Important Information for Every Noncitizen Before Departing the US

In most cases, you’ll need two documents when traveling abroad. You’ll need documentation that authorizes you to enter another country. You also need documents to re-enter the U.S. upon your return. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may need a variety of noncitizen travel documents

Noncitizen travel documents are not a guarantee of reentry 

Noncitizens are subject to inspection each time they seek admission to the U.S. Even green card holders should be aware of this reentry process. If an immigration official determines that you are inadmissible, they can deny admission even though you may have been admissible previously.

Travel documents types

There are four types of noncitizen travel documents: advance parole, reentry permits, refugee travel documents, and carrier documentation

Permanent residents

In general, permanent residents with 10-year green cards may use their cards to re-enter the U.S. Temporary travel abroad is less than one year. Permanent residents may use the green card up until the day it expires. Conditional residents can use an expired card only after filing an I-751 receipt notice.


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