Traveling Abroad With Pending I-90

can i90 in process travel abroad

The I-90 Form is an application to replace or renew a U.S. permanent resident card, commonly known as a green card. While it is possible to travel abroad while an I-90 application is being processed, it is not recommended, as it could result in significant complications.

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Can I travel abroad with an I-90 in process? Yes, but it is risky if your Green Card has already expired.
What documents do I need to travel with an I-90 in process? A valid passport, a temporary travel document called Advanced Parole, and a copy of your I-485 receipt number.
What is the risk of travelling with an I-90 in process? You may face difficulties in re-entering the U.S. and there may be implications for your U.S. immigration status.
How long can I stay outside the U.S. with an I-90 in process? Your visit abroad should not be longer than 6 months.
What to do if I have to stay outside the U.S. for more than a year with an I-90 in process? You will have to apply for a Re-entry Permit.

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What to do if your green card is lost or stolen while abroad

If your green card is lost or stolen while abroad, you may be able to obtain a "Boarding Foil" to re-enter the United States. A "Boarding Foil" is a single-entry travel document that is valid for 30 days. To be eligible for a "Boarding Foil", you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States.
  • You must have been outside the United States for less than 365 consecutive days.
  • You must provide evidence of your LPR status, such as a valid passport with an admission stamp, notices received from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), or stamps in your passport.
  • You must apply for the "Boarding Foil" at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the country where you are located.
  • You must schedule an appointment and attend an interview with a consular officer. During the interview, you will need to provide:
  • Your valid passport.
  • Completed Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document.
  • Proof of fee payment for Form I-131A (currently $575).
  • Photocopy of your LPR card or other proof of LPR status.
  • Evidence that you were in the United States within the last 12 months.
  • A police report documenting that your green card was lost or stolen.
  • A passport-style color photograph taken within the last 30 days (eyeglasses are not permitted in the photo).

It is important to note that the processing time for a "Boarding Foil" may vary, and you will need to make at least two visits to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy: one for the interview and one to pick up your passport with the "Boarding Foil" if your application is approved. Additionally, you should avoid purchasing non-changeable tickets for your return trip to the U.S. until you have received your "Boarding Foil."

If you have left your green card in the United States, you may also ask a friend or relative to send it to you. However, if your green card is expired or will expire soon, you should consider initiating the renewal process by filing Form I-90 before travelling internationally.

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How to obtain temporary proof of permanent residence

If you are a permanent resident of the United States and are waiting for your Form I-90 application to be processed, you can obtain temporary proof of permanent residence. Here are the steps to obtain this temporary proof:

Present Your Receipt Letter and Expired Green Card:

If you filed Form I-90 when your green card was less than a year from expiring, you can use the receipt letter (Form I-797 Notice of Action) along with your expired card for travel. This combination provides temporary evidence of permanent resident status and is valid for 12 months from the expiration date on your green card.

Schedule a USCIS Appointment:

If your green card has already expired, is lost, or if you have urgent travel plans, schedule an appointment with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can do this by calling the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283. During the appointment, be honest about your situation and provide any relevant documentation, such as plane tickets or medical certificates.

Obtain an I-551 Stamp:

The I-551 stamp serves as temporary proof of lawful residence within the United States. To obtain this stamp, schedule an appointment through the USCIS website or by calling your local office. You will also need to complete biometrics at a local Application Support Center (ASC), which includes providing a recent photograph, fingerprinting, and background checks. After filing the I-90 form, you will receive the details for your biometric appointment, typically scheduled 1-8 weeks in advance. Make sure to bring all the required documents to your USCIS appointment, including proof of residence in the same jurisdiction as the USCIS office.

Apply for Advance Parole:

If you need to travel while your green card renewal is still processing, you can apply for Advance Parole by filing Form I-131 with USCIS. This allows you to travel internationally without terminating your green card renewal application. Include your photo ID, two passport photos, a copy of your receipt letter, and proof of payment for the green card renewal. Once approved, you can travel internationally and re-enter the US before the expiration date on your travel document.

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What to do if your green card expires while abroad

If your green card expires while you are abroad, you may face difficulties re-entering the US. It is recommended that you do not travel abroad with an expired green card. However, if your green card expires while you are outside the US, there are some steps you can take to address the situation. Here is what you need to know and do:

Understanding the Risks and Requirements:

  • Your green card serves as proof of your right to live and work in the United States. To re-enter the country, you must have valid proof of permanent residence, which means having an unexpired green card.
  • Travelling with an expired green card can lead to delays in your travel plans, steep fines, and potential delays in your immigration process.
  • It is important to remember that US immigration law assumes that a person admitted as an immigrant intends to live in the country permanently. Remaining outside the US for more than a year may result in a loss of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status.
  • If a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer believes you do not intend to continue living in the US permanently, they have the authority to revoke your status as a permanent resident. Factors considered by the CBP officer include the length of your trip, your connections to the US (such as a job, friends, and family), and whether you have filed income taxes as a US resident.

Temporary Proof of Permanent Residence:

  • If your green card renewal is delayed and you need to travel, you may be able to obtain temporary proof of permanent residence.
  • If you have already filed Form I-90 for renewal and your green card is less than a year from expiring, you can use the receipt letter (Form I-797 Notice of Action) along with your expired card for travel. This combination provides temporary evidence of permanent resident status for 12 months from the expiration date on your green card.
  • Alternatively, you can schedule an appointment with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to obtain an I-551 stamp in your passport. This stamp serves as temporary evidence of your lawful permanent resident status and is valid for one year.

Applying for a Re-entry Permit:

  • If your trip abroad will be longer than a year, consider submitting Form I-131 ("Application for Travel Document") to apply for a re-entry permit. This permit allows you to be admitted into the US without needing to obtain a returning resident visa from the US Embassy.
  • The re-entry permit is typically valid for two years. However, if you are a conditional resident, the validity period may be different.
  • Keep in mind that the re-entry permit does not guarantee successful admittance into the US. It serves as evidence of your intent to live permanently in the country.

Important Considerations:

  • Always carry your green card with you during your trip.
  • Remember that different countries have varying requirements for entry, so be sure to contact the embassy of the country you plan to visit.
  • When returning to the US, you will need your green card (Form I-551) and your passport. You may also present other identifying documents, such as a US driver's license or a foreign national ID.
  • If your green card is lost, stolen, or damaged while abroad, you can apply for a Boarding Foil, which permits the airline to transport you back to the US.

In summary, while it is not advisable to travel with an expired green card, there are options available if your green card expires while you are abroad. These include obtaining temporary proof of permanent residence, scheduling a USCIS appointment for an I-551 stamp, and applying for a re-entry permit for longer stays. Remember to carry the necessary documentation and be prepared for potential questions about your intentions to return to the US.

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What documents are required to travel without a green card

If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you will need a valid, unexpired Green Card to re-enter the country after international travel. If your Green Card is expired, you may face delays, fines, or even risk delays in your immigration process. Therefore, it is best to avoid travelling abroad with an expired Green Card.

If your Green Card is about to expire or is lost, stolen, or destroyed, you can file Form I-90, an application to renew or replace your Green Card. However, the processing time for an I-90 application is typically 8-10 months, so you will likely have to postpone international travel until you receive your new Green Card.

If you need to travel while your I-90 application is pending, there are a few options:

  • Schedule a USCIS appointment: You can schedule an appointment with the USCIS to obtain an I-551 stamp in your passport, which serves as temporary evidence of your lawful permanent resident status. You will need to bring your Form I-90 Receipt Notice, proof of residence, a copy of your expired or lost Green Card, and your receipt notice showing you attended your Biometrics appointment.
  • Present your receipt letter: If you filed Form I-90 when your Green Card was less than one year from expiring, you can use your receipt letter along with your expired card for travel. The receipt letter provides temporary evidence of permanent resident status for 12 months from the expiration date on your Green Card.
  • Apply for Advance Parole: If you need to leave the US while your Green Card renewal is still processing, you can file Form I-131 for Advance Parole, which allows you to travel abroad without terminating your Green Card renewal application.

In addition to the above documents, when re-entering the US, you may also need to present other identity documents such as a passport, foreign national ID card, or US driver's license to a US Customs and Border Protection Officer, who will determine if you can enter the country.

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How to schedule an Infopass appointment

To schedule an Infopass appointment, you must first call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283. You will then be able to discuss your case with an officer and potentially schedule an in-person meeting at a USCIS field office. InfoPass appointments are typically available two weeks after the scheduling date.

Once you have scheduled your appointment, you will receive a confirmation number and pin via text or email. You will need this information to view your appointment online. If you need to change or cancel your appointment, you can do so online using your appointment security details. You can also print your appointment letter from the bottom of the page.

In addition to your appointment confirmation, you should bring the following documents to your appointment at a USCIS field office:

  • Form I-90 Receipt Notice
  • Proof of residence within the jurisdiction of the field office
  • Copy of expired or lost green card
  • Receipt notice showing attendance at your Biometrics appointment

It is important to note that USCIS appointments are free. If someone is selling an appointment, be sure to contact the USCIS Contact Center at (800) 375-5283.

Frequently asked questions

It is not advisable to travel with an expired green card. If your green card is lost, stolen, or expired, you can apply for a temporary I-551 stamp in your passport, which is valid for 12 months from the expiration date on your green card. Alternatively, you can apply for a travel document, also known as advanced parole, by filling out Form I-131.

You will need a valid passport, a temporary I-551 stamp, and/or a travel document (advanced parole).

It is recommended that you renew your green card before travelling internationally if it is close to its expiration date. If you are unable to renew it in time, you may be able to board your carrier with an expired green card, but you will likely face complications when re-entering the US.

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