U.S. Green Card Holders Travelling Abroad: Issues on Return – Green card holders are advised to check the requirements of the country they are visiting as some countries do not allow green card holders to enter without a valid visa.
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Applying for a Green Card
U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) may585 travel freely within the United States. However, when they leave the United States they may need to apply for a new Green card to reenter. Depending on how long they have been outside of the United States, and whether their green card has expired, they may need to go through different processes to get a new one.
Renewing or Replacing a Green Card
U.S. permanent residents (green card holders) who travel outside the United States for more than one year but less than two years generally have their green cards automatically reinstated, or “revalidated,” when they return to the United States. Revalidation is a process that allows eligible green card holders to renew their green cards without having to reapply for them.
However, if you are a returning resident who travels outside the United States for more than two years or if you cannot meet the requirements for automatic revalidation, you must apply for a new green card. You may do so by filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
If your green card has been lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed, you may also use Form I-90 to apply for a replacement card.
What to Do If Your Green Card Is Lost or Stolen
If you are a U.S. permanent resident (green card holder) and you lose your green card or it is stolen while you are abroad, you should contact the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy immediately. The consular officer will help you complete an application for a new green card. You will need to provide proof of your identity and U.S. residency, and pay the required fees. You may also be asked to provide police reports if your green card was lost or stolen, and proof of travel plans if you are applying for a new green card outside of the United States.
Traveling Abroad with a Green Card
If you are a permanent resident of the United States (“green card” holder), you are allowed to travel outside the United States for up to one year without having to obtain a reentry permit. If your absence from the United States will be for more than one year or if you have been granted conditional permanent resident status, you must obtain a reentry permit before departing the United States. If you do not obtain a reentry permit and try to return to the United States after an absence of more than one year, you may be denied admission and required to apply for a new immigrant visa. You can apply for a reentry permit at any time before you leave the United States.
If your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) expires while you are traveling outside the United States, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as possible to apply for a new green Card. It is important that you do not let your Green Card expire while outside of the United States because if this happens, you will not be allowed to board your plane back to the United States. If your Green Card expires while you are inside of the United States, please contact USCIS as soon as possible so that they can help you renew your Green Card.
Returning to the United States with a Green Card
If you are a permanent resident or conditional permanent resident of the United States, you should carry your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) with you whenever you travel outside the United States.
When returning to the United States from a trip abroad, you will need to present your Green Card to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry, unless you have a valid passport from your country of citizenship. If you have a valid passport, you may use it instead of your Green Card; however, we recommend that you carry both documents with you so that if there is any question about your status, you will be able to present both forms of identification.
If your Green Card is expired or will expire while you are outside the United States, CBP will not prevent you from entering the United States; however, renewal of an expired Green Card should be one of your first priorities upon return to the United States. For more information on how to renew your Green Card, please see our page on Renewing or Replacing Your Green Card.
Change of Address for Green Card Holders
U.S. Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) travelling outside the United States for less than one year, can re-enter using their Green Card. Green Card holders returning after an absence of more than one year, or who cannot establish residency abroad, must obtain a returning resident visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before they can return to the United States.
Name Change for Green Card Holders
If you are a green card holder who has changed your name, you must update your name with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and obtain a new green card reflecting your new name. You should update your name as soon as possible to avoid delays or problems when traveling.
If you need to update your name on your green card, you will need to:
1. Complete and sign Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.
2. Include the correct filing fee.
Getting a Social Security Number with a Green Card
U.S. citizens and residents who have applied for and received a Social Security number can use it for employment, to file taxes, and to collect Social Security benefits. Citizens of other countries who are legally residing in the United States can also apply for a Social Security number. The most common way to obtain legal residency status is by obtaining a green card.
Only certain types of green card holders are eligible for a Social Security number, however. Those who have been granted lawful permanent resident status, refugee status, or asylee status are eligible. Other types of immigrants, such as those on student or work visas, are not eligible for a Social Security number.
If you are a green card holder who is eligible for a Social Security number, you can apply for one by filing an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5). The application must be accompanied by evidence of your identity, evidence of your immigration status, and proof of your age. Once you have submitted the application, it can take up to two weeks to receive your social security number.
Once you have obtained your social security number, you should keep it safe and secure. Do not carry it around with you in case it is lost or stolen. You should also never give your social security number to anyone who asks for it over the phone or online unless you are certain that they are legitimate and have a need for it.
Employment Authorization for Green Card Holders
U.S. Green Card holders, also called Permanent Residents, are granted certain privileges that allow them to live and work in the United States indefinitely. These privileges, however, are not unlimited and there are a number of restrictions placed on Green Card holders travelling outside of the United States.
One such restriction is employment authorization. In order to maintain their status as a Permanent Resident, Green Card holders must have authorization from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work in the country. This authorization is typically in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which is valid for a specific period of time and must be renewed every two years.
Green Card holders who wish to travel outside of the United States for leisure or business purposes may do so without jeopardizing their status, so long as they maintain a valid EAD. However, those who leave the country for an extended period of time (generally more than six months) may have difficulty re-entering as employment-authorized individuals. In order to avoid any complications, it is advisable for Green Card holders who plan to be away from the United States for an extended period of time to apply for a Reentry Permit before leaving the country.
Taxes for Green Card Holders
U.S. Green Card Holders need to be aware of the special tax considerations that apply to them when travelling outside the United States for extended periods of time. Generally speaking, as long as you maintain your “Green Card” status, you will be considered a U.S. Resident for tax purposes and subject to U.S. taxes on your Worldwide income.
There are, however, a few exceptions that you should be aware of:
-If you are gone for more than a year, you may be considered a “non-resident” for tax purposes and only required to pay taxes on your U.S.-sourced income.
-If you intend to renounce your U.S. citizenship, you should do so before leaving the country to avoid any complications or penalties.
-If you are married to a non-U.S. citizen, there are special rules that apply to your situation – please consult with a tax professional before making any decisions.