New Travel Document for Green Card Holders Traveling Outside the US

Posted on October 24, 2019
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CBP officer checking for travel doc for Passengers

Starting today, October 24, 2019 US Green Card holders returning to the US after having lived outside the country for a temporary period will be required to carry a new security-enhanced U.S. travel document to be granted entry into the country. While USCIS begins issue of this new travel document today, if you already have a valid travel document for international travel currently, you may continue using it until it’s expiration.

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Resembling a US passport, the new travel document is expected to be a lot more secure and will prevent tampering, counterfeiting, and fraud. This will be achieved by having the following security features –

  • Overt image: That can be seen by the naked eye.
  • Covert feature: Will require a like a tool like a magnifying glass to identify the fine detail.
  • Forensic: Require laboratory examination for further security.

 
Up until now, US permanent residents who have been issued a green card needed to always carry their green card and depending upon which country you are traveling to also carry a visa in a valid passport. Different scenarios require the following documents when travelling internationally on a green card –

Re-entering after 180-days outside the US

  • Documents supporting employment, business, home, or property in the US;
  • Previous filed Tax Documents
  • Supporting documents showing an existing mailing address, active bank account, and valid US driver’s license.

Re-entering after 365-days outside the US

  • You must apply and carry an approved reentry permit with Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, before leaving the United States.
  • Evidence that you intend to live in the United States permanently
  • Additionally, carry an approved Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes if you are traveling due to a job requirement with the US Government, private sector, or religious organization

Re-entering after two years outside the US

  • Carry an approved Returning Resident Visa (SB-1) available from your nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
  • Evidence that you intend to live in the United States permanently
  • This also has to accompany a biometric and medical exam to be granted entry in to the US.
  • Stay tuned to this space as USCIS rolls out further details of how to apply for the new travel document.

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