USCIS Green Card Holders – Traveling Tips and Guidelines

If you’re a green card holder traveling outside the United States, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Check out our tips and guidelines to make sure your trip goes smoothly.

Checkout this video:

Applying for a Green Card

Applying for a Green Card
The first step in applying for a Green Card is filing an Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, or an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form I-485, with the USCIS.

While you are waiting for your Green Card application to be processed, you will be issued a temporary document, called an Advance Parole document, which allows you to travel outside the United States and re-enter without having to obtain a visa. However, it is important to note that if you leave the United States before your Green Card has been issued, your application may be abandoned and you will have to start the process all over again.

If you are outside the United States when your Green Card is issued, you will need to go to a U.S. consulate or embassy in order to obtain your permanent resident card. Once you have been issued your Green Card, you can enter and exit the United States as often as you like; however, if you plan on being outside the country for an extended period of time (more than six months), it is advisable that you obtain a Reentry Permit.

The Green Card Process

The Green Card process can be a long and complicated one, but it is worth it in the end. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are traveling as a Green Card holder:

-Make sure you have all the necessary documentation with you when you travel. This includes your Green Card, passport, and any other required permits or visas.

-Keep your Green Card and other important documents in a safe place while you are traveling. Do not leave them unsecured in your hotel room or car.

-Be aware of the expiration date on your Green Card. You will need to renew it before it expires if you want to continue living and working in the United States.

-If you are traveling outside of the United States, make sure you understand the immigration requirements of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict requirements for entry, and you could be denied entry if you do not have the proper documentation.

Green Card Renewal

Each year, millions of people travel outside the United States with the intent to return. Whether you are going on a business trip, for pleasure or to visit family, you need to make sure that you have the correct documentation to be able to return to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Depending on how long you will be traveling, you may need to either renew or replace your green card before returning.

If you are leaving the United States for less than one year, in most cases, you do not need to do anything special besides carrying your green card with you when you leave. If your trip will last longer than one year or if you lose your green card while outside the United States, then you will need to get a new green card before returning.

If your green card will expire while you are outside the United States, you should renew it before leaving so that you do not have any problems when trying to re-enter the country. If your trip is going to be longer than one year but less than two years, and you cannot renew your green card before leaving, then you should apply for a reentry permit. This permit allows lawful permanent residents to remain outside the United States for up two years without losing their status.

If your trip is going to be longer than two years or if you want to live permanently outside the United States, then you will need to apply for a returning resident visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate in order to come back and live in the United States as a lawful permanent resident.

Traveling with a Green Card

If you are a permanent resident or conditional permanent resident of the United States, you should carry your green card with you whenever you travel outside the United States. If you are a permanent resident, you should also carry a valid passport from your country of citizenship.

There are some special rules and things to keep in mind if you plan to travel with your green card. Here are some tips:

· Make sure your green card is up-to-date and will not expire while you are traveling. If it will expire soon, you should renew it before you leave.

· If you have a conditional green card, make sure it will not expire while you are traveling. You need to renew your conditional green card before it expires.

· If you are a permanent resident or conditional permanent resident and you want to apply for citizenship, keep in mind that there is a residency requirement. You must have been physically present in the United States for at least half of the five years (or three years if you got your green card through marriage) immediately before applying for citizenship. This means that if you travel outside the United States for more than six months at a time, or for more than one year cumulatively, during the five years (or three years if through marriage) before applying for citizenship, you might not meet the residency requirement. There are ways to be considered “physically present” even if you travel outside the United States, but it can be complicated. For more information, please see our page on Citizenship Through Naturalization and Traveling Outside the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident.

· When returning to the United States after traveling abroad, make sure to have all required documents ready when going through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The CBP officer might ask to see your green card and passport, and might ask questions about your trip. Answer truthfully and politely – lying to a CBP officer can get you into serious trouble! For more information about what to expect when returning to the United States from abroad as a lawful permanent resident or conditional permanent resident, please see our page on Returning to the United States After Traveling Abroad as an LPR or CR

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 Green Card (permanent resident card) with you whenever you travel outside the United States.

You may be asked to present your Green Card by an immigration officer at the port of entry to verify your status as a lawful permanent resident. If you cannot produce your Green Card, you may be detained and placed in removal proceedings.

If you have applied for a new Green Card, or if your Green Card will expire within the next six months, it is advisable that you carry a copy of your application receipt notice or an expired Green Card as well as evidence that you are a permanent resident. The following documents are acceptable as evidence of permanent residence:
-A expired Green Card
-A copy of the front and back of a Green Card
-A copy of an I-551 stamp in a foreign passport
-A copy of an I-751 receipt notice
-A copy of an I-829 receipt notice

Losing or Damaging Your Green Card

If you lose your Green Card or it is stolen, mutilated, or destroyed, you should contact the USCIS as soon as possible. You can file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, online or by mail. There is a filing fee of $455. You will need to submit evidence of your identity and a color photo. If your Green Card was issued to you more than one year ago, you will also need to submit evidence of your continuous residence in the United States. Once USCIS approves your application, they will mail your new Green Card to the address you provided on your application within 60 days.

If you are a conditional permanent resident and you lose your Green Card, you should also file Form I-90 to replace your card. The filing fee is the same, but you will need to submit different evidence with your application.

If you find your lost or stolen Green Card after you have already applied for a replacement card, you should contact USCIS and let them know that you have found it. They will cancel the new card that is being processed for you and return your filing fee.

Green Card Replacement

If you are a permanent resident of the United States (“Green Card” holder), you are allowed to travel outside of the country and return, as long as you have your Green Card with you. If your Green Card is lost or stolen while you are outside the United States, please follow the steps below:

1) Immediately contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate;

2) Request a temporary passport; and

3) File for a Green Card replacement at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you plan on traveling while your Green Card replacement is pending:

1) You will need to present your passport and temporary Green Card at the port of entry when returning to the United States;

2) You may be subject to additional scrutiny by U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and

3) You may be required to show proof of your pending Green Card replacement application, such as a copy of the filing receipt or an expedite request letter from USCIS.

Traveling to Canada or Mexico with a Green Card

If you are a green card holder traveling to Canada or Mexico, there are a few things you need to know. First, you need to have a valid passport and green card. If you do not have a passport, you can apply for one at your nearest consulate or embassy. Second, you should check with the authorities in your destination country to find out if there are any specific requirements or restrictions for green card holders. For example, some countries may require you to get a visa in advance of travel.

Once you have everything in order, there are a few tips to keep in mind when traveling with a green card. First, keep your passport and green card with you at all times. Do not leave them in your hotel room or car – always keep them on your person. Second, be prepared to show the authorities your passport and green card when asked. You may also be asked to fill out an entry/exit form upon arrival and departure from your destination country. Lastly, make sure to keep copies of all important documents – passport, green card, plane tickets, etc. – in case you lose them while on your trip.

Traveling on a Cruise with a Green Card

If you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States (green card holder), you generally can travel outside the United States for up to 6 months without losing your green card. If you will be traveling for longer than 6 months, you may apply for a reentry permit. You also must be sure to carry your green card with you when you return to the United States.

When traveling on a cruise ship, keep the following in mind:
-A cruise ship is considered to be part of the United States for purposes of immigration and customs, even if it is registered in another country.
-As a green card holder, you will need to go through U.S. immigration and customs when you return from your cruise, even if the ship stops at ports in other countries.
-If you are returning from a cruise that started and ended in a foreign port, you will need to present your passport and green card when going through U.S. immigration and customs.

Flying into the United States with a Green Card

There are a few things that green card holders need to know before they travel to the United States. First and foremost, it is important to have a valid green card with you when you travel. If your green card is expired, you will not be able to enter the United States.

Second, it is important to note that green card holders are not allowed to travel on one-way tickets. You will need to have a round-trip ticket in order to be allowed into the United States.

Third, it is important to be aware of the fact that green card holders are subject to the same inspection as all other travelers when they arrive at a U.S. port of entry. This means that you may be asked questions about your travel plans, and you may be asked to show documents such as your ticket and your green card.

Finally, it is important to remember that green card holders are allowed to stay in the United States for up to six months at a time. If you plan on staying longer than six months, you will need to apply for an extension of your stay from USCIS.

Scroll to Top