What to Know About Leaving the Country With a Green Card

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What to Know About Leaving the Country With a Green Card

If you have obtained a Green Card, you now have access to a number of new rights and benefits. This includes the ability to leave the country and return without issue. That being said, there is still a specific process to follow. Read on to learn more about leaving the U.S. with a Green Card.

Leaving the United States

If you wish to leave the United States, there are several important documents you will need. This can include a passport from your country of citizenship, or, if applicable, a refugee travel document that permits you to leave the country. In some cases, you may have to obtain a specific visa for the purpose of leaving the United States.

Returning to the United States

Upon returning to the U.S., you will have to present your Green Card to an officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. After the officer reviews your Green Card, passport, and driver’s license, you should be allowed back into the United States. In some cases, you may encounter some difficulties. If this occurs, you should contact an immigration attorney immediately. Our firm is here to support you.

How Long Can I leave the United States With a Green Card?

If you have obtained a Green Card, there is a good chance that you will be allowed to leave the United States for an extended period of time. In order to do so, you must first apply for a re-entry permit with the Form I-131. Once the form is approved, you can leave the United States and return without a problem. It is important to note that your permit can expire.

If you are someone who is not yet a naturalized citizen in the United States, there is a very good chance that if you leave for more than six months, you will likely disturb the continuous residency needed in order to become a naturalized citizen, which can prevent you from becoming naturalized. To avoid this, you can file an Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes in Form N-470.

If you have any questions concerns regarding the process of leaving the country with a Green Card, contact our firm today. We are here to walk you through all of your immigration law matters.


Katona & Associates, PLLC is an experienced, highly dedicated New York City immigration law firm located in lower Manhattan. Our firm works with clients in all matters of immigration law, including employment immigration, family immigration, deportation defense, green cards, and citizenship. Contact us to discuss your case and get the help you need.

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