If you were granted your Green Card, you most likely breathed a sigh of relief, knowing you are safe for years to come. However, very often, those with Green Cards wish to visit their friends and family back home. Traveling abroad is a lovely experience that every U.S. citizen is entitled to, however, as an immigrant, you are required to take a few extra steps first to ensure your status as a U.S. citizen does not change. If you are an immigrant who wishes to travel abroad, here are some of the questions that you may have going forward:

What documents will I need?

When you seek to leave the country, you will have to present a passport from your country of citizenship or a refugee travel document to travel to a foreign country. You may also need a visa to travel outside of the United States.

How can I re-enter the United States with a Green Card?

To re-enter the United States, you must present your Green Card to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer, who will review both your permanent resident card and any other documents you present, such as a foreign national I.D., a passport, or a U.S. Driver’s License to determine whether you can re-enter the United States.

Can I leave the United States for more than 1 year with a Green Card?

While in short, yes, you can, you should first apply for a re-entry permit on Form I-131. Here, you will apply for readmission to 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. This form will help establish your intention to permanently reside in the United States, however, you must still be deemed admissible before re-entering. You should also note that any absences from the United States of six months or more may disturb the continuous residency required for naturalization. To preserve your continuous residence for naturalization purposes, you may file an Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes on Form N-470.

Contact our experienced New York City firm

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. Immigration is a sensitive issue, which is why you should consider a compassionate, experienced, and aggressive immigration attorney who will help guide you every step of the way. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss your circumstances and options.