Green Card Information Guide (Traveling with a Green Card)

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Quick Overview

Green Card holders have to follow immigration law and be properly registered with the United States government. A Green Card or Permanent Resident Card discloses information that provides an individual’s proof of lawful permanent resident status in the United States. An individual with a Green Card has the right to live and work permanently in the United States. Green Card holders are entitled to leave the US for vacation or for work purposes, but there are limitations on how long an immigrant can stay outside the United States without losing his or her permanent resident status (Green Card). This is when a "Reentry Permit" document must be obtained from the USCIS in many cases.
Overview of Contents
  • Green Card Travel Information
  • Traveling with a Conditional Green Card
  • Traveling with a Permanent Green Card
  • Detailed Information about Reentry Permits
  • Reentry Permit Application in the United States
  • Reentry Permit Application from Abroad
  • How to complete and submit the Reentry Permit Application forms
  • Preservation of Residency for Naturalization Purposes
  • Canadian and Mexican Commuter Information
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Traveling with a Green Card
  • List of USCIS Offices in the United States
  • List of U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad
  • All required immigration forms are included

Product Description

Reentry Permits for Green Card Holders:
United States citizens and foreign nationals on nonimmigrant visas don't need to obtain a "Reentry Permit". Only Green Card holders may obtain a reentry permit when visiting foreign countries. The reason one needs to apply for and obtain a reentry permit is to preserve an alien's permanent resident status (Green Card). Green Card holders may risk losing their Green Cards for leaving the United States for a long period of time and without obtaining a reentry permit. Different requirements that all permanent residents should be aware of when traveling abroad with a Green Card exist. The Green Card Information Guide contains detailed information on how long a Green Card holder can stay outside the United States without losing their Green Card, and information on how to apply for a reentry permit in case of extended time outside the country.

Important Notice for Green Card holders planning on applying for U.S. Citizenship:
Before a Green Card holder can apply for U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process, he or she needs to fulfill a residency requirement. The time spent abroad does not count towards this requirement. Green Card holders staying abroad for lengthy periods may disrupt their residency, since the time spent abroad does not count towards the residency requirement for naturalization. However, it is possible to submit an "Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes". Detailed information and application procedures can be found in the Green Card Information Guide.

If you are not a United States permanent resident yet, we recommend you first apply for a Green Card. There are several ways to apply for a Green Card, including: Marriage, Relatives, Employment and Investment.