CAN I TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE U.S. WITH A GREEN CARD?
TRAVELING INTERNATIONALLY AS A PERMANENT RESIDENT
If you are a green card holder and permanent resident of the United States, you are free to travel outside of the country?whether you want to take a vacation or visit friends and family in your native country. A brief trip abroad will not affect your permanent resident status; however, it is important to understand what is required to exit and re-enter the country before leaving the United States.
DOCUMENTS YOU WILL NEED TO EXIT & RE-ENTER THE U.S.
When traveling outside of the U.S. as a green card holder, you will be required to carry a passport from your country of citizenship or your refugee travel document. Some countries may also require additional documents to enter and/or exit (such as a visa), so it is important to make sure that you plan ahead.
When re-entering the U.S. after international travel, you will need:
- Your green card ? must be valid and unexpired
- Your passport, foreign national I.D. or driver?s license
If you are planning on traveling outside of the country for more than one year, you may also need to submit Form I-131 Application for a Travel Document (Re-Entry Permit) with supporting documentation, photos and fees. This will establish that you did not intend to abandon your permanent status.
Need to travel outside of the United States for more than a year? Learn more about reentry permits here.
COULD TRAVELING ABROAD AFFECT MY IMMIGRATION STATUS?
Generally, brief or temporary trips outside of the U.S. will not affect your status as a green card holder. However, you may run into problems if it is determined that you did not intend to make the United States your permanent home?meaning that you ?abandoned? your permanent resident status. This might be the case if you try to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad for more than one year.
If you are thought to have abandoned your permanent status in the U.S., the officer may consider whether or not: your trip was temporary, you maintained U.S. family ties, you maintained employment in the U.S., you filed income taxes as a U.S. resident, you maintained a U.S. mailing address, you kept bank accounts in the U.S. or a valid U.S. driver?s license, or continued to own property in the U.S.
CALL THE LAW OFFICES OF FISHER & FROMMER, PLLC FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you are planning on traveling outside of the U.S. for more than one year, you should speak with an Orlando immigration lawyer at the Law Offices of Fisher & Frommer, PLLC before leaving the country. You will need to apply for a re-entry permit well in advance of your planned trip. If you fail to do so, it may be determined that you intended to abandon your permanent resident status.