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scotinmass

Traveling on a green card extension letter

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Hi Everyone,

We just returned from a one week trip to Scotland to visit my family. My Greencard expired on Feb 8th and I have the extension letter allowing me to work and travel for a further year. We flew from Boston to London Heathrow then on to Edinburgh. Leaving the US I was never asked for my Greencard. When we checked in at Edinburgh Airport with British Airways the woman at the desk asked for my Greencard. She scanned it in the system and it told her it was expired. I told her about the extension letter and she asked to see it. She then manually changed the expiry date of my Greencard to 2013 and checked us in. When we arrived back in Boston I gave the CBP Officer my passport, Greencard and extension letter. He immediately handed me the extension letter back and scanned my Greencard. Obviously the extension is in the system and they don't need the letter.

So basically there was no issues at all traveling with an expired Greencard and extension letter. They don't seem to require the letter in the US but make sure you take it with you in case they ask for it in the country you are traveling to when you return.

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IN GENERAL:

ALWAYS take the original letter with you when you travel outside the country. Whenevr you present your expired Green Card at a foreign departure port, you will ALWAYS be asked to present the original letter. Most airlines, from my first-hand experience, are familiar with this requirement and will not give you any hassles.

I re-entered the United States nine times on my expired card and the verfication delays at the foreign port, on the few instances they occured, were never more than about seven minutes. I can confirm from first hand experience that British Airways, Air France, Jet Blue, American Airways, Iceland Air and Virgin Atlantic are familiar with this process and will give you minimal/no hassles.

Do not rely on the I-551 stamp in the passport often obtained at INFOPASS appointments. The purpose is to replace the Green Card and Extension Letter, but it has NEVER, from first hand experience, satisfied authorites at foreign departure ports in the first instance. I once tried to "test" the veracity of the I-551 stamp as a stand-alone by presenting it, and only it, for a United States-bound flight. I was told that if I couldn't present my Green Card and Extension Letter, the airline might have to scan and send a copy of my passport and I-551 stamp to US immigration authorities and wait for an entry clearance to be sent back. At that point, I provided the card and the letter and was shortly cleared to proceed.

The point I'm making in my last paragraph is that, while the I-551 stamp is a valid immigration document which ultimately will grant entry to the United States (albeit, after a bit of a hassle perhaps), the GREEN CARD + EXTENSION LETTER (ORIGINAL) are golden!

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Hi Everyone,

We just returned from a one week trip to Scotland to visit my family. My Greencard expired on Feb 8th and I have the extension letter allowing me to work and travel for a further year. We flew from Boston to London Heathrow then on to Edinburgh. Leaving the US I was never asked for my Greencard. When we checked in at Edinburgh Airport with British Airways the woman at the desk asked for my Greencard. She scanned it in the system and it told her it was expired. I told her about the extension letter and she asked to see it. She then manually changed the expiry date of my Greencard to 2013 and checked us in. When we arrived back in Boston I gave the CBP Officer my passport, Greencard and extension letter. He immediately handed me the extension letter back and scanned my Greencard. Obviously the extension is in the system and they don't need the letter.

So basically there was no issues at all traveling with an expired Greencard and extension letter. They don't seem to require the letter in the US but make sure you take it with you in case they ask for it in the country you are traveling to when you return.

I guess depends on the airport, they asked for mine in Dallas

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