Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Can Green Card Holder Travel outside US ?

Can Green Card Holder Travel outside US ?

Dec 23rd, 2003, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,602
I am a little bit paranoid about coming back to the U.S. If you come from a country which may have a "louche" aspect concerning terrorist threats as perceived by the U.S., you may have problems when you come back in. Witness the Syrian who was in transit to Canada (his adopted country) and was shipped to Syria where he spent months in jail, rather than being allowed to continue to Canada.
Michael is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 12:45 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,862
This is getting off topic, but I remember reading the story of the Syrian/Canadian in the NY Times. Horrible story. But he wasn't a US Permanent Resident, was he? Still, INS chose to deport him to Syria rather than Canada (he's also a Canadian citizen).

Unless you're a US Citizen, though, INS has a lot of power.
111op is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 11
Before my husband had US citizenship, he traveled back to Russia (his home country) through Finland. He wanted to spend the day there since he had a very long layover. It turned out that because he was a Russian passport holder with a green card only, Finland required him to have a tourist visa to spend 12 hours in their country. As others have said, I don't know what the requirements will be for getting the visa (passport or no passport), but getting the visa to go to France is where I would start.
loveeurope is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,579
Tat, get on the phone or visit the INS WITH AN APPOINTMENT. Here is the site for INS offices:



Don't spend a single penny without making these two contacts.

Good luck.

jsmith is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
I found this great French Gov site. You need to input the country of residency, the country of citizenship and the purpose of your visit and it will tell you exactly what you need to visit France:


AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 03:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
Agree that this is the wrong place to be asking.

Contact the French consulate immediately to find out what she needs to get into France. They are the only ones who can tell you with some degree of certainty.

When you find out (and I suspect they will require a Uzb. passport so they can issue a visa), she can either do what is required or she can cancel her trip.

Her immediate problem is less reentry to the USA than it is entry into France.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 06:23 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Is this thread a joke? Who would ever begin to think they can travel internationaly without a passport? Why should any country let you enter without proof of who you are and where you're from? And many countries require visas for most foreign nationals. and you need a PASSPORT to get the visa. Your friend just has to get a passport - or else not travel.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 07:00 AM
Posts: n/a
Tat. Great advice from people who told you you HAVE to go to or call the FRENCH Consulate. It's really not up to the INS to tell you about entry laws for France.
I'm pretty sure your friend will need a passport. The French do NOT play around. My husband and I had booked a trip to Bora Bora (French Polynesia) a few years ago. I had to go IN PERSON to the French Consulate to drop off my application WITH MY PASSPORT and it took them two weeks to do whatever checks they needed to do. I had to pick up my passport with my visa in person. At the time, I was a green card holder with years of living in U.S. married to an American.
My sister (years ago) went to visit our parents who were working at the time in South Africa. She'd been living in the U.S. for over 20 years, green card holder, had not renewed her passport in over 10 years. She was told in no uncertain term by South Africa's Consulate that NO passport, NO visa to enter their country. NO exception. I'm sure it works the same for all countries, especially after 9/11.
Good luck.
Dec 24th, 2003, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 188
TAT: if the lady has a green card (which means she has a legal status in the U.S)and a valid" current" pass-
port from her native country she should not have any problem re-entering the
U.S.- but you need to have a visa to
enter any country in Europe , since a
green card does not mean she is a U.s
citizen- only a legal resident.
I would call the french embassy to make sure about their entry requirements or ask any travel agency.
If you are from South America must likely the french will require a visa.
Bye, and don'T worry. you'll be okay!!! Have a great trip.

mile is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
Thr "Re-Entry" permit issued by the US State Dept, is a document that in most cases will be accepted by most countries that we have normal diplomatic relations with. It does have a place for a Visa stamp. It's basically a substitute for a regular passport for legal US residents that are not yet US citizens.

BUT and that's the BIG BUT, I believe it's for people that can't get a passport from their own country because of different reasons. Citizens of Cuba that came across on boats, citizens of North Korea that somehow got lucky and escaped the "paradise", some other countries that I can't think of now and I'm sure some other special cases. US does not issue these to anybody that just asks for one. It's for people that will be denied a passport by theitr own governments.

Now the question is, how are US diplomatic relations with Uzbekistan(apparently good) and would she be denied a passport by her home country? It does not appear that she would have a hard time of getting one from the Uzbek Counsulate in New York City. She will have to bite the bullet and talk to the people there. They have a great site with all the info for US as well as their own citizens requiring just such services. Here it is:


So get on the phone to the consulate and get the ball rolling. Once she gets the passport then she has to get either just a French Visa if that's the only country she'll travel to or the Schengen Visa if she also wants to visit one of the 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. For Schengen Visa one should apply at the consulate of the first country entered on your travels. For more on Schengen Visa info look here:
The French or Schengen Visas are not required for US citizens. This is a great option for citizens of countries that would require a visa to visit any one of the above listed countries.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
Interesting question, but agree that this is not the place to get answers for such a serious situation. You should go directly to the governmental authorities involved.

That said, here's my two cents worth.

The Green Card is a RESIDENCY card. It entitles the person to remain in the States for an indefinite amount of time, as opposed to a visa, which allows a foreigner to stay for only a limited amount of time. The Green Card does not give the holder rights of a citizen. However, a Green Card holder MAY apply for US citizenship, provided certain requirements are met.

If your friend meets these requirements, I would strongly urge her to apply immediately for US citizenship. If not, then I would suggest that she work hard at meeting those requirements. Making a trip to France is not a necessary part of those requirements and she should strongly consider not going at this point.

Right now, since she does not want her Uzbekistan citizenship and holds only a Green Card for residency in the US, she is a borderline STATELESS person. This is NOT a good situation to be in. A stateless person has NO state to belong to, has no rights of citizenship anywhere in the world.

As some of the other posters have pointed out, they are already citizens of other countries and also hold Green Cards to stay indefinitely in the States, mostly because of marriage.

Your friend, if she rejects her own citizenship, is not in as good a position as these otherposters and needs to remedy that situation before she considers going off on a pleasure trip.

Just my two cents worth.
easytraveler is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 07:43 AM
Posts: n/a
aa..i really don't think you're right about the re-entry permit. i believe the re-entry permit is for people who are u.s. residents and who are living outside the u.s. for over a year. it gives you permission to re-enter the u.s. (you lose your green card if you live outside the u.s. for i think six months or a year). my mother had to apply for a re-entry permit so she wouldn't lose her green card (she went with my step-father to south africa for awhile). i don't believe it's a substitute for a passport. it's a document that allows you RE-ENTRY TO THE U.S. (hence the name) IF YOU'VE BEEN LIVING OUTSIDE U.S. for over six months of a year.
Dec 24th, 2003, 07:49 AM
Posts: n/a
you know what..aa..i take it back..i found out it can be used as a passport as well if the person can't get a passport from their country.
Dec 24th, 2003, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885

Judging from the posts, the friend did not renounce her citizenship, she just does not want to deal with the authorities of her old countries. That's fine if she is willing to wait out the time needed before she can apply for US citizenship and she doesn't have a need to travel. But she has to realize that in this instance she has no choice if she wants to go to France.
I'm not sure why she is afraid, and this is just an educated guess, but there is a good chance she may not even have to step into the consulate in New York. This may all be possible with mail and a public notary especially if she still has her old passport. If she does have to go to New York, take her American husband with her. The Uzbek diplomatic stations here in the US will not do anything to jepordize relations with US over her, the kidnapping days are over pretty much, not that the Uzbek gov ever did this before as far as I know. So UNLESS she is possibly wanted for something back home, I'm not sure what that is all about.


Thank You!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 08:46 AM
Posts: n/a
you're welcome aa
Dec 24th, 2003, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
aa: not to start a serious discussion on Christmas Eve, because I will definitely not be able to sustain any logical thought until the new year - lo!


it's difficult to glean from Tat's postings what the exact situation is with his friend.

What can be gleaned is that the only VALID piece of paper she holds is her Green Card, which will allow her back into the States.

Her Uzbeki passport is obsolete. If she chooses not to renew it, she essentially cannot get help from any nation when abroad. I doubt that the US embassies and consulates are empowered to help her in the same way as for a US citizen.

Not that I'm wishing for something bad to happen to her, but to travel without a passport is like travelling naked - no protection. Why would anyone wish to expose himself/herself to such risk?

Anyhow, I've GOT to get to my cooking and baking for tonight! Have a Great Holiday, everyone!
easytraveler is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 09:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885

I totaly agree. If she wants to travel before she can apply for US citizenship, she has no choice but to get her Uzbek passport renewed.

Anyway, enough said on this subject till or if we hear more.

Happy holidays!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
To everybody who advised to apply for a citizenship: do you know that a person has to live in USA for 5 years (I think it's 4 years 9 months to be exact) to be qualified to apply for a citizenship? And now the wait is about 1,5 years to be invited to pass the citizenship exam. And then some more till they swear you in in court. And only after that the person can apply for a passport. But from my personal experience it's more like happy time to become a citizen.
FainaAgain is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 11
Actually, if she's married to a U.S. citizen, it's only a three year wait until she can apply for citizenship.
loveeurope is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 05:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 284
Thanks to all.
We talked and she agreed to call Uzbek Consulat and I am calling French consulat to find out more.
Holidays ... Bummer ! All closed until Jan, 5th.

My appreciation to all involved.
I thought if I wa a citizen - I can send anyone anywhere

Happy New year to all Fodorites.
Tat is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:07 AM.