How Soon Can I Travel After Getting My Permanent Resident Card?


You can immediately travel after physically receiving your U.S. lawful permanent resident card. But there are important travel issues to consider with your new immigration status.


  • Your lawful permanent resident card acts as your immigrant visa. You present your resident card at a port of entry to an official with U.S. Customs and Border Protection because you are a permanent resident of the U.S. and you want to enter back into the country. You must present this card along with your passport at all land and air ports of entry.

Time Frame

  • Your permanent resident card is valid for 10 years from the date it was approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Renew this resident card after 10 years have elapsed to ensure you have the card for your future travels.


  • Ensure your passport is valid for enough time during your travels away and back to the U.S.


  • Should the name on the passport not match the name on the permanent resident card (such as a maiden name), take steps with your home country's passport authority to conform the passport name to the card.


  • The law requires any change of address of permanent residents be reported to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


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