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Which Countries Can You Visit With a Green Card?
A U.S. Green Card grants you many benefits and privileges, such as being able to work and live in the U.S. permanently. One of the great additional benefits not often talked about is that you can, similar to U.S. citizens, also travel to certain countries without having to apply for a visa first.
Which countries can you visit with a Green Card? Let’s take a look!
- Can Green Card Holders Travel Abroad Without a Visa?
- Where Can Green Card Holders Travel Without a Visa?
- Can Green Card Holders Visit Europe Without a Visa?
- Do Green Card Holders Need a Visa for the UK?
- Is a Passport Necessary for Green Card Holders to Travel Internationally?
- What Documents Do You Need for Re-entry to the U.S.?
- Read More
- Final Thoughts
- Traveling Abroad on a Green Card FAQ
Can Green Card Holders Travel Abroad Without a Visa?
As of 2023, American citizens can travel to more than 180 countries and territories without a visa, but only 38 countries offer similar privileges to U.S. Green Card holders. To know which countries allow Green Card holders visa-free entry, check the specific country’s visa policy. Typically, your nationality (passport) takes precedence over your Green Card status. If your passport requires a visa for a country, having a Green Card might not exempt you.
Where Can Green Card Holders Travel Without a Visa?
Green Card holders can enjoy visa-free travel to several countries. However, always ensure to verify the latest entry requirements with the respective country’s embassy or official website before traveling.
List of Countries You Can Travel With a Green Card Visa Free
- Canada – 180 days for all nationalities
- Mexico – depends on the itinerary for all nationalities
- US territories – US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam
- Belize – 30 days for all nationalities
- Costa Rica – 30 days for all nationalities
- Panama – 30 days for all nationalities
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- United Arab Emirates
- South Korea
- Anguilla (British Territory)
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bermuda (British Territory)
- Bonaire (Dutch Territory)
- Cayman Islands (British Territory)
- Dominican Republic
- Sint Maarten
- Turks and Caicos (British Territory)
Below are the details of a few countries and regions that Green Card holders can visit without a visa:
- Aruba and Curaçao (and other parts of the Dutch Caribbean)
- Costa Rica
- Peru (only for Indian or Chinese nationals with a U.S. Green Card)
- Singapore (transit for up to 4 days for Indian or Chinese nationals with a U.S. Green Card)
- **The Balkans (**Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro)
- The British Virgin Islands
Below, we’ll detail the specifics of how Green Card holders can travel to these countries without a visa.
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Aruba and Curaçao
You can visit any of the islands that make up the Dutch Caribbean without a visa if you have a U.S. Green Card. This includes:
- St Eustatius
- St Maarten
These islands are perfect for those seeking sun and sea. However, remember that this doesn’t grant access to the European part of the Netherlands. For that, you will need a Schengen Visa.
More on entry requirements for the Dutch Caribbean.
For a quick trip to Canada, Green Card holders won’t face passport issues. Everyone with a U.S. Green Card can enter Canada without a Canadian tourist visa. If traveling by air, an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) is required, which can be applied online at a minimal cost of $7 CAD. For land travel, only a valid passport and Green Card are necessary.
Costa Rica, renowned for its scenic beauty and warm hospitality, is accessible without a visa for Green Card holders. Just present your passport, Green Card, and a return ticket valid within 30 days. For stays beyond 30 days, an extension application is required at the Office of Migration in Costa Rica.
More on Costa Rica visa requirements.
Georgia, a European jewel, welcomes Green Card holders without requiring a Schengen or Georgian visa. Essential documents include a passport, Green Card, and return ticket. The stay is limited to 90 days within a 180-day period.
Mexico, a vibrant neighbor to the U.S., welcomes Green Card holders with open arms. To enter, simply present your passport and U.S. Green Card. While a visa isn’t necessary, travelers must obtain a Mexico Tourist Card. This isn’t a visa, but a required document for tourists.
Obtaining the Tourist Card is straightforward:
- If traveling by air, airlines often include the card in the ticket price and distribute it before landing.
- If entering by land, acquire the card at the entry point.
- For sea travelers, the card is available at the Mexican port of call.
- The card can also be obtained online. Ensure you print it and carry it during your trip.
- Alternatively, you can visit a Mexican embassy to get one.
The cost of the Mexico Tourist Card typically ranges between $25 to $35.
For Indian or Chinese nationals holding a U.S. Green Card, Peru offers a unique opportunity to explore its rich history and archaeological wonders without a visa. Upon arrival, present your passport, Green Card, and onward flight ticket. Immigration officers will then issue a tourist card, allowing a stay of up to 90 days.
Indian or Chinese nationals with a U.S. Green Card can transit through Singapore for up to 4 days without a visa. Eligibility for the Singaporean Visa Free Transit Facility (VFTF) requires:
- Departure by air or sea.
- A valid flight or ferry/cruise ticket scheduled to leave Singapore within the next 96 hours.
- A valid U.S. Green Card or another valid visa.
However, remember that the VFTF can only be used once per trip, either on the onward or return journey.
The Balkans, with their rich history and diverse culture, offer U.S. Green Card holders visa-free entry to:
- Albania: Stay up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
- North Macedonia: Maximum stay of 15 days.
- Montenegro: Enter and transit for up to 30 days.
The British Virgin Islands
For a tropical getaway, the British Virgin Islands are an ideal destination for Green Card holders. Entry requires proof of accommodation (like a hotel reservation), a return flight ticket, a passport, and a Green Card. Visitors can stay up to 30 days without a visa.
Can Green Card Holders Visit Europe Without a Visa?
Your ability to travel to Europe without a visa largely depends on your nationality or passport. A Green Card alone doesn’t grant visa-free access to most European countries. When people refer to “Europe,” they often mean the European Union (EU). Unfortunately, most EU countries require a visa for entry unless your nationality is on their visa-exemption list. However, there are some European countries outside the EU that allow Green Card holders to visit without a visa.
Do Green Card Holders Need a Visa for the UK?
Yes. If your nationality typically requires a visa for the UK, having a Green Card won’t exempt you. The Green Card doesn’t grant automatic entry to the UK, just as it doesn’t for the EU.
Is a Passport Necessary for Green Card Holders to Travel Internationally?
In most cases, yes. Without a passport, international travel is generally not possible. Immigration authorities in most countries will request your passport and, if necessary, a visa or residence permit upon entry. There are limited exceptions where passports aren’t required, such as for nationals of neighboring countries or those with specific agreements (e.g., Schengen Area countries). However, these exceptions don’t apply to Green Card holders.
What Documents Do You Need for Re-entry to the U.S.?
To reenter the United States after a short or temporary trip abroad, you must present your valid and unexpired green card (I-551) at the port of entry. Along with your green card, other forms of identification like your passport or foreign national ID will be inspected by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. This process is necessary to determine your eligibility to reenter the U.S. and is required irrespective of whether you traveled to a visa-free country.
- Can I Stay More Than 6 Months Outside the U.S. with a Green Card?
- Green Card Process Steps: EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Visa
- SSN Update After Green Card
- How Long Does it Take for USCIS to Make a Decision After an Interview?
- Can You Be Deported if You are Married to an American Citizen?
Now you know the answer to which countries you can visit with a green card. If you are planning to travel to any of the above-listed countries and you are a U.S. green card holder, you won’t need to apply for a visa before you go. Remember to pack your passport, though! You will still need to show your passport together with your Green Card before you enter.
Traveling Abroad on a Green Card FAQ
Below, you find some common questions about traveling to other countries on a Green Card, related topics, and their answers.
Do I need a visa to travel abroad with a Green Card?
While a Green Card allows you to re-enter the U.S., it doesn’t grant visa-free access to all countries. The need for a visa depends on the country you’re visiting and your nationality.
How long can I stay outside the U.S. with a Green Card?
Generally, you should not stay outside the U.S. for more than 6 months at a time. Extended absences can be seen as an abandonment of your permanent resident status.
What happens if I stay abroad for more than 6 months?
If you stay outside the U.S. for more than 6 months without obtaining a re-entry permit, you risk losing your Green Card status.
Do I need a re-entry permit?
If you plan to stay outside the U.S. for more than 6 months at a time, or if you frequently travel abroad for extended periods, it’s advisable to get a re-entry permit before leaving.
Can I travel to Canada or Mexico with just a Green Card?
While a Green Card can facilitate entry into Canada or Mexico, you’ll also need a valid passport. Additionally, specific entry requirements vary based on your nationality.
What should I do if my Green Card expires while I’m abroad?
It’s essential to renew your Green Card before traveling. If it expires while you’re outside the U.S., you should contact a U.S. consulate, USCIS office, or U.S. port of entry before attempting to file Form I-90 for a renewal Green Card.
What if I lose my Green Card while abroad?
If you lose your Green Card while outside the U.S., you should contact a U.S. consulate to obtain a returning resident visa to re-enter the U.S.
Can I travel to U.S. territories with a Green Card?
Yes, U.S. territories like Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and others are considered domestic travel for Green Card holders. However, it’s still recommended to carry your Green Card and a valid passport.
How does frequent and extended travel affect my eligibility for naturalization?
Extended absences from the U.S. can disrupt the continuous residency requirement for naturalization. If you’re considering U.S. citizenship, it’s essential to be mindful of your travel durations.
Do I need to notify USCIS if I move abroad permanently?
If you intend to move abroad permanently, you should consider formally relinquishing your permanent resident status to avoid complications with U.S. tax laws.