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Confused about traveling with permanent resident status

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  • Confused about traveling with permanent resident status

    Hello,

    When I was very young I came to the US, and many, many (many...) years later I became a US permanent resident. I wish to visit my homeland now, but I am confused about the process.

    1. Do I need a passport from the country where I was born? I do not have one.

    2. Do I need a travel document / "white passport" from the US? I don't understand what this document is for.

    Also, a major concern I have is about "applying for reentry" with immigration officials when attempting to reenter the US. I am reading all over that you need to "apply to reenter," can they really deny you entry even though your home is in the US? Isn't showing them the green card enough? What else do you need to prove to "apply" that you are a permanent resident?

    If someone could please explain to me the process of traveling as a permanent resident, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    Jack

  • #2
    Hello,

    When I was very young I came to the US, and many, many (many...) years later I became a US permanent resident. I wish to visit my homeland now, but I am confused about the process.

    1. Do I need a passport from the country where I was born? I do not have one.

    2. Do I need a travel document / "white passport" from the US? I don't understand what this document is for.

    Also, a major concern I have is about "applying for reentry" with immigration officials when attempting to reenter the US. I am reading all over that you need to "apply to reenter," can they really deny you entry even though your home is in the US? Isn't showing them the green card enough? What else do you need to prove to "apply" that you are a permanent resident?

    If someone could please explain to me the process of traveling as a permanent resident, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    Jack

    Comment


    • #3
      jack,
      As a green card holder, you are not a US citizen, but a citizen of the country you came from or where you were born in, since you were not born in America.

      To travel you need a green card AND passport of the country you were born in because the problem is not only leaving the US, but:

      1.Entering your country; the country may not allow you in there unless you have a passport or an 'international travel document';

      2.Returning to the US. The US will not allow you in at all if you dont have a passport showing where your citizenship is and when you left here.

      Usually, the airline will not let you fly from one country to another without a passport because you come across as stateless which means they would be responsible if they landed you in one country and you tried to seek refugee status in that new destination and they would have to explain why they let you on their plane.

      In short, you CANNOT travel from one country to another without a passport. Am not sure whether a re-entry permit can go around around this problem though.

      And when you say 'your home is in the US', you cant say that to re-enter the united states until you become a citizen because you need to carry another country's passport with your green card to RE-ENTER THE US.

      By the way, please explain to us how you got your permanent residence without a passport from your birth country.

      Comment


      • #4
        So, if a legal resident owns a home here, they cannot call it thier home until they are a citizen? Thats a new one! What law is that marasmus?

        Comment


        • #5
          wood,
          that was in the context that jack felt as if he belongs here LEGALLY, not in the context of owning a home duh!!

          Using your reasoning of owning a home, even illegal aliens like Maria have homes here, even though they dont legally belong here!

          Comment


          • #6
            If someone is here legally and considers this thier home, then they can call it home. Just cuz they were not born here or are not yet a citizen, does not mean that American cannot be thier home. Seriously. How can an illegal buy a home? Is that possible?

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes illegals buy homes all the time. They have changed laws so that you dont need even a social secuity number to buy a home in certain states. Its true. I think California is one of them.

              Well about the issue of citizenship, you are taking this too far. This guy has no passport from any country and I was trying to get it across that he is actually a citizen of the country he was born in and not a US citizen, so he will have a problem returning to the US unless he gets a passport of his country because they wont let him back into the US, even if he may have a home here.

              The bigger question should be how he got PR status without his country's passport, I guess.

              That was the context this matter came up.

              Comment


              • #8
                Then I am sorry for taking it out of context. I still cant believe that someone can buy a home without a social. That is ridiculous. Yes, i didnt think that someone could get pr status without a passport. Even if he doesnt have one, he can get one through his consulate.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thats ok.

                  In those states, the IRS was ordered to give people T.I.Ns or tax id numbers which are regularly used in the US as substitute for social security numbers so one can pay taxes.

                  Yes, you can buy a house if you are undocumented and even get a loan. Lenders are FORBIDDEN to ask immigration status of loan applicants directly or indirectly and that is viewed as discrimination if they ask.

                  This whole issue arose because minority pressure groups said that there was discrimination against immigrants when it comes to home ownership, because illegal immigrants were not home owners due to their immigration status.

                  To push your imagination further, states like Florida allow foreigners who are not even residents of the US to buy vacation homes which they can come and stay in when winter is cold in their countries, say rich people from Europe. They are also given T.I.Ns so that they can pay US taxes.

                  So when you enter the US and tell USCIS that you have a home here, you now see why this means nothing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How long ago was it that you left the US? A re-entry permit is one method of indicating that a departure from the USA is of a temporary nature. Also important is that even with a re-entry permit, an alien intent on returning to the USA for permanent residency purposes must preserve residency in the USA during his/her absence. A re-entry permit is used for an absence of one to two years, but an alien should apply for the re-entry permit prior to leaving. Are you interested in residing in the USA, now? If so, you may need to find out if, by leaving without a re-entry permit, USCIS has determined that you have abandoned your US residency.
                    The above is simply an opinion. Your mileage may vary. For immigration issues, please consult an immigration attorney.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      can one get a re-entry permit if they dont have a passport of their country?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        To travel abroad one would need a passport of some description. The OP does not declare which country is the original homeland. Since jack came to the USA when very young, there is a distinct possibility that he/she was travelling on a parent's passport at the time. Hence, the reason he/she does not hold a current passport.

                        Is there a possibility that jack is still in the USA and wishes to visit his/her homeland? If so, if one has a 10-year green card, then one can leave for up to one year with no issue. For a visit of one year or more, a re-entry permit will be required.
                        The above is simply an opinion. Your mileage may vary. For immigration issues, please consult an immigration attorney.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Travelling on parents' passport is usually not wise.

                          Please get passports for your kids even if they are 1 year old. Not doing so can bring problems for your kids later on.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi again,

                            Thanks for all the replies. Yes, I was on my parent's passport when I traveled. I was four years old. I'm in my early 20's now, so I've been here most of my life, I don't know any other place than America to call my "home."

                            The answer to the question how I obtained permanent resident status without a passport is I got from my parent at the same time the family-based petition was granted during the interview. I believe our lawyer filed some extra paperwork that would have allowed me to get it, because I was over 18. I forgot what that was called.

                            It has been almost two years since then.

                            I would like to travel to visit family and relatives who I haven't seen (or met!) since my arrival to the US.

                            From what I understood from your posts is that I need a passport to travel abroad and return to the US. Do you need to be a citizen of the country to get a passport? What happens if you're not?

                            Also, is it risky for a permanent resident to travel abroad then return to the US? Anyone here had bad experiences when returning? Besides showing your I-551 green card, what else are you required to show for them to allow you in?

                            Do you think it is safer for a US permanent resident to wait until becoming a naturalized US citizen and having a US passport to travel?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Right now you are a citizen of the country you were born in so you should contact your country's nearest embassy to see how to obtain a passport. You are not a US citizen.

                              I dont know why your parents waited for so long to get you a passport, it makes no sense.

                              If you run into problems getting a passport, your best bet is to wait until you get citizenship before leaving the US because if you make a mistake and successfully leave the US without a passport whether by road or by air, you will have a very hard time returning to the US.

                              Having been here even for 100 years is not a factor in your case at all; as a permanent resident of the US, all you need to re-enter the US are 2 things: a passport and a green card in your name, period.

                              Do you want to tell us the country you are from? Some people here may have specific info about your country.

                              Comment



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