Need a reentry permit?

Can I Travel with a Green Card and No Passport?

Can I Travel with a Green Card and No Passport?

As a US permanent resident, you may be wondering whether you can travel outside of the US with your green card and no passport. The short answer is: maybe.


In this guide, I will discuss how to travel using your green card and no passport by using a reentry permit instead of a passport. I will also discuss the benefits of having a reentry permit.


If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly at




1. What Documents do I Need to Travel Outside of the US?

2. How Can I Travel with a Green Card and No Passport?

3. What are the Requirements to Get a Reentry Permit?

4. How Long can I Leave the US as a Permanent Resident?

5. How Can a Reentry Permit Help Me?

6. What are the Limitations of a Reentry Permit?

7. What are Some Ways to Protect My Status as a Permanent Resident?

8. Conclusion



1. What Documents do I Need to Travel Outside of the US?


  • As a US permanent resident (green card holder) you are allowed to travel outside of the US.


  • To travel outside of the US you will need 3 documents: 1) your permanent resident card; 2) your passport; and 3) any visas that are required by the foreign country you are travelling to.


  • The laws of the United States do not require a lawful permanent resident to have a passport to enter the United States. However, you will likely need a passport to enter another country.


  • Also, the airline that you’re travelling with may require you to have a passport.


  • If you don’t have a passport, I’ll explain how you may still be able to travel below.


2. How Can I Travel with a Green Card and No Passport?


Even if you do not have a valid passport, you may still be able to travel using your green card and a reentry permit. Here’s how:


  • Many US permanent residents do not have a valid passport from their country of citizenship. In many cases, they are either unable to get a passport or it would be extremely difficult to get a passport.


  • In these situations, a lawful permanent resident can apply for a reentry permit.


  • A reentry permit is a travel document. It is a small booklet which has an identification page and also has many blank pages for stamps and visas.


  • When a permanent resident cannot get a passport from their country of citizenship, a reentry permit can substitute for the passport.


  • Many countries allow a reentry permit to be used in-place of a passport.


  • The reentry permit can be stamped like a passport and can have visas attached to it like a passport would.


  • However, you have to make sure that the country you intend to visit will accept a reentry permit in-place of a passport. This is ultimately up to the country you intend to visit.


  • The reason why my answer in the introduction is “maybe” is because whether you can travel without a passport will depend on whether the country you are travelling to will allow you to use a reentry permit instead of a passport.


3. What are the Requirements to Get a Reentry Permit?


To get a reentry permit, there are 5 main requirements:


  • You must be a US permanent resident


  • You must submit a Form I-131 with USCIS with some supporting documentation


  • You must be physically present in the US when your reentry permit application is filed and accepted by USCIS


  • You must attend a biometrics (digital fingerprinting) appointment in the US


  • You must intend to depart the United States temporarily. This means that at the time you leave the US until the time you return, you must maintain the intent to return to the US as your home.


4. How Long can I Leave the US as a Permanent Resident?


  • As a US permanent resident, you can leave the US for up to 1 year and use your permanent resident card (Form I-551) to reenter the US.


  • However, once you’re out of the US for more than 6 months, you are eligible for additional immigrant inspection procedures. Immigration officials may question you to determine whether you have abandoned your green card based on your absence. Below, I’ll explain how a reentry permit can help in this situation.


  • If you’re outside of the US for longer than 1 year, your green card (Form I-551) can no longer be used to reenter the US. You will either need a valid reentry permit to reenter the US or you will need to apply for a returning resident visa (SB1 visa).


5. How Can a Reentry Permit Help Me?


A reentry permit has 3 main benefits:


  • Travel Document: If you cannot get a passport, you may be able to use your reentry permit instead of a passport (if the countries you plan to visit will accept the reentry permit as a valid form of travel document).


  • Protect Status: As I mentioned above, if you leave the US for over 6 months, you are eligible for additional inspection upon your return to the US. Immigration officials are checking if you’ve abandoned your permanent resident status. A reentry permit creates a legal presumption that you did not intend to abandon your green card.


  • US Entry Document: If you leave the US for longer than 1 year, your green card (Form I-551) is no longer valid to reenter the US. A reentry permit is valid for up to 2 years from the day it is issued and can be used to reenter the US as long as it is still valid.


6. What are the Limitations of a Reentry Permit?


  • If you are using a reentry permit instead of a passport, you can only do so if the country you plan to visit accepts a reentry permit as a valid substitute to a passport.


  • A reentry permit does not guarantee that you will be admitted to the US. A reentry permit creates a legal presumption that you did intend to maintain your permanent resident status. However, USCIS can still overcome this legal presumption if there is enough evidence.


7. What are Some Ways to Protect My Status as a Permanent Resident?


  • If you are leaving the US for longer than 6 months, get a reentry permit;


  • Maintain strong ties to the US;


  • Filing taxes as a US resident;


  • Maintaining a US address;


  • Maintaining a valid driver’s license;


  • Owning property in the US;


  • Owning a US-based business;


  • Having a US bank account;


  • To the extent possible, maintain records and documents showing that your travel outside of the US was temporary.



8. Conclusion


As a US permanent resident, you are allowed to freely travel outside of the US. To travel, you usually need your permanent resident card, a valid passport, and whatever visas are required by the country you intend to visit.


While the US does not require permanent residents to have a valid passport to re-enter the US, foreign countries and airlines require you to have a passport.


If you do not have a valid passport and you cannot get one, you may be able to use a reentry permit instead of a passport.


As a US immigration lawyer, I can prepare and file your reentry permit application for you. If you have any questions, or if you’d like my help, please email me directly at I’d be happy to help you.








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Need A Reentry Permit?

Nick Wallingford
19:54 11 Jun 19
I was researching about how to complete an I131 travel document for my wife online and hands down the best explanation on how to do so was written by Michael Ashoori. I felt my case wasn’t clear-cut and I didn’t want to take any chances doing it myself so I reached out to Michael and to my surprise he wrote me back that same day. I also thought his price was reasonable, especially in comparison to other lawyers in my area. He has always answered my emails quickly and most importantly my wife’s travel document was approved just as he said it would be in the timeframe he presented to us in he beginning. If you’re someone who is looking for a professional, timely, and easily accessible immigration lawyer to help you or your spouse with immigration matters, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Michael Ashoori as your more
Sunil Timothy
13:52 11 Jun 19
Michael's advice has been truly helpful during my effort to procure an L1A visa for myself. He patiently answers the queries and gives excellent working advice for a successful result. Thanks a lot!read more
Suresh Ravi
09:36 21 May 19
I had to apply for a travel document, and in perusing the web for information, I came across Michael's Blog post, which was very detailed in explaining the intricacies of the travel document process and how best to approach each situation. I contacted Michael and he was very forthcoming with information regarding the process and was able to answer all my questions. I applied for my travel document, I-131, through Michael and am thoroughly satisfied with his professionalism, availability and knowledge of the entire process including the timing for each step of the process that paved the way for my I-131 to be approved.I would highly recommend Michael Ashoori for your immigration more
Swati Jain
20:26 16 May 19
We spoke to Michael regarding some advice on the naturalization process. He was a pleasure to interact with, patient with our questions, and very thorough with his advice. He is extremely responsive and flexible in accommodating his clients. I would recommend him to anyone who needs advice regarding immigration more
Admin Admin
23:33 15 May 19
Michael was quick, extremely easy to work with, professional, and always reachable. The entire process was straightforward. Thank you for making it so easy for me, Michael!read more
Miguel Lozano
14:45 02 May 19
If you want a world-class, take-you-by-the-hand service (and results), search no more…And let me explain real quick the 3 reasons why I say this about Ashoori Law:1. Clarity. At first, I wasn’t even sure if the service was the right fit for me. Heck, I didn’t even have the slightest idea of how the whole Visa process worked… NOT a problem.Michael had me on a call where he took his time to explain in detail everything I needed to know about how the process worked, my eligibility for the Visa, and every other question I had that I threw at him.BIG Bonus for me: there were some questions Michael didn’t have the answer to right there and then and he simply took some time to research and got back to me later on with the answers… instead of just coming up with BS (like some do).2. Communication. NEVER did I have a single call or email I didn’t receive a response to in less than 24 hours.You don’t want someone you have to be constantly chasing working on your case, do you?I can’t even imagine how frustrating that would be…With Michael, communication was ALWAYS clear and fast, just as you would expect from an expert.3. Certainty. There was absolutely no point during the process where I felt an ounce of doubt about whether I was doing the right thing or not.You know those buying decisions you start regretting the second after the purchase is made? Know that feeling?Well, this is not one of them.Michael and his team are so knowledgeable in their field that they have fool-proof systems in place that help you complete your paperwork and applications quickly and with ease.Since our first interaction, I felt I was dealing with people who knew their stuff.And those are the reasons why I feel comfortable recommending Ashoori Law…They took care of me as a mother takes care of her newborn.Thank you, Michael!read more
Ali Kasa
21:09 28 Apr 19
Mike is competent, prompt and diligent immigration attorney. He worked on our E2 case and what appeared to be a difficult case, he and his team got it approved. Thank you Mike for the great more
María Verónica Misle
16:40 26 Mar 19
I found out about Michael Ashoori Law Firm through the internet, when I started looking for advice regarding US Immigration Law. It called my attention that in its official website it was posted important, comprehensive information on different matters, and it invites customers to ask for direct responses. I decided to write a couple of emails about my personal situation, immediately responded by Michael at no cost. After having received those responses, I asked Michael for a quotation of legal services, which I compared to three more. In the end, I decided to hire Michael because his offer inspired me to trust and it was very competitive, and I definitely made the right choice. Michael was quite diligent when analyzing my case, filed the petition quickly and kept me posted about its evolution. My case was resolved favorably! That is why I have no hesitation in recommending Michael´ services for US Immigration Law. Maria Misleread more
Temesghen Ghde
08:01 26 Mar 19
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Myunghwan Kim
23:07 10 Mar 19
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13:14 19 Feb 19
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Nasrin Nabipoor
01:17 12 Feb 19
I have a great experience with Michael. He helped to get a re-entry permit for my mother. During the process Michael was extremely attentive and offered considerable amount of his time to help us. He is absolutely professional and knowledgeable. My mother received her re-entry permit in less than 2 months in a situation that was not promising. The fee was reasonable and I strongly recommend Michael more
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17:50 21 Dec 18
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Suparna D
19:26 11 Nov 18
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Sanjeewa Ranatunga
16:04 26 Oct 18
I came to know Michael Ashoori through one of his YouTube videos as I needed information on applying for a travel document. That was the best video or source of information I could find online. I contacted Michael 3 months ago. I was running out of time. He was prompt to act and filled my case within a couple of days. It was easy to work with him, and he was quick to respond to any question. His fee was extremely reasonable. I contacted several other lawyers, and their fees were much higher than his. Overall, I'm impressed with his work ethic. More importantly, my case got approved within three months, and I already have my document. If you have any immigration related issue, please do not hesitate to contact Michael. Thank you, Michael, for keeping things simple and getting things done in more
Emma Wallace
08:08 15 Oct 18
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Dawa Torbert
14:37 01 Aug 18
Michael offers exceptional customer service. He did a great job helping me with my re-entry permit. He always kept me updated on the progress both via email and by phone. The entire progress took less than 2 months. I highly recommend Ashoori more
20:59 23 Jul 18
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Yogesh Kandlikar
20:57 20 Jul 18
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11:41 12 Jul 18
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00:14 26 Jun 18
Like any foreign investor to make his dream come ture, I was looking for the best yet the most-affordable Lawyer with E2 specialization to ensure the visa approval at the very 1st attempt. Not being satisfied with local legal firms especially for E2 Visa, we were referred to MICHAEL ASHOORI; known to be a Subject Matter Expert in E2. Our whole relation with Michael was over the phone but we NEVER felt at-distance due to his professional communication and collaboration skills. We were really impressed with his subject-related knowledge and his exceptional approach.At very 1st engagement with him over the phone,he walked us step-by-step through the standard process for E2 submission and answered all of our questions till our full satisfaction. Upon his analysis of our case, he customized his approach as per our legal situation and reccommended us the best fit-solution for our investment goals. He made the preparation of business/invetment documentation super-easy for me by providing the customized and easy-to-use templates. Him and his team frequently reviewed our documents and provided professional assistance to make appropriate enhancments as needed per USCIS standards. I have never experienced anyone as prompt professional towards his clients as he was. No matter, what time (business/after-business hours) I called him, received immediate & welcoming response. Michael kept me posted with status updates till I received Approval Notice from USCIS :)I am Glad MICHAEL represented me for my case. I WOULD RECCOMMEND MICHAEL TO ANYONE WHO WANTS SUCCESS IN E2 VISA APPROVAL AT THE VERY 1ST more
01:40 25 Jun 18
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ניסים חסיד
03:29 19 Jun 18
I would highly recommend him, he responds timely and very polite. Michael explains everything in easy to understand terms and will go over anything you do not understand. My process was taken care of faster !than I had expected. Great person to work withread more
Guru Kalle
17:13 06 Jun 18
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Matthew Khalili
01:06 04 Jan 18
Outstanding law firm. The attorney Michael Ashoori helped get a TN visa approval for me very smoothly. Michael was extremely attentive and offered considerable amount of his time to help me understand the process. He is not only extremely talented and knowledge in the field of immigration, he is also a great work ethic and integrity .read more
Arleo Dordar
18:15 27 Dec 17
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Need A Reentry Permit?

U.S. Immigration Lawyer

Michael Ashoori, Esq.

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send us an email.

Need A Reentry Permit?