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Re-entering U.S from Virgin Island with drivers license only

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Re-entering U.S from Virgin Island with drivers license only
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Hello. My mom is a permanent resident but cannot locate her green card. She has drivers license only. Any had EXPERIENCE with entering the US with drivers license only? I booked her a trip without knowing she lost her card. Thanks for all your help.

3 replies to this topic
St Thomas
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for St. Thomas
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1. Re: Re-entering U.S from Virgin Island with drivers license only
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That's a tricky one. Most of the time, US residents return needing only a government-issued photographic ID (i.e. state driver's license) but CBP advises those not having a passport to also bring copy of birth certificate to establish citizenship. They DO randomly conduct heightened security checks and if you don't have proof of residency/citizenship you're nicely pulled aside to answer a few questions.

The big issue is that resident aliens are mandated to carry their GCs with them at all times and particularly when traveling outside the US (and for customs and immigration purposes we ARE technically outside the US). If your mother comes here and is subjected to additional scrutiny, she's going to have a problem.

I'm a GC holder and frankly I wouldn't take the chance as I went through the same thing many years ago when I failed to take my GC with me on a foreign trip. I had to go through tons of questioning, missed my flight home and, when I reached the US on a later flight, had to present myself within 5 days to the nearest immigration office which was a 2 hour drive away and then go through some more hoops.

Better she try and get an expedited replacement GC.

Edited: April 01, 2021, 7:27 am
Chicago, Illinois
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for Chicago
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2. Re: Re-entering U.S from Virgin Island with drivers license only
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A DL is not proof that you are a USA resident. I would try very hard to get a replacement card or find the missing one before the trip. Otherwise at minimum I think she’ll face a lot of extra questioning.

Boston
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3. Re: Re-entering U.S from Virgin Island with drivers license only
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I agree with STT Resident. A Green card holder should not travel without it and try to use only a DL. Immigration will know immediately when the put the info into the computer.

It is a 6-9 month wait to get a replacement GC right now. You can get a temporary (up to one year) I-551 stamp in her foreign passport to show lawful residency until the GC is replaced. But to get that she needs to complete the I90 and pay the fee to get her GC replaced and probably visit a USCIS office to get the stamp. Needless to say her foreign passport must still be valid.

I would contact USCIS to find out what she needs to do to travel.

Edited: April 01, 2021, 11:12 am
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