May 2, 2016 8:30 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

First thing first, US Green Card holders (Permanent Residents of United States of America) who stay outside of the US for more than 1 year risk having their green card canceled by USCIS. Yes, you can travel to many countries without needing a visa but you must not exceed your time out of the country to one year.

First, the Reality

Your permanent residency status in the USA doesn’t influence your need for visas, while your actual citizenship does. So your passport issuing country is more critical to your international traveling abilities.

If you stay in the U.S. on the basis of a United States Permanent Resident Card, popularly known as the Green Card, your ability to travel to other countries without a visa will depend on the country that has issued your passport.

For the majority of the countries, you will need to check individually whether they require a visa from the citizens of your passport-issuing country.

Now, the Good News

Here are few countries which will let you in without a visa and irrespective of your citizenship if you are US Permanent Resident (GC).

Canada
Under the “good neighbor policy,” regardless of your country of citizenship, green card holders are allowed to enter Canada without a visa.

Mexico
Under the “good neighbor policy,” regardless of your country of citizenship, green card holders are allowed to enter Mexico without a visa.

Belize
Passport valid for at least 6 months past the end date of stay, notarized photocopy of green card, completed Visa Application form, and proof of sufficient funds for your stay in Belize required. With prior approval from Belizean immigration, green card holders receive a visa upon arrival.

Costa Rica
Passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry into the country, green card, and a round trip ticket are required. US green card holders receive an automatic visa upon arrival in Costa Rica. (Exception: Unfortunately, this visa waiver does not apply for green card holders with citizenship of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Syria, and Somalia.)

Bermuda
Green card required traveling to Bermuda via cruise; and passport + GC required if flying into Bermuda.

The Bahamas
Passport and green card required.

Cayman Islands
Green card required. Green card holders can stay in the Cayman Islands for up to 30 days without a Visa.

U.S. Virgin Islands
Copy of birth certificate and government-issued photo identification required. Anyone traveling between the US and its territories is not required to show a passport or green card for entry, since they are essentially on home soil.

British Virgin Islands
Passport, proof of accommodations on the island such, and proof of return journey required for entry; green card required for re-entry into US. Green card holders do not need a visa to travel to the British Virgin Islands.

Dominican Republic
Passport, green card, and tourist card required. (Note: Anyone who can legally travel or reside in the US does not need a Visa to travel to the Dominican Republic for tourist purposes.)

Aruba
Passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry and green card required. No need for a Visa to enter.

Curaçao
Passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry and green card required. No need for a Visa to enter.

St. Maarten
Passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry and green card required. No need for a Visa to enter.

Bonaire
Passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry and green card required. No need for a Visa to enter.

St. Eustatius
Passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry and green card required. No need for a Visa to enter.

Saba
Passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry and green card required. No need for a Visa to enter.

Jamaica
Passport, green card, and round-trip tickets to the US or onward tickets to another destination required. (Exception: Unfortunately, this waiver does not apply for GC holders who are with Taiwan citizenship.)

PS: Please comment below if I am missing any other countries or territories. This list is written for US GC holder irrespective of their citizenship.

As many of you have messaged me or commented that how can you keep track of the changes in future visa status? Well, here is the easy answer. You can bookmark this website. VisaHQ. Just type in your citizenship, where you currently live (i.e. US Green Card holder) and where you would want to visit.

Online Application, Visas Requirements.

Usually, things do not change for years or decades. And when they do, they are often “very good” or “very bad”. In other words, either your passport issuing country has made new agreements with another country or a country has severed its ties or changed its visa rules and/or relationships with your passport issuing country.

Final note: Always double check the destination country’s immigration website before booking any flights or trips. As many of you have rightly said, things can change and you don’t want to be caught off-guard.

Happy travels!

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This post was written by Salil Jha