Travel as an Immigrant

I have a green card and want to travel back to my home country. Do I need any other documents in addition to my green card?

Non-U.S. citizens may need permission to return to the United States after traveling abroad. You must file USCIS Form I-131, Application for a Travel Document, complete with supporting documentation, photos and applicable fees before leaving the country. You can download this form with specific filing instructions from the USCIS Web site.

What do I need to file for a re-entry permit?

If you are a permanent or conditional resident, you will need to provide a copy of your alien registration receipt card. If you have not received this yet, you can use a copy of the biographic page of your passport and the page indicating initial admission as a permanent resident, or other evidence that you are a permanent resident.

My application for a re-entry permit was denied. What can I do?

If your application is denied, you will be sent a denial letter telling you how to appeal. Generally, you have 33 days from receipt of the denial to file an appeal. You must file Form I-290B with the office that made the original decision.

How long can I travel outside the United States without losing my green card status?

You may be found to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you move to another country intending to live there permanently, remain outside of the United States for more than 1 year without obtaining a re-entry permit or returning resident visa or remain outside of the United States for more than 2 years after issuance of a re-entry permit without obtaining a returning resident visa. In determining whether you have abandoned your permanent resident status, any length of absence from the United States may be considered, even if it is less than 1 year.

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