Traveling with Pending Citizenship and an Expired Green Card

Even if your citizenship is pending and your green card has expired, you can still travel. Here’s what you need to know.

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Applying for citizenship

If you are a permanent resident (green card holder) and you want to apply for U.S. citizenship, you must first make sure that you meet certain requirements. Among other things, you must have held your green card for a certain period of time, you must have lived in the United States for at least half of that time, and you must have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the past five years.

If your green card has expired, or is about to expire, don’t worry – this will not affect your citizenship application. However, it is important to keep your green card current while your application is pending. You should also continue to renew it every 10 years, even after you become a U.S. citizen.

Applying for a green card

If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you may apply for a green card. A green card allows you to live and work permanently in the United States. If your green card is expired, you may still apply for citizenship. However, if you are traveling outside of the United States, you will need to obtain a new green card before returning.

Renewing your green card

If you are a permanent resident whose green card has expired, you can still travel using your immigrant visa. However, if your green card is expired and you are outside the United States, you will need to renew it before you can return. The process for renewing your green card depends on how long it has been expired and whether you are still within the United States.

Traveling on an expired green card

If your green card has expired, you can still travel within the United States. However, you will need to carry proof of your pending citizenship application with you. You may also be questioned by immigration officials when you return to the United States. It is important to have all of your documents in order and to be prepared to answer any questions they may have.

Traveling on a pending citizenship application

If you are traveling while your citizenship application is pending, you will need to carry both your green card and a passport from your home country. If your green card has expired, you will also need to carry proof that you have applied for renewals. If you have any questions about what documents you need to travel, please contact an immigration attorney.

Carrying your green card while traveling

If your green card expires while you are outside the United States, you will need to carry specific documents with you when you return, in order to re-enter the country. These documents include your expired green card, a valid passport, and proof of your pending citizenship application. Without these documents, you will not be allowed to re-enter the United States.

Losing your green card while traveling

If you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States (i.e. have a green card), you are allowed to travel outside of the country and return, so long as you do not stay gone for more than one year at a time. If you are planning to be gone for longer than one year, you must apply for a reentry permit from USCIS before you leave.

However, if your green card expires while you are outside of the United States, you will not be allowed to reenter the country with it. You will need to apply for a new green card from USCIS or, if you are eligible, request a renewal of your green card from a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad.

If your green card expires while you are inside the United States, you can still remain in the country and live and work lawfully until USCIS adjudicates your renewal application or replacement green card application.

What to do if your green card is lost or stolen

If you are a permanent resident traveling outside the United States, it is important to have a valid Green Card with you. If your Green Card is lost or stolen, you should contact the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy immediately. You will need to complete a form (DS-64) and submit it, along with a copy of your passport and a recent photograph. You will also need to pay a fee of $165 for a replacement card.

Applying for a new green card

If you are a permanent resident whose green card has expired, you can apply for a new green card. However, if you are traveling outside of the United States, you will need to obtain a returning resident visa from a U.S. consulate before you can be allowed back into the country.

The process for applying for a new green card is as follows:

1. You must file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
2. USCIS will review your application and may require an interview.
3. If your application is approved, USCIS will send you a notice that your green card is being produced and will be sent to you within 120 days.
4. If you do not receive your new green card within 120 days, contact USCIS to inquire about the status of your case.

When you need to renew your green card

If you are a permanent resident of the United States (also known as a green card holder), you will need to renew your green card every 10 years. If your green card expires, you will need to apply for a new one.

However, if you are in the process of applying for citizenship, you may be able to travel without a valid green card. You will need to carry with you evidence of your pending citizenship application, such as a copy of your application or a USCIS receipt notice. You should also carry your expired green card with you, as this will show that you are a permanent resident who is in the process of renewing their status.

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