I am planning to travel to Toronto in March 2018, but I don’t know if I can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) with my U.S Green Card expired and the receipt I-751, which extend my Green Card up to September 2018, or if I have to apply for a visa since the Canadian law requires visa for Colombians.

  • Is this a US green card? Is it valid, and will it be valid in March 2018? What exactly do you mean by 'extension letter'? Please edit this information into the question. Jan 28, 2018 at 14:39
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    @DJClayworth: People who immigrate by being petitioned by a spouse and who get permanent residency before they've been married 2 years become conditional permanent residents; they get a 2-year green card and must apply for Removal of Conditions with I-751 in the 90 day window before the 2-year card expires. When they file I-751, the I-751 receipt is also a letter that extends the validity of the expired green card for 1 year. The letter, combined with the expired green card, serves as a valid proof of permanent residency for official US purposes, including work and entry.
    – user102008
    Jan 28, 2018 at 15:59
  • @DJClayworth I just updated the question.
    – Nathy
    Jan 30, 2018 at 3:39
  • I'm on the same boat as you: having an expired US green card with extension letter to 2019 and flying to Canada this Dec. Can you share what happened when you flew in Jan to Canada? Was the eTA and your expired US green card & extension letter be enough to get through the airport? Thanks so much! Nov 11, 2018 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


I am not sure. This FAQ says that for eTA you need a valid green card, or an I-551 stamp on your passport. It doesn't mention an expired conditional card plus extension letter as acceptable, though the answer might just be incomplete.

People applying for Removal of Conditions don't usually bother to get I-551 stamps, unless they lose the extension letter or the one year is close to ending, because otherwise the expired green card plus extension letter is valid for all official US purposes. Some offices might not even give I-551 stamps to people who already have an extension letter that's not close to expiring, unless you have a good reason (though needing it for Canadian eTA would be a good reason). So it might be safer to go to the local USCIS office and get an I-551 stamp.

I looked on the eTA application itself, and it doesn't ask whether you have a card or I-551 stamp specifically; it just asks for your A-number and "date of expiry". Presumably people with an I-551 stamp would put the expiration date of the 1-year stamp. If you want to try using just the expired green card and extension letter without getting an I-551 stamp, I guess the most correct thing to do would be to put 1 year beyond the expiration of the green card as the date of expiry.

  • Yes, this is why I am confused. I have been searching everywhere for this topic and I found that some people just extended 1 year their Green Cards expiration date as the I-751 mention. I also have been trying to reach the Canadian embassy, but they do not answer my email and they do not have a phone line number to ask this kind of questions. Thank you so much for your help!!
    – Nathy
    Jan 30, 2018 at 3:30

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