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Can You Travel Internationally with a Green Card?

If you hold a Green Card that allows you to live and work legally in the United States or you’re in the process of applying for one, it’s important to understand what it means for your ability to travel internationally.

For all the information you need about the Green Card, the application process, and advice that takes into account your individual needs, contact our legal advisers here at IAS USA today. Call us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us via our website.

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    Can You Travel Internationally with a Green Card Without a Visa?

    Citizens of the United States can partake in international travel to over 140 countries around the world without needing to first acquire a visa.

    This might lead you to believe that the same applies to citizens of other countries that have obtained a Green Card giving them the right to live and work in the US.

    Unfortunately, it’s not quite as straightforward as that. There are some countries that extend their visa-free travel policies for US citizens to holders of Green Cards as well. But that’s not the case for all countries around the world.

    There’s a limited number of countries that allow Green Card holders to visit without a visa, regardless of their country of origin and citizenship.

    But for most countries, your ability to enter, and whether or not you need a visa to do so, will depend on the country you come from or the country where you hold citizenship.

    That means most countries will decide on your visa-free travel rights independent of your Green Card status. If you require a visa and don’t present one at the border, you’ll likely be denied entry.

    There are, however, some countries that will grant you visa-free entry as a result of your Green Card.

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    Which Countries Allow Green Card Holders to Visit Without an Additional Visa?

    Overview

    As mentioned, not every country offering visa-free travel to US citizens extends the same rights to Green Card holders. However, many countries do, and we’re going to take a closer look at those countries now.

    We’ll outline the specific travel requirements for Green Card holders who want to travel to each of these countries below. But the general rule to understand is that these countries allow visa-free travel to Green Card holders with a few rules and limitations that we’ll mention.

    Canada

    Green Card holders do not need to apply for a Canadian tourist visa, making it easy for you to simply cross the border and visit Canada. You’ll still need an Electronic Travel Authorization, but this is easy to apply for online; you’ll just need to show it at immigration as you cross the border along with your Green Card.

    Mexico

    Traveling to Mexico works in a similar way as traveling to Canada. All Green Card holders can travel to the country without a visa, but you’ll need to buy a Mexico Tourist Card before you travel. These tourist cards are far easier to obtain than visas.

    Costa Rica

    To visit Costa Rica, you simply need to show your passport, your Green Card, and an onward ticket to leave the country at a later date. That onward ticket to exit the country has to be valid for a flight that leaves within 30 days of your arrival in Costa Rica.

    Georgia

    You can visit Georgia in Eastern Europe if you hold a Green Card, and you just need to show it along with your passport and an onward flight ticket to enter. You can stay in the country for as long as 90 days within any rolling 180-day period according to the local immigration laws.

    The British Virgin Islands

    The British Virgin Islands are found in the Caribbean and are a very popular tourist destination for many people based in America.

    You can enter with a Green Card and passport, and you just need to show an onward ticket and proof of accommodation on one of the nation’s islands for the duration of your stay. Your visit can last up to 30 days.

    Aruba and Curaçao

    The Dutch Caribbean is another potential destination for Green Card holders. Aruba and Curaçao are two of the most popular islands here, but others include St Maarten, Bonaire, and St Eustatius.

    Singapore

    For your Green Card to allow you to travel through Singapore, you must also have either a Chinese or Indian passport. Even then, you can only travel through Singapore for up to four days.

    Peru

    The same rules apply to Peru. If you have a Green Card alongside an Indian or Chinese passport, you can visit Peru without a visa. When you enter, you’ll be given a tourist card telling you the maximum amount of time you can stay in the country, which will be 90 days in most cases.

    Albania

    There are a few countries in the Balkan region of Europe that grant visa-free travel rights to people who hold a Green Card. Albania is one of them; under their immigration laws, you can stay in the country for 90 days in any 180-day period.

    Montenegro

    Anyone with a Green Card can also stay in Montenegro for as long as 30 days at a time. You don’t need any other visa to do so. It’s a country with a lot of natural beauty to offer and plenty of history you can explore while you’re there too.

    North Macedonia

    The rules for entering North Macedonia as a Green Card holder are similar to those of Montenegro. The only real difference is that you can only stay in the country for 15 days at a time after entry rather than 30 days.

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      Traveling to the UK & EU Countries as a Green Card Holder

      A Green Card alone is not enough to grant you visa-free travel to either the UK or the European Union. Instead, your citizenship will dictate whether you can travel there without a visa or not, and your Green Card will play no part in that.

      Of course, the European Union is not the same as Europe in its entirety. As we’ve discussed, European countries such as Albania, Georgia, North Macedonia, and Albania can be visited visa-free if you’re a lawful permanent resident of the US.

      Passport Requirements When Traveling as a Green Card Holder

      If you’re traveling to one of the countries mentioned above that allows visa-free travel to holders of Green Cards, you’ll still need to present your passport when traveling in and out of those countries. Your Green Card and your passport from your country of citizenship will be enough to travel.

      Of course, if you’re traveling to a country that doesn’t allow visa-free travel for Green Card holders, you’ll need to secure the necessary visa alongside your passport.

      Either way, you’ll always need to present a passport to cross national borders; your Green Card is not intended to be used in place of a passport or refugee travel document.

      Reentry to the United States After Traveling Internationally

      Temporary or brief travel won’t impact your permanent residence status in the US. That only happens if it’s determined that you don’t intend to make the US your primary home.

      If you travel abroad and stay there for as long as a year, it can make reentry into the US harder. Before you do so, you’ll need to apply for a reentry permit.

      If you know ahead of time that you’ll be out of the country for up to a year, you can apply for a reentry permit before you leave. That permit will remain valid for one year.

      In the event of being out of the country for more than two years, permanent residents should apply for a returning resident visa to ensure they’re able to legally re-enter the United States. That way, you won’t be denied reentry at the border.

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        How Can IAS USA Help?

        If you have a Green Card or you’re in the process of applying for one, we can answer the questions you might have and help you with those application processes here at IAS USA.

        We understand that these processes can sometimes be confusing and complex, and help often doesn’t seem easy to come by. But our legal professionals have the expertise and experience needed to help you achieve the outcomes you’re looking for.

        As difficult as things may sometimes seem, you don’t have to go it alone. IAS USA can assist you throughout these processes and ensure you approach things in the right way.

        For more information about the services we offer, and how we can help you with any issues relating to your Green Card or Green Card application, reach out to us at  +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.

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