stolen, you should report it to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
To replace your Green Card, you will need to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. You will also need to pay a filing fee and submit evidence of your identity and residency in the United States.
Traveling on a Green Card
As a permanent resident or green card holder, you are free to travel outside the United States and return, as long as you do not intend to stay outside of the country for more than one year. If you plan to stay outside of the U.S. for more than a year, you will need to obtain a reentry permit. If you do not obtain a reentry permit and stay outside of the country for more than a year, your green card will be automatically canceled.
You will need to present your green card and passport when reentering the United States. It is recommended that you also carry with you evidence of your ties to the United States, such as proof of employment, property ownership, or family ties.
If your green card has been expired for more than six months but less than a year, you will need to apply for a new green card upon returning to the United States. If your green card has been expired for more than a year, you will need to go through the process of applying for permanent residency again.
Obtaining a Green and Re-Entry Permit
As a lawful permanent resident (LPR), you should have no problem traveling inside the United States. You are even allowed to travel outside of the country and return, as long as you have your green card with you.
However, if you plan to be outside of the United States for an extended period of time, you may need a re-entry permit or a returning resident visa.
A re-entry permit is essentially a travel document that proves to immigration officials that you are a lawful permanent resident who intends to return to the United States after traveling abroad. It is valid for two years and can be renewed.
If you do not have a re-entry permit, you can apply for a returning resident visa from a U.S. consulate or embassy while you are abroad. To qualify, you must show that:
-You held LPR status when you departed the United States;
-You maintained continuous residence in the United States up until the time you departed (with certain exceptions for brief trips); and
-You now wish to return to live in the United States as an LPR.
Losing or Damaging a Green Card
Losing or damaging your Green Card can create many problems. If you are a Green Card holder and you lose your card, you should report the loss to the nearest U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office or to the local police immediately. You will need to complete Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, and submit it along with the required filing fee and evidence of your loss. If your Green Card is stolen, you should also file a police report. USCIS will issue you a new card with a new number, which will be valid for 10 years.
Giving Up a Green Card
If you are a permanent resident of the United States (holder of a “green card”), you may travel outside the country and return, as long as you do not intend to stay outside the U.S. for more than one year. If you need to be away from the U.S. for longer than one year, you may apply for a “re-entry permit” from USCIS before leaving the country.
If you intend to remain outside the U.S. indefinitely or permanently, you must inform USCIS, in advance, of your intention to abandon your permanent resident status by filing Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status.
Traveling with a Green Card
If you are a permanent resident of the United States (i.e. have a Green Card), you are free to travel within the country and return as you please. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when traveling:
-You must have your Green Card with you at all times. If you do not have your Green Card, you may be detained by authorities and/or deported back to your home country.
-You should avoid traveling outside of the United States for extended periods of time (more than 6 months). If you do travel outside of the country you may be required to obtain a re-entry permit or be subject to an adjudication process upon your return.
-If you are planning on traveling outside of the United States, it is recommended that you carry with you additional documentation such as a passport from your home country or a copy of your birth certificate. This will facilitate your re-entry into the United States should you need to obtain a new Green Card.