As a green card holder, you have the right to live and work permanently in the United States. However, there are some travel rules you need to be aware of before leaving the country. Here’s what you need to know.
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Nearly 10 million US residents are green card holders, which gives them the right to live and work permanently in the United States. If you are a green card holder, there are certain travel rules you need to be aware of before leaving the country.
First, it’s important to know that your green card is only valid for travel within the United States. If you want to leave the country and return, you will need to apply for a reentry permit before your trip.
Second, you should be aware of the conditions of your green card and make sure you meet them before traveling. For example, if your green card is valid for two years, you must be sure to return to the United States at least once every two years or your card will expire.
Finally, it is always a good idea to carry a copy of your green card with you when you travel, in case you are asked to show it at any point during your trip.
Applying for a Green Card
If you’re a non-U.S. citizen or national, you can apply for a U.S. Green Card if you meet certain eligibility requirements.
The first step is to determine which category you fall into:
-Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens: You are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, the unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen, or the parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old;
-Family Preference Immigrants: You are the unmarried child over 21 years of age of a U.S. Citizen, the married child of any age of a U.S. Citizen, the sibling of a U”;
-Employment-Based Immigrants: You have been offered employment in the United States or you have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business;
-Diversity Immigrants: You come from a country with low rates of immigration to the United States
The Green Card Interview
When you apply for a green card (permanent residency), you will usually need to attend an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy. The purpose of the interview is to confirm that you meet all eligibility requirements and to give you a chance to ask any questions that you may have about your application or the green card process.
You should expect to be asked about your:
– Reasons for wanting to live in the United States
– Family ties to your home country
– Employment history
– Education and skills
– financial situation
You will also be asked to provide proof of your eligibility, such as:
– Birth certificate
– Marriage certificate
– Divorce decree (if applicable)
– Military records (if applicable)
– Employment records
After You Get Your Green Card
After you receive your green card, there are a few things you need to do to maintain your status as a permanent resident. You will need to carry your green card with you at all times.
You will also need to show your green card if you are asked to do so by an immigration officer, or if you are applying for certain government benefits.
You will need to renew your green card every 10 years, unless you qualify for an exception or waiver. You may also need to get a new green card if your old one is about to expire, or if it has been lost or stolen.
If you plan on traveling outside the United States, there are a few things you need to do before you leave. You will need to make sure that your green card is still valid and that you have all the required documents for travel.
You can find more information on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
Traveling on a Green Card
As a permanent resident of the United States (holder of a Green Card), you are free to travel within the U.S. and its territories. You do not need advance permission unless you have been away for more than a year or have specific reasons for requiring one, such as applying for a re-entry permit.
When traveling outside of the United States, you will need to present your Green Card (official name: Permanent Resident Card) to immigration authorities as proof of your status. You should also carry with you evidence of your ties to the United States, such as a U.S. passport, utility bills, or bank statements, in case immigration authorities question your intention to return to the United States after your trip abroad.
If you are planning on traveling outside of the United States and will be away for more than a year or if you have been convicted of certain crimes, you should apply for a re-entry permit before leaving. A re-entry permit allows you to maintain your permanent resident status while living outside of the United States for up to two years and can be renewed for additional periods of up to two years. If you do not obtain a re-entry permit before leaving the United States and are gone for more than a year, you may be considered to have abandoned your residency and may have difficulty returning to the United States.
Returning to the United States After Travel
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.
Returns to the U.S. After Traveling Abroad
Permanent residents returning from travel outside the United States and Canada may experience delays in returning if their Green Cards have expired or will expire within six months of their return date. To avoid problems and delays, renew your Green Card well before it expires. If you cannot renew your Green Card before traveling, contact the nearest U.S. Consulate, U.S. Embassy, or USCIS office abroad for assistance well in advance of your trip to ensure that you will be able to return to the United States on your planned return date.
Losing or Damaging Your Green Card
If you are a permanent resident of the United States (also known as a “green card holder”), it is important to know what to do if your green card is lost or stolen.
First, it is important to understand that your green card is proof of your permanent resident status in the United States. Therefore, it is very important that you keep your green card with you at all times.
If your green card is lost or stolen, you should immediately contact the nearest USCIS office or U.S. consulate or embassy. You will need to file a form called an “Application for Replacement Permanent Resident Card” (Form I-90). There is a fee for this form, which you will need to pay when you submit it. You may also need to provide additional documentation, such as proof of identity and proof of permanent resident status.
It is important to note that if you are outside of the United States when your green card is lost or stolen, you will not be able to return to the United States until you have obtained a new green card. Therefore, it is important to contact the nearest USCIS office, U.S. consulate or embassy as soon as possible so that you can begin the process of applying for a replacement green card.
Renewing or Replacing Your Green Card
If your 10-year green card has expired or will expire soon, you will need to renew or replace it. You should Renew your green card if:
-It has been less than one year since your card expired
-You were physically present in the United States on the day your card expired
-Your green card was issued to you when you were under 14 years old and it has been less than two years since you turned 14, or
-Your green card was issued to you on the basis of your asylum status and it has been less than one year since you were granted asylum.
You should Replace your Green Card if:
-It has been more than one year since your card expired,
-You were NOT physically present in the United States on the day your card expired,
-Your green card was issued to you when you were 14 years old or older, or
-You are a conditional permanent resident whose two-year anniversary is coming up.
What Happens if Your Green Card Expires
If your green card expires, you will not lose your status as a permanent resident of the United States. However, it is important to keep your green card up-to-date and valid at all times.
If you are a permanent resident of the United States with a Green Card that is about to expire, you will need to renew it. You can renew your green card up to 6 months before it expires and up to 2 months after it expires. If you renew your green card after it has expired, you will need to provide evidence that you meet the requirements for renewal.
If you are outside of the United States when your green card expires, you will need to contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate in order to renew your green card.
If you are a Green Card holder, you may want to consult the following resources for information on travel rules and regulations:
-The Department of Homeland Security’s website: www.dhs.gov
-The US Customs and Border Protection website: www.cbp.gov
-The Transportation Security Administration website: www.tsa.gov