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Can I travel out of the country if I have a green card?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2022 | Immigration

If you are a green card holder in the United States, there are many things you can do. You can work, purchase a home and even join the military. However, you may have questions or concerns about traveling abroad as a green card holder. 

There are many valid reasons why you may want to travel out of the country. You may have family and friends back in your home country you wish to see, you may have business that requires you to travel to another country or you may simply want to enjoy a vacation. 

Yes, with permission

The good news is that, yes, you can still leave the country as a green card holder. However, there are certain steps you must complete. You must apply for one of the following:  

  • Re-entry permit 
  • Refugee travel document 
  • Advance parole travel document

Filing a re-entry permit must be done before you leave the United States. The general application process involves completing and signing your petition for your permit or document and paying a filing fee.

Most applications also require you to submit certain documentation. It may help to work with an experienced immigration attorney during the application process to make sure you submit all required documents correctly and follow all directions.

Next steps after filing your petition

Once your petition is filed, you should first receive a notice confirming your application was received. Your application will either be approved or denied. You may be asked to come for an interview or comply with biometric services requirements, such as providing a photograph or fingerprints.

Brief travel outside of the United States is typically allowed. The only problem you may encounter is a determination to find that you did not intend to make the United States your permanent home. If you do plan on being outside of the country, make sure that it is for less than a year. Otherwise, you will lose your permanent resident status.  

Like many parts of the immigration process, obtaining permission to travel can be complex. Immigration attorneys can be a great guide.