How Can I Travel Outside of the United States With a Green Card?

A Green Card is a symbol of freedom to many immigrants. However, when you wish to visit your family and friends back home, you must jump through more hoops than a U.S. citizen who was born here. Traveling is something everybody deserves to do, though if you are an immigrant, you must take a few additional precautions to ensure your status as a U.S. citizen stays the same. If you have a Green Card and are considering traveling abroad, here are some of the questions you may have:

What documents will I need to bring with me?

To leave the United States, you must present a passport from your country of citizenship or a refugee travel document when traveling to another country. You may also be required to have a visa for traveling outside of the United States.

How do I reenter the United States with a Green Card?

First, you will have to present your Green Card to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer. From here, he or she will review your permanent resident card, as well as other related documents, including your foreign national I.D., your passport, or your U.S. Driver’s license to determine whether you are eligible to re-enter the United States. If all checks out, you should be on your way.

What do I do if I have to leave the United States for more than one year?

To leave the United States for an extended period of time, you must first apply for a re-entry permit on Form I-131. This is an application for readmission into the United States for the duration of the permit’s validity without the need to obtain a returning resident visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. While this application will establish your intention to permanently reside in the U.S., you will still have to be determined admissible before you are permitted to reenter. You should also know that if you are away from the United States for six months or more, you may disrupt the continuous residency required for naturalization. Fortunately, you can preserve your continuous residence for naturalization purposes by filing an Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes on Form N-470.

Contact our experienced Wisconsin firm

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. Our firm understands what is at stake when it comes to immigration law matters, which is why If you have any questions, you should not hesitate to contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and schedule your initial consultation with our firm today.

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