We all like to travel and have a good time, maybe visit a place we have only seen in movies, have a romantic getaway with a spouse, or go visit the old country and reconnect with family. Whatever your motivation to travel there are a couple of things that you need to do to make sure your fantasy trip does not turn into a nightmare.
Don’t Have Passport Surprise- Make sure that your passport is valid for at least 3 months. After you are supposed to return from your trip. If you are a legal permanent resident, or in the U.S. on some temporary status make sure your green card, work permit, etc… is also valid for at least 3 months after your expected date of return.
1. Pro Tip- Check your passport at the time of purchasing the flight you wouldn’t believe how many people realize their documents are expiring a week before they fly out and can’t leave or their documents expire during the trip.
Don’t Lose Your Docs- This can happen by misplacing an item but also if your purse gets snatched or if a thief enters your hotel room. As a precaution do the following:
2. Put your passport and immigration documents in your hotel room safe.
3. Make a copy of the documents (paper) and keep the copy with you but don’t move around with the actual documents.
4. Keep a digital copy of your documents on your phone and email them to you to make sure they are easier to retrieve.
Know Your Travel Rights- Don’t violate your immigration status. Depending on your immigration status you may have travel restrictions. If you are not a United States Citizen, it is important to know the travel restrictions associated with your status.
5. Permanent Resident- No more than 6 months consecutive out of the country
6. Pending Adjustment of Status- If you have a travel permit you will only be able to return it if your case remains pending, which means you should be having short trips and should have someone keeping track of your mail.
7. DACA, Parole, and TPS Recipient- Can’t travel outside of the USA unless you obtain advanced parole before leaving.
a.) Pro Tip: Traveling to Puerto Rico is the United States. But be careful taking cruises as an unforeseen stop can cost you your immigration status.
Don’t Be Too Wild For Your Travel Destination: While traveling you may want to party, get your groove back, or live your best life. Make sure you know the law where you are at. Many countries have more conservative laws as to sexuality, alcohol, recreational drugs, prostitution, littering, and other activities. While traveling you are under that country’s laws and like we saw with Brittney Griner that means your normal behavior may be criminal abroad. You only live once but you renew your immigration status every couple of years so don’t mess that up.
Abraham J Cepeda, Esq.
Offices in Reading, Lancaster & Tampa