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Traveling Outside of the United States With a Green Card

Though obtaining a Green Card is a huge step towards true freedom as a United States citizen, Green Card holders are responsible for knowing and following the rules that come along with owning one. For example, when a Green Card holder is seeking to leave the United States for any reason, they must follow a different procedure than citizens born in the U.S. To learn more about what you need to do before traveling abroad with a Green Card, please read on and speak with our experienced immigration firm.

What documents do I need to travel outside of the U.S. with a Green Card?

The two primary documents you will need to travel abroad with a Green Card are a passport from your country of citizenship, or a refugee travel document that authorizes your ability to travel to a foreign country. You may also need a separate visa to travel outside of the United States.

How do I re-enter the U.S. with a Green Card?

You will have to present your Green Card to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer, who will review and analyze your permanent resident card, as well as all other documents you provide. You may submit a passport, a U.S. Driver’s License, or a foreign national I.D., and from here, they will determine whether you can re-enter the U.S.

What happens if I leave the U.S. for more than one year?

As long as you take the proper precautionary steps, you may safely and legally leave the United States for more than one year at a time. First, you must apply for a re-entry permit on Form I-131, which, if approved, allows readmission into the United States for the duration of the permit’s validity without having to acquire a returning resident visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

However, if you are absent from the United States for six months or more, it may disrupt the need for continuous residency needed to become a naturalized citizen. In this scenario, you may file an Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes on Form N-470.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

We understand how much is on the line when clients face matters related to immigration. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for matters regarding immigration, please contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC and we would be happy to provide you with assistance. Our firm is located in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.