Learn about the benefits and risks of traveling before you receive your green card. Get tips on what to do if you encounter problems while traveling.
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Applying for a Green Card
If you want to travel outside the United States after you file your green card application (Form I-485), you need to request advance parole. This is a document that proves you have permission to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad. If you don’t have advance parole and leave the country, your green card application will be abandoned.
The Green Card Interview
The Green Card Interview. After you have applied for a Green Card (adjustment of status) in the United States, you will be called in for an interview with a USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) officer. The interview will take place at the USCIS office, unless you are applying for an early naturalization, in which case the interview will take place at your local U.S. embassy or consulate.
Adjusting Your Status
If you want to live in the United States permanently, you will need to obtain a green card. You can do this through a family member or employer, or by seeking asylum. If you are already in the United States on a temporary visa, you may be able to “adjust your status” and receive a green card without having to return to your home country.
To adjust your status, you must file an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will also need to attend an interview at a USCIS office. If your application is approved, you will receive a green card in the mail.
You may be eligible for “advance parole” if you have filed an application for adjustment of status. Advance parole allows you to travel outside of the United States while your application is pending. If you leave the country without advance parole, your application will be considered abandoned and you will not be able to return to the United States.
Living in the United States
If you are planning to move to the United States, you may be able to travel here before you receive your green card. You will need a few things before you can travel, including a valid passport, a visa, and a copy of your approved immigrant petition. You will also need to have a medical exam and get travel insurance. Once you have all of these things, you can begin the process of applying for your green card.
Traveling on a Green Card
First, you must make sure that your green card is valid and does not expire while you are outside of the country. If it does expire, you will need to renew it before returning to the United States.
Second, you should always carry your green card with you when you travel, as well as other forms of identification such as a passport from your home country.
Third, if you plan to be outside of the United States for more than six months, you will need to obtain a “reentry permit” from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before leaving. This permit allows you to remain outside of the US for up to two years without losing your status as a permanent resident.
Finally, if you are gone for more than one year or if your reentry permit expires while you are outside of the United States, you will need to obtain what is called a “returning resident visa” from a US consulate or embassy in order to return.
Losing Your Green Card
If you are a permanent resident of the United States (also called a “green card holder”), you have certain rights and responsibilities. One of the rights is that you can travel outside of the United States and return.
However, there are some conditions on this right. If you are planning to travel, it is important to understand the rules so that you do not accidentally lose your status as a permanent resident.
If you leave the United States for more than one year, or for any period of time if you have been away for six months or more in the past, you will need a reentry permit to come back. Without a reentry permit, or if your reentry permit has expired, you will be treated as if you are applying for admission to the United States for the first time and will need to obtain a new immigrant visa if you wish to return as a permanent resident.
If you leave the United States and do not obtain a reentry permit before leaving, your green card will be automatically voided.
Applying for a New Green Card
If you are already in the United States holding some other type of visa, and you marry a U.S. citizen or green card holder, you can apply for a new Green card without leaving the country. The process is called “adjustment of status.” If you are not currently in the United States, you will need to apply for a new visa at a U.S. consulate abroad, and then enter the United States. This process is called “consular processing.”
Traveling with a Green Card
If you are a legal permanent resident of the United States (Green Card holder), you are free to travel outside of the country and return, as long as you have your Green Card with you. You can stay outside of the United States for up to one year without losing your Green Card status. If you plan to be outside of the United States for more than one year, you will need to get a reentry permit.
Renewing Your Green Card
If your Green Card will expire soon, you might be able to travel outside the United States and return without getting a new Green Card. However, you will need to have certain documents to return.
If your Green Card expires in less than 6 months, you should renew it before traveling. If you have already Renewed Your Green Card and are waiting for the new one to arrive, you can travel with your old Green Card and a document called an I-551 stamp. The I-551 stamp is placed on your passport by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer when you re-enter the United States. The stamp proves that you have a pending Green Card application and allows you to stay in the United States until your new Green Card arrives.
Getting a Green Card
Receiving your green card is a huge accomplishment. It’s the first step in your journey to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. But just because you have a green card doesn’t mean you can start traveling freely. In fact, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you start packing your bags.
First and foremost, you need to have a valid green card. That means that it’s not expired and that you haven’t had any problems with it. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to check with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before you travel.
Secondly, you need to make sure that you’re traveling for the right reasons. The USCIS specifically states that green card holders can only travel for “pleasure or business.” That means that if you’re traveling for work, study, or any other reason, you need to get specific permission from the USCIS before you go.
Lastly, it’s important to keep in mind that just because you have a green card doesn’t mean that you’re a U.S. citizen yet. That means that if you’re traveling outside of the United States, you still need to carry your passport with you so that you can prove your identity and citizenship status if necessary.
With all of that said, there’s no reason why receiving a green card should stop you from exploring all the world has to offer. Just be sure to do your research and plan accordingly so that your trip goes off without a hitch!