Traveling as a Green Card Holder in Times of Covid: Part 1

Traveling as a Green Card…

Traveling overseas for an extended period of time when you have a green card (permanent residence card) has always been tricky. However, it has become even trickier during the Covid pandemic.

We're publishing a series of blog posts about traveling overseas as a green card holder during Covid. The focus on this post is what document you need to be able to board the airplane to return to the U.S., if you are a permanent resident.

If you are returning from a trip overseas, you must have in hand one of the following documents to board an airplane to the U.S.:

  • Unexpired Valid Permanent Resident Card (green card)
  • Re-entry permit (valid and unexpired; original)
  • Expired green cards:
    • You may be permitted to board an airplane with an expired green card, if the card had a 10-year expiration date.
    • Expired green card with I-90 receipt notice (starting in Jan. 2021). This is temporary evidence for 12 months from the date of expiration of the green card.
    • If USCIS put an extension sticker on your green card (before Jan 2021), the green card is valid through the date of the expiration of the sticker
  • Expired conditional residence: If your green card is valid for two years and it has expired, you may board with the expired green card and the valid I-751 receipt notice. This receipt notice extends the green card for 18 days from the date of expiration.
  • SB-1 Visa: Valid and Unexpired - this is also sometimes called a returning resident visa.

Update: We have published Part 2 of this series. Please click HERE to continue to Part 2.

As always, please note that the information above is for educational purposes only. It is not legal advice. If you have questions about returning to the U.S. as a green card holder, you must obtain legal advice.

If you need help navigating the immigration or naturalization process with confidence, please contact us today to get the process underway! We are immigration lawyers in Richmond, VA but we serve clients throughout the U.S. and around the world. You can call us at 804-396-3412 or send us an email at We look forward to hearing from you!