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What's the difference between a GC and a US Passport

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (pnd) Country: China
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Well this sounds like an easy one, but what is the different between a green card issued by uncle Sam (to the permanent residents) and the passport (issued to the, well, us USCs), in terms of visa requirement to visit foreign countries?

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: India
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A GC holder is a legal permanent resident of the US. He/she still remains a citizen of their own country. They are thus subject to visa requirements for visiting other countries just as they were before. The only countries I'm not sure about are Canada and Mexico.

A US passport holder is a USC. They have special visa waivers for other countries and can travel without visas to several countries around the world.

Edited by sachinky

03/27/2009: Engaged in Ithaca, New York.
08/17/2009: Wedding in Calcutta, India.
09/29/2009: I-130 NOA1
01/25/2010: I-130 NOA2
03/23/2010: Case completed.
05/12/2010: CR-1 interview at Mumbai, India.
05/20/2010: US Entry, Chicago.
03/01/2012: ROC NOA1.
03/26/2012: Biometrics completed.
12/07/2012: 10 year card production ordered.

09/25/2013: N-400 NOA1

10/16/2013: Biometrics completed

12/03/2013: Interview

12/20/2013: Oath ceremony

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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Well this sounds like an easy one, but what is the different between a green card issued by uncle Sam (to the permanent residents) and the passport (issued to the, well, us USCs), in terms of visa requirement to visit foreign countries?

Basically you just need to look up the requirements for each country before you visit. With Canada, the green card will suffice, if you are crossing a land border, but they may ask for the passport as well. Most airlines will not let you board without a passport anyway, if you are flying.

But the bottom line is, if you previously needed a visa to visit Canada, you will not with the green card.

Edited by trailmix

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Australia
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** moved from "Adjustment of Status (Green Card) from Family Based Visas" to General Immigration Related Discussion as this isn't an AOS question specifically, more a general Immigration question**

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Filed: Other Timeline

Correct. For starters, assume you do not have a GC when you intend to travel to a foreign country. There are a few exceptions, however, where the GC works like a visa waiver.


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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