I was planning on traveling outside the US (first time in 20 years lol) I was admitted as a asylum. I read the Homeland Security (https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/international-travel-permanent-resident) info on this but they are saying I need a Permanent resident card (which I have), a foreign passport(I don't own any passports from any foreign governments) or other immigration documents (which I also don't have). Besides my Social Security card, drivers license and Permanent resident card, I don't have any other documentations.


  • This question is probably better suited to (and may already have been asked at) Travel. – phoog Sep 23 '16 at 21:18

To leave and enter the US as a permanent resident, all you need is your permanent resident card. However, to enter most other countries, you need a passport. (I think only Canada allows US permanent residents entry with just a green card, and then only if traveling by land or sea. There might be others I don't know about.)

If you are unable to get a passport from your country of citizenship, as is the case with most asylees, you can apply for a refugee travel document from the US. More information about the application is available at https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/travel-documents. A relevant excerpt:

A refugee travel document is issued to a person who has been granted refugee or asylum status, or to a permanent resident who obtained a green card because they were a refugee or asylee.

More information about the foreign travel can be found at https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Archive/Archive%20News/2006%20Archive%20News/Asylee_travel_information.pdf.

You should be careful about returning to your country of citizenship, or applying for a passport from that country, since that could cause you to lose your asylum status.

A relevant excerpt:

... an asylee or a lawful permanent resident who obtained such status based on a grant of asylum status may be questioned about why he or she was able to return to the country of claimed persecution and, in some circumstances, may be subject to proceedings to terminate asylum status.

  • Well, the thing is, my country of origin has basically no government so no way of obtaining a passport. I really don't want to wait 1+ year to get a US passport – Noah Sep 23 '16 at 21:33
  • @Killer066 then apply for the refugee travel document. You won't have to wait a year for that. – phoog Sep 23 '16 at 21:57
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    Also note that, although a refugee travel document is issued by the US government and looks like a passport, it isn't a US passport. Some countries allow US passport holders to enter without needing a visa, but that doesn't apply for refugee travel documents. You will probably need to apply for a visa from the country you intend to visit. – Nate Eldredge Sep 24 '16 at 21:11
  • Side note: According to <cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=593&top=16>, US green card holders do need a passport to enter Canada, at least in the general case. I don't know if there's a special case for refugees/asylees, though. – Joey Marianer Sep 24 '16 at 22:16
  • @JoeyMarianer the requirement to have a passport applies only to air travel. It's a relatively recent requirement, which is why I forgot about it. Refugees and asylees presumably need a refugee travel document to fly to Canada. – phoog Sep 24 '16 at 23:10

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