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GREEN CARD | UNITED STATES

Travelling outside the United States with a Green Card

The power of the U.S. passport allows American citizens to travel to over 140 countries worldwide without needing a visa. Some of these countries have extended this right to visa-free travel to US Green Card holders.

Where can I travel abroad with a Green Card?

A regional agreement is in force with some of the USA’s neighboring countries for crossing their borders as a Green Card holder. American residents can cross the borders of the following countries:

Other countries much further afield also allow US Green Card holders to travel visa-free, such as Georgia, Singapore and the Balkan countries of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.

Whether you obtained your Green Card by marriage, or won a Green Card in a lottery, you enjoy the same rights as all American Green Card holders.

How do I travel to Canada with a Green Card?

If you have an American Green Card, you can cross the border into Canada without first obtaining a Canadian tourist visa. This rule applies to all Green Card holders, whatever their nationality.

On the other hand, if you’re traveling by air or transiting Canada, you’ll need to obtain a Canadian ETA before boarding. Finally, if you’re crossing the border by land, all you need is your passport and Green Card.

Can I travel abroad with a Green Card without a passport?

A passport is generally required for travel abroad. Holding a Green Card alone is not enough to cross international borders. Whether by air or land, customs and immigration authorities require the presentation of a valid passport. Only a passport can prove a traveler’s identity and nationality.

However, there are limited exceptions to this rule. In certain specific cases, countries have concluded a regional agreement to cross their borders without presenting a passport. The most important example concerns nationals of Schengen countries. They can move freely between member states without presenting a passport.

Can I travel with a copy of my Green Card?

The Green Card is an official document proving permanent resident status in the United States. It is not advisable to travel abroad with only a copy of your Green Card. For international travel, border authorities require to see original documents to verify the traveler’s identity and status.

If you’re traveling outside the U.S., you’ll need your original Green Card to re-enter the country. A copy of your Green Card is not sufficient to prove your permanent resident status.

If your Green Card is lost or stolen while you are abroad, you must contact the American embassy or consulate immediately. The embassy will provide you with a replacement document allowing you to embark and return to the United States.