Depending on your immigration status (including lawful permanent resident status) or if you have a pending application for an immigration benefit, you may need to carry different types of travel documents if you wish to return to the United States lawfully after traveling outside the United States. In certain cases, you should apply for these documents before you leave the United States.
If you have an emergency and need to travel outside the United States, read our Emergency Travel page for additional information.
In general, you will need to present a passport from your country of citizenship or your refugee travel document to travel to a foreign country. In addition, the foreign country may have additional entry/exit requirements (such as a visa). For information on foreign entry and exit requirements, see the Department of State’s website.
If seeking to enter the United States after temporary travel abroad, you will need to present a valid, unexpired “Green Card” (Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card). When arriving at a port of entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer will review your permanent resident card and any other identity documents you present, such as a passport, foreign national I.D. card or U.S. Driver’s License, and determine if you can enter the United States. For information pertaining to entry into the United States, see U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s webpage.
Other USCIS Links
Updated: Feb 2020
U.S. Green Card Holders (aka Permanent Residents of the United States of America) can travel to 23 sovereign countries and several dependencies without needing a Travel Visa. This is true regardless of your country of citizenship.
As long as you are a US Green Card holder, there are many countries and dependencies that you can visit just like an American citizen with an American passport.
Green Card Visa Free Travel
Photo: A sample green card from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
The Reality is that your permanent residency status in the USA doesn’t influence your need for Visas, while your actual citizenship does. So your passport issuing country is more critical to your international traveling abilities.
If you stay in the US as a Permanent Resident, popularly known as the Green Card holder, your ability to travel to other countries without a Visa depends on which country issued your passport.
For the majority of countries (not listed below), you will need to check individually whether they require a Visa from the citizens of your passport-issuing country.
Here is a list of countries that will let you in without a Travel Visa, regardless of your citizenship, provided that you are US Permanent Resident (i.e. Green Card Holder).
Photo: Do your research and travel with care / The Art of Travel Partners
Many of you have messaged me or commented asking how you can keep track of future changes in Visa status? Well, here is the easy answer.
Usually, things don’t change for years or decades. When they do change, they are often excellent or awful.
In other words, either your passport issuing country has made new agreements with another country or a country has severed its ties or changed its Visa rules and/or relationships with your passport issuing country.
Note: Always double-check the destination country’s immigration website before booking any flights or trips. As many of our readers have rightly said, things can change, and you don’t want to be caught off-guard.
Answer: If you are wondering if you can travel to Canada or Mexico with a Green Card only, unfortunately, the answer is you will still need your passport if you are traveling by air. If you are driving through, legally you only need your Green Card but it’s a good practice to carry your passport as well.
PS: Please comment below if I am missing any other countries or territories. This list of Visa-free travel is for U.S. Green Card holders regardless of their country of citizenship.
May 2, 2016 8:30 pm
The Green Card is a document that allows holders to live and work permanently in the United States. While most people think of it as a way to move to America, the card can also be used for travel. If you have a Green Card, you can visit any of the countries on this list without having to apply for a visa.
There are many privileges that come with being an American green card holder. For starters, green card holders are able to live and work permanently in the United States. They also have access to government benefits, such as Social Security and Medicare. Additionally, green card holders can apply for U.S. citizenship after five years of residency. Finally, green card holders are able to travel freely in and out of the United States.
There are no restrictions for US green card holders to travel outside USA. However, it is generally advisable for green card holders to limit their time outside of the United States to no more than six months in order to maintain their status.
The Best Countries to Visit If You Have a Green Card
The United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are all great countries to visit if you have a green card. All of these countries offer a variety of activities and attractions that will appeal to everyone, and they are all very welcoming to green card holders.
There are no travel restrictions for holders of green cards, so any country is accessible. However, some countries may require a visa for entry.
A green card gives you permanent residence status in the United States and entitles you to travel to and from the U.S. freely. You can also apply for citizenship after five years.
There are no travel restrictions for green card holders, so they can travel to any country.
There are many visa-free countries that US Green Card holders can visit. Some of the most popular destinations include Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Costa Rica.
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Visiting Canada with Green Card
Canada is a welcoming country with a diverse culture and stunning natural beauty. The United States and Canada have enjoyed close ties since the days of the British North America Act, which was signed in 1867. Today, the two countries are among the closest allies in the world, and many Americans with green cards visit Canada every year.
The process for an American green card holder to visit Canada is that they must have a valid passport, and they must apply for a Temporary Resident Visa at a Canadian consulate or embassy. For example, for a green card holder to visit Canada without a visa, they would need to have a passport and the documents necessary to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa at a Canadian consulate or embassy.
The temporary resident visa allows the visitor to enter Canada, but it does not permit them to work in Canada. Instead, visitors will be able to enjoy the country’s culture, including its rich history, beautiful national parks, and diverse communities.
Traveling to Mexico with a Green Card
Mexico is one of the best countries in the world to visit, especially if you have a green card. Mexico is a popular tourist destination, and travel has been made easier for U.S. citizens thanks to a bilateral agreement allowing them to enter without a visa. However, Mexico does have its own set of visa rules, which travelers should be aware of.
An American green card holder does not need a visa to visit Mexico.
The Mexico Tourist Card is an important document that you will need when traveling to Mexico. You can get the card online, at a Mexican embassy in the US, or at an immigration desk at the Mexico airport after you land. The fee for the card is $25-$35.
How to travel to Bahamas with a Green Card
If you have a Green Card, the Caribbean is one of the best places to visit. The weather is great all year round, and there are also many beautiful places to visit in The Bahamas and the U.S. mainland. You can enjoy outdoor activities and culture in Miami, which is a destination with a lot of art galleries and museums. In Nassau, you can find many luxury hotels and resorts.
In order to travel to the Bahamas with a green card, you will need to bring your green card, passport, and any other required travel documents.
Traveling to Costa Rica with a Green Card
If you have a green card, you’re lucky enough to be able to travel to many countries without needing a visa. Costa Rica is one of the best countries to visit if you have a green card, as it offers a wide variety of activities and attractions. From hiking in the rainforest to lounging on the beach, Costa Rica has something for everyone. In addition, Costa Rica is home to some of the best coffee in the world, so be sure to sample some while you’re there.
If you have a Green Card, you can travel to Costa Rica for up to 90 days without a visa.
Where Can I Travel With a Green Card and Without a Visa?
The United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean are the countries Green Card holders can visit without a visa.
If you have a green card, you are able to travel to and enter the United States without a visa. However, if you want to travel to other countries, you will need to check their individual requirements.
Some countries, such as Canada and Mexico, have agreements with the United States that allow green card holders to enter without a visa. Others, such as the United Kingdom, require a visa even for green card holders. The best way to find out if you need a visa is to check with the embassy or consulate of the country you wish to visit.
Can you travel to UK with a US green card?
Yes, you can travel to the UK with a US green card. If you are a permanent resident of the United States with a Green Card, you will need a passport from your country of citizenship, a Green Card, and a return ticket to the United States. If you have a US green card, you do not need a visa to travel to the UK. Green card holders are not eligible for visa on arrival in the UK.
Moving to the UK from US – Full GuideUS Passport Visa Free Countries: Full List
A US green card not only lets you reside in the US but also provides you with VISA-FREE access to many countries and territories. Currently, there are about 39 VISA-FREE countries for US green card holders.
A US green card is a pathway to a US passport. While you wait for your US passport, your US green card is already making your current passport strong. Not as strong as a US passport but quite strong. You will gain 39 additional VISA-FREE countries.
Table of Contents
US passport (and US citizenship) is considered one of the strongest in the world. A US green card is a pathway to US citizenship. Many countries believe that someone with a US green card will not jeopardize their chances of becoming a US citizen by remaining illegally in another country.
Working towards acquiring a US green card requires remaining several years in the US or investing enormous amounts of cash or building very strong family ties with the US. It’s silly for someone to let go of years of valuable time and millions of dollars of investments just to stay illegally in another country. Therefore, countries trust US green card holders as genuine travelers and treat them almost like someone with a strong passport. So, these countries offer Visa Free or Visa on Arrival to US green card holders.
How many countries can you visit with a US green card?
There are about 39 countries and territories that you can visit with a US green card. The list of VISA-FREE countries for US green card holders is only growing. Expect to see this list grow in the coming years.
Let’s look at what these countries are and their requirements below.
What countries can a US green card holder travel without a visa?
Let’s look at each of these countries in detail.
NOTECurrently, due to COVID restrictions, Qatar ETA is suspended. The above VISA-FREE rules only apply when Qatar reinstates its ETA entry.
United Arab Emirates
NOTECurrently, due to COVID restrictions, South Korea has suspended its VISA-FREE entry with US green card. The above VISA-FREE rules only apply when South Korea reinstates its VISA-FREE entry with US green card.
There are about 39 VISA-FREE countries for US green card holders. This list is only growing. US green card holders had to invest enormous amounts of money and time to acquire a US green card, which eventually leads to US citizenship. Therefore, countries believe that US green card holders will not jeopardize their chances of becoming US citizens by remaining illegally in another country. They consider US green holders as genuine travelers and provide them with VISA-FREE access.
There you go, guys! 39 VISA-FREE countries for US green card holders. If you know any country that I haven’t listed, let me know. If you have visited a country with your US green card, let me know your experience in the comments below.
PLAN YOUR TRAVEL WITH VISA TRAVELER
I highly recommend using these websites to plan your trip. I use these websites myself to apply for my visas, book my flights and hotels and purchase my insurance.
01. Apply for your visaYou can get a verifiable flight itinerary for your visa application from DummyTicket. Flight itineraries from DummyTicket are valid for 2 weeks and works for all visa applications.
02. Book your fightYou can find the cheapest flight tickets using Skyscanner. Skyscanner includes all budget airlines and you are guaranteed to find the cheapest flight to your destination.
03. Book your hotelYou can book your hotel from Booking.com. Booking.com has pretty much every hotel, hostel and guesthouse from every destination.
04. Get your onward ticket If traveling on one-way ticket, you can get your proof of onward flight from Expedia. Expedia offers free cancellation on tickets booked within 24 hours. Or use OnwardTicket to get a proof of onward ticket in just 2 minutes.
05. Purchase your insuranceYou can purchase travel medical insurance for your trip from HeyMondo (for short trips + 5% discount for visa traveler readers), SafetyWing (for longer trips) or VisitorsCoverage (for US trips).
LEGAL DISCLAIMERWe are not affiliated with immigration, embassies or governments of any country. The content in this article is for educational and general informational purposes only, and shall not be understood or construed as, visa, immigration or legal advice. Your use of information provided in this article is solely at your own risk and you expressly agree not to rely upon any information contained in this article as a substitute for professional visa or immigration advice. Under no circumstance shall be held liable or responsible for any errors or omissions in this article or for any damage you may suffer in respect to any actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the information in this article. Please refer to our full disclaimer for further information.
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please refer to our full disclosure for further information.
Advance parole allows you to travel back to the United States without applying for a visa. A transportation company (airlines) can accept an advance parole document instead of a visa as proof that you are authorized to travel to the United States. An advance parole document does not replace your passport.
Please note that having an advance parole document does not guarantee that you will be allowed to reenter the United States. At the airport or border, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will make the final decision about whether to allow you to reenter the United States.
Advance parole is most commonly used when someone has a pending:
For information on how to apply for advance parole, go to our Form I-131, Application for Travel Document page.
Permanent or conditional residents should apply for a re-entry permit if they will be outside the United States for one year or more. While it is valid, a re-entry permit allows you to apply for admission to the U.S. without having to obtain a returning resident visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Go to our Form I-131, Application for Travel Document page for information on how to apply.
Travel authorization for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries allows you to travel back to the United States and, if you are eligible, be inspected and admitted into TPS. A transportation company (such as an airline) can accept a TPS travel authorization document instead of a visa as proof that you are authorized to travel to the United States. A TPS travel authorization document does not replace your passport.
Please note that having a TPS travel authorization document does not guarantee that you will be allowed to reenter the United States. At the airport or border, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will make the final decision about whether to allow you to reenter the United States.
If we are still adjudicating your application for TPS and you wish to travel outside the United States, you may request advance parole.
For information on how to apply for TPS travel authorization, go to our Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, page.
Refugee Travel Document
USCIS issues refugee travel documents to people with refugee or asylum status and to lawful permanent residents who obtained their Green Cards based on their refugee or asylee status.
You must have a refugee travel document to return to the United States if you:
If you do not obtain a refugee travel document before you leave the U.S., you may be unable to re-enter the United States or you may be placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge.
For information on how to apply for a refugee travel document, go to our Form I-131, Application for Travel Document page.