Travelling with Your Green Card

You may want to travel outside the United States with your green card for business, pleasure, or other reasons. Learn what you need to do to make sure you can return to the U.S.

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Introduction: Why You Might Need a Green Card When You Travel

A Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is an identification card that proves that you are a legal permanent resident of the United States. If you are a legal permanent resident of the U.S., you have the right to live and work in the country indefinitely. You also have certain travel rights, which allow you to leave and return to the U.S. without having to obtain a visa each time.

However, there are some situations in which you might need a Green Card when you travel. For example, if you plan to travel outside of the United States for an extended period of time, you will need to bring your Green Card with you in order to re-enter the country. Additionally, if you are planning to apply for a new job or renew your current driver’s license while you are away, you will need to show your Green Card as proof of your legal status in the United States.

If you are a legal permanent resident of the United States and you will be travelling outside of the country, it is important to make sure that you have your Green Card with you before you leave.

What is a Green Card?

A Green Card is an identification card that proves that you are a permanent resident of the United States. If you have a Green Card, you are allowed to live and work permanently in the United States. You can also travel in and out of the United States with a Green Card.

Applying for a Green Card

If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you will be issued a Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card. This card allows you to live and work in the U.S. permanently. If you plan to travel outside of the United States, you will need to apply for a Green Card.

You can apply for a Green Card by submitting an Application for Permanent Residence (Form I-485). Once you have submitted your application, you will be scheduled for an interview with a representative from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). At your interview, you will be asked questions about your application and your eligibility for a Green Card.

After your interview, USCIS will make a decision on your application. If your application is approved, you will be issued a Green Card. If your application is denied, you will be given the reason for the denial in writing. You may then appeal the decision or reapply for a Green Card at a later time.

The Various Types of Green Cards

There are two main types of green cards: permanent and temporary (also called nonimmigrant). Each type allows the holder to live and work in the United States under different conditions.

Permanent Green Cards
A permanent green card (Form I-551) is also called an unconditional residence card. It does not expire and allows you to live in the United States indefinitely as long as you do not commit any actions that would make you ineligible for a green card. With a permanent green card, you can:
-Work in any legal job
-Travel outside of the United States and return
-Apply for U.S. citizenship (after meeting certain requirements)

Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Green Cards
A temporary or nonimmigrant green card (Form I-551) is also called a conditional residence card. It is valid for a specific period of time and expires. To keep your conditional status, you must meet certain conditions during your stay in the United States. With a temporary green card, you can: Work in any legal job
-Travel outside of the United States and return
-Apply for U.S. citizenship (after meeting certain requirements)

What to Do If Your Green Card Is Lost or Stolen

If you are a permanent resident or conditional permanent resident of the United States, you should carry your green card (permanent resident card) with you at all times.

However, if you lose your green card or it is stolen, there are steps you can take to replace it.

First, if your green card is lost or stolen while you are in the United States, you should report the loss or theft to the local police.

Then, you should contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to report the loss or theft of your green card. The Embassy or Consulate will issue you a temporary travel document called a “Boarding Foil” which will allow you to return to the United States.

Once you return to the United States, you must apply for a new green card by filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.

There is a fee for Form I-90. You can find more information about this form and the fee on uscis.gov.

Travelling on a Green Card

If you have a green card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, you are allowed to travel freely within the United States. You can also travel to some other countries without needing a visa, although there are some restrictions.

If you want to travel outside of the United States, it is important to check the requirements of the country you want to visit. You may need a visa or other type of travel document in order to enter. You can find this information on the website of the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting.

When travelling, it is always a good idea to carry your green card with you. This will help prove your identity and immigration status if necessary. If you plan to be away from the United States for more than a year, you should get a reentry permit before you leave. This will allows you to reenter the United States without having to apply for a new green card.

Re-Entering the United States on a Green Card

If you are a permanent resident returning to the United States from a trip abroad, you generally will be admitted for the “remaining period of stay” on your green card (unless your green card has been renewed or replaced).

To reenter the United States, you must present your green card. You do not need a passport if you are:
-A lawful permanent resident of the United States
-A conditional permanent resident

You may, however, be asked to present additional documentary evidence proving your status as a permanent or conditional permanent resident when you apply for admission. Examples of such documents include:
-An unexpired passport from your country of citizenship if you are returning from a country other than Canada, Mexico or adjacent islands
-An adoption decree if you are returning with an adopted child who obtained immigrant status through adoption in another country
-Form I-551 (back and front), “Permanent Resident Card” if your green card has expired but was issued to you within the past year
If any of these documents have expired, please also bring expired copies with you. If possible, it is best to have these documents available even if the officer does not ask for them.

Surrendering Your Green Card

If you are a permanent resident of the United States (holder of a Green Card), you should carry your Green Card with you at all times. If you are outside of the United States and do not have your Green Card with you, you may apply for a replacement card at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If your Green Card is lost or stolen while you are in the United States, you should report the loss or theft to the local police and apply for a replacement card from USCIS.

If you are planning to leave the United States and surrender your Green Card, please read the information below carefully:

-When leaving the United States, you must surrender your Green Card to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at your port of departure. You should request a travel document from CBP before leaving.
-You may not surrender your Green Card at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad; it must be done when departing from the United States through one of our nation’s airports, seaports, or land ports of entry.
-Once your Green Card is surrendered to CBP, it will be canceled and returned to you along with a letter explaining why it was canceled. You should keep this letter with your travel documents for future reference.

The Consequences of Losing Your Green Card

If you are a permanent resident (green card holder) of the United States and you lose your green card, you will have to apply for a new one. The process of applying for a new green card can be time consuming and expensive, and it may cause you to be unable to travel outside of the United States for a period of time.

There are two main consequences of losing your green card:

1. You will no longer be able to live and work in the United States legally.
2. You may be unable to travel outside of the United States and re-enter using your green card.

If you lose your green card, you should contact an immigration attorney as soon as possible to find out what steps you need to take in order to apply for a new one.

Other Things to Consider When Travelling with a Green Card

If you are returning to the United States after traveling abroad with a green card, there are a few other things you should keep in mind. First, although your green card does not expire, it is a good idea to carry a copy of your naturalization certificate or your U.S. birth certificate with you when you travel. These documents will help prove your U.S. citizenship if you lost your green card or if it was stolen while you were away.

In addition, if you plan to be away for more than 1 year, you will need to apply for a re-entry permit before you leave the United States. A re-entry permit allows you to retain your permanent resident status while you are outside the country and helps speed up the process of returning to the United States after your trip. Finally, remember that even if you have a valid green card, you may still need a visa to enter some countries.

So before you start packing for your next trip, make sure you have everything you need to ensure a smooth and hassle-free return to the United States.

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