Hey, travel maniac! Glad to see you here at The Law Office of Olena Manilich – your copilot in all things concerning law and journey-telling. If you’re a permanent resident of the US and can’t keep still, this post is right for you. The frequently asked question has arrived: are you able to travel only with a green card deep into the sky without a passport? Get ready, for we’re preparing for takeoff!

Meet Your Travel Essentials

Before we hit the road, let’s briefly introduce you to your reliable traveling companions — your green card and passport. Your green card? Your ticket to a carefree stay in the US. That’s right: it’s your wallet-sized evidence that you’re a lawful permanent resident. Now, the passport? Your ticket to freedom! This little book will open international borders to you, with your name, photo, and nationality neatly circulated inside:

But the big question is whether your green card can lead you to the realization of your dreams or whether your faithful passport has to accompany you on that fantastic journey. Stay with us! We’re about to uncover all the details and specifics about these cards, but first, let’s find out how they work in the context of your application.

Traveling with Only Your Green Card: The Ins and Outs

Foreign countries almost always have strict requirements for allowing foreigners to enter. A valid passport is the key to exploring exotic realms you have been hoping to cross off your bucket list. In some instances, it is possible to enter just on a green card and a visa, but more information is needed before hopping on a plane. 

For instance, a citizen of the United States of America who is a permanent resident, with a green card, was planning a few day’s stay in France. In practice, France requires all tourists to have a valid passport. This means that just a green card will not be an acceptable ID to enter the country for this person. The passport has to be made before the trip to Paris to ensure everything goes according to plan. 

Despite that, coming back is an entirely different story. Having a green card is the ticket to get back to the US after a delightful holiday spent abroad. It can be thought of as the key that opens the door to the American Dream. Nevertheless, it is recommended by the US Customs and Border Protection to keep both green cards and passports that belong to the citizen’s home country with them while getting to another state. 

Imagine the person is spending vacations in Mexico, specifically Cancun, but a family emergency occurs, and they need to get back to the US as soon as possible. In this case, they will be granted re-entry to their country. Yet having the passport with them will ensure the process is conducted faster and will minimize the headaches. Which will be caused by getting to the US. Nevertheless, having a passport by one’s side will guarantee every time they are out and about in foreign lands.

Tips for traveling with your Green Card and passport

Knowing the nuances of taking both your green card and passport abroad is one thing. But leveraging the following tips to ensure the process goes as seamlessly as possible is another.

  • Prioritize checking the entry requirements of the country of your destination before setting off on your international journey. This involves researching whether you need a visa if your green card alone will suffice, or if a passport is mandatory to enter the country.
  • Ensure your green card and passport remain valid for the duration of your trip. There is no point in traveling with expired documentation. Make this information and the dates of expiration one of the many reminders you set before the actual departure.
  • When packing, streamline the storage of your green card and passport by making them easily and safely accessible. This may involve investing in a secure travel wallet or pouch to keep the essential documents in order and prevent them from getting lost or stolen.
  • Be sure to travel with copies or scans of your green card and passport. These copies should be stored in a separate location from the originals. This way, if precious travel essentials are lost or stolen, the copies of them having been proven can only benefit you.

With preparedness and these tips in hand, you are sure to embark on an international journey alone: with your green card and passport as trusted companions. Have a nice trip!


Traveling as a US permanent resident with just a green card is achievable. However, one shall stay attentive to the specificities and expectations involved in international travel. On one hand, your green card is the form of evidence of your lawful residency in the US. On the other hand, however, numerous countries worldwide require a valid passport to enter their territories. 

That’s why it’s necessary to ensure your green card and passport are up-to-date. Investigate and comply with the entry rules of the destination, and undertake protective measures to secure your documents. Additionally, it is vital to monitor potential changes in immigration policies or travel warnings for the country’s permanent residents.

At The Law Office of Olena Manilich, we aim to provide comprehensible and supportive information on immigration issues, and travel is no exception to this trend. So, if you have any questions or require legal assistance, feel free to contact us. Have a pleasant journey!