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Legal Permanent Resident of USA-What documents do you need for a cruise

Legal Permanent Resident of USA-What documents do you need for a cruise

Mar 25th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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Legal Permanent Resident of USA-What documents do you need for a cruise

I was notified today that I won a cruise to Alaska with RT airfare to Seattle. My husband is a Permanent Resident with no passport. I'll be cruisin' before the June 2009 requirement for passports. Currently, I've read that a government issued photo ID plus proof of citizenship is required (birth certificate, recommended). Well, he has a NYS drivers license so that covers the photo ID - but he can't "prove" citizenship to any country. His official status is "Stateless". Does anyone know if his "Green Card" is acceptable? I can't contact the cruise line yet as, until I advise my available week in May, the cruise isn't booked. So, I don't know if my husband should start getting excited (or if my daughter should )
Margaretlb is offline  
Mar 26th, 2009, 04:27 AM
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Just to be 100% sure, your husband should get a passports. You did not mentioned if you have a passort or not but my recommendation is you should get one too.

I have a post from a year ago here speaking of green card and crusie ship travel. Here is the link below.

Green card and a passport will get you through almost all cruise ports in the caribbean including Panama and Mexico.

Because it is an Alaskan cruise starting/ending in Seattle, you may be able to get away with it (just maybe). You will probably have a stop in Victoria (Canada) and Canada amd US has special travel document agreements.

One thing that they will accept is the "new" RFID chipped drivers licence. My advise is to get a passport, including yourself.
Eschew is offline  
Mar 26th, 2009, 05:06 AM
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Thanks, Eschew. I have a passport but my husband is not a citizen-only citizens are issued passports. He can travel on a Homeland Security Reentry Permit (which he has done in the past for our trips to Europe). The Rentry Permit can take anywhere from 4-18 months to recieve so it's not an option for this cruise.
Margaretlb is offline  
Mar 26th, 2009, 06:12 AM
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Your husband is a citizen somewhere. Things are changing and the current requirements can be found on the department of state's website. I think the current sea reentry (a little different from returning from Europe) for "lawful permanent residents" is one of the following:

Permanent Resident Card

Passport with Immigrant Visa

ADIT stamp
bdjtbenson is offline  
Mar 26th, 2009, 07:16 AM
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If your husband cannot get a Department of Homeland Security Reentry Permit before the cruise, then it may not be possible for him to take the cruise. I'm pretty sure the driver's license and green card will not be enough. This is a thorny issue (and I'm assuming here that your husband is either a refugee or a political asylum candidate), and this is a difficult legal matter, so I don't feel comfortable telling you anything.

Even with a driver's license and green card, he must still prove citizenship by birth, either with a passport or a birth certificate. That's the most basic requirement. A photo ID plus green card is simply not enough, so if he has absolutely no proof of citizenship anywhere, I don't know if he can travel without some special permit from Homeland. This is a very unusual situation. It may be easier that you are embarking in Seattle, but the cruise must call in a foreign port (i.e., somewhere in Candada) before it can stop in Alaska, so you must consider the Canadian regulations. I would not want your husband to be taken off the ship by Canadaian authorities.

If you can do it, I'd recommend that you consult with his immigration attorney. Also, ask the cruise line, though this is such an unusual situation that they might not be able to tell you. Canada is the key here, and Canadian authorities can be surprisingly difficult to deal with even though they have fairly friendly immigration and political asylum policies in most instances.
doug_stallings is offline  
Mar 27th, 2009, 05:07 AM
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What happens if he stays on the ship at Victoria? Is he allow to do that? It seems unreasonable for the authorities to get on board and take him away.

One other issue that has not been mentioned and is a bigger consideration is what if he is not allowed to re-enter the US after the cruise? The US immigration may not let him back in without the proper re-entry visa / permit.

The following is an excerpt that I found regarding US/Canada border crosiing.

Traveling by Land or Sea
U.S. and Canadian citizens will need to present either a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, or a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, plus proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.
By June 1, 2009, or earlier, the WHTI will require anyone, including U.S. citizens, entering or re-entering the United States by land and sea to have a passport or other appropriate secure document.
However, beginning January 31, 2008, entry into the U.S. via land and sea border crossings will require either a passport or proof of citizenship (e.g. birth certificate) and a government-issued photo ID (e.g. driver license).

Here is what I recommned you to do if you really want to travel with your husband:
(1) Call some one (Homeland?) to make sure he has the proper document to re-enter the US.
(2) Call Canadian Immigration and ask for a ruling for his entry to Canada or just staying on the boat. Or if you live near any of the Canadian offices, go visit in person. Maybe all he needed is a visitor visa. They have offices in Buffalo, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and DC.

Good luck!
Eschew is offline  
Mar 27th, 2009, 09:05 AM
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Thanks for all of your responses.

bdjtbenson - DH is not a citizen of any counrty. His official designation would be stateless. His family entered the US by a special Congressional refugee act after WW11 for those displaced persons that would have been repartiated behind the Iron Curtain. He was born in Germany in a relocation camp. As you probably know, being born in Germany doesn't make you a German citizen.

Doug - I called both Princess and Norwegian and both told me that before June 2009, his Green Card and NYS drivers license would be fine. Norwegian also said he should have his birth certificate.

We probably would not go to shore in Canada as neither of us are really interested in doing that. If we do any shore excursions, they would be in Alaska.

So, we'll see what happens. If they don't let him on the ship...well, Seattle looks like a nice place to spend a week!
Margaretlb is offline  
Mar 27th, 2009, 10:54 AM
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Yes, green card and valid ID are good enough before June. However, since your DH is neither US or Canada citizen, he will most likely need a Canadian transit visa no matter whether he plans to go to shore in Canada or not.
spurs is offline  
Mar 27th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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You had better talk to the cruise line even if you don't know when the cruise is and they will tell you exactly what is needed.It doesn't matter if your husband gets off the ship or not he must have the approprate documents prior to boarding the ship. The ships are cleared by the officials on arrival in a foreign port and all documents must be in order or nobody can get off because they won't clear the ship.
traveller69 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2009, 03:02 PM
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I have relatives who got some special "travel passports" when they had Green cards. Not sure if the rules has changed now.

Margaret, the cruise lines have a rule: even if you plan on not leaving the ship in other countries, your documents must be in order, all visas if needed, even before you board the ship.


"If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may need permission to return to the United States after traveling abroad. This permission is granted through a travel document. Any immigrant who does not have the correct travel documents will not be admitted to the United States. "

So it's not getting or not getting off the boat should worry you, it's bringing your husband back home may be a problem.
Dayenu is offline  
Mar 27th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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Dayenu, yes, that "travel passport" is the re-entry permit. It used to be issued by INS and now issued by Homeland Security. That document is sometimes needed. The primary reason would be if the Permanent Resident will be out of the country for more than a year. This permit stops the residency clock and restarts the clock when you return. That's important for someone trying to accumulate their three or five years for citizenship. The other reason is if the foreign country being visited requires a visa - they need something to affix the visa to! This permit has a two year duration and my husband has traveled on these to Europe in the past.
To re-enter the USA, all that's required is the green card:
from the Homeland Security website:
Lawful Permanent Residents
Air Travel
All travelers including children must present a passport or secure travel document when entering the United States by air.

Land/Sea Travel
Lawful permanent residents may continue to present their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card. More information available at CBP.gov.

Although I won't know the cruiseline until sometime next week, I called both Princess and NCL, both confirmed that the Resident "Green Card" and his NYS drivers license, he would be OK until June's changes become effective.

I still have some trepedation about Canada, though. I'm going to try calling their Border Service on Monday. Their website really doesn't address the Green Card issue specifically. I mostly trust the answer I received from the cruiselines but sometimes answers received are only as good as the CSR who happened to answer your call.
Margaretlb is offline  
Mar 27th, 2009, 09:44 PM
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This all would make me very nervous. I agree you need to speak with agents from both countries - US and Canada - but I might also see if I could get opinion from an Immigration attorney.

And while both US and Canada will have regulations for this sort of thing, the cruiseline often sets higher regulations for themselves - whichn is why not getting off the ship will not solve the problem.
gail is offline  
Mar 29th, 2009, 06:25 PM
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Well, I've further researched and feel comfortable about my husband's travel. The "Green Card" is sufficient. It states this on the Canadian Border Service, The US State Department and the Homeland Security websites. It just took some diggiing and patience on my part navigating the websites. Canada states that the Permanent Resident Card is the required document for his entry. DHS states his card is all that is necessary for his reentry to the US. All this will change for him in June but is still in place through May. Now all I have to do in renew my own passport that expires on May 10th!! Guess I'm going to have to spring for express handling - an extra 75 bucks
Margaretlb is offline  
Mar 29th, 2009, 07:28 PM
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This is funny, after all this research you are the one needing a document
Dayenu is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 10:15 AM
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When we renewed our passporst I mailed them, reglar mail,
on Friday and we got our new ones the following Thursday! JUST less than one week! Mail it back today and you'll get your new one in plenty of time. You can also check its progress via the web.
bonniejns is offline  
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