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I AM A LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENT (LPR) WITH AN EXPIRED GREEN CARD AND I NEED TO TRAVEL

John Usher Jan. 28, 2022

If you have an expired Green Card, you may not need to file Form I-131A (Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation). Although regulations generally require an LPR to travel with a valid Green Card, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policy allows a transportation carrier bound for the United States to let you to board without carrier documentation if you are:

  • An LPR with an expired Green Card that was issued with a 10-year expiration date (and you have been outside of the U.S. for less than a year).

  • An LPR who has an expired Green Card with a two-year expiration date, and you also have Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing that you filed a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, or Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (and you have been outside of the U.S. for less than a year). The Notice of Action extends the validity of the card for a specified length of time, generally one year.

  • An LPR military service member or employee of the U.S. government (or an LPR dependent of such an individual) on official U.S. military or government travel orders, regardless of time outside of the United States.

Check with your airline or transportation carrier before you file Form I-131A because, in some situations, they may still refuse to let you board even if you are in one of the categories above. In that case, you will need to file a Form I-131A.

Children Traveling with You

If you have a child who was born outside the United States and is coming to the U.S. for the first time, you may need to request carrier documentation if:

  • You are an LPR or have an immigrant visa.

  • Your child is under 2 years old; and

  • Your child is traveling with you to come to the United States for the first time.

  • We recommend checking with your airline or transportation carrier first to ensure they will board your child in these circumstances without carrier documentation. If the airline or transportation carrier refuses to board your child without carrier documentation, you will need to pay for and submit a Form I-131A for your child.

“Contact us for confidence when traveling”

This information is provided as a courtesy by Usher Law Firm. This and more information can be found by going to the USCIS website, www.USCIS.gov.