I'm a permanent resident if the U.S. (green card holder) in the middle of my application for citizenship. I haven't traveled since I was a young child where I was on my mother's Ethiopian passport.

I need to travel to the UK for work but do not have a passport and won't get one in time before the trip. Can I travel to the UK with just a green card?

  • Duplicate of travel.stackexchange.com/questions/56487/…
    – PeteCon
    Jul 2, 2018 at 21:23
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    That duplicate question is where the asker is a UK citizen. Nobody has said that's the case here. Jul 2, 2018 at 21:24
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    Your embassy (from your current citizenship - ethiopian?) might offer a fast-process for a passport. Contact them.
    – Aganju
    Jul 3, 2018 at 2:05
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    @Aganju, the Ethiopian Embassy is a mess right noe because of a regime change and personel changes. I've called a few times.
    – roba
    Jul 3, 2018 at 13:07
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    OP should consider whether applying for some other passport would affect the citizenship application. I don't know, but sounds like the kind of thing that could do. Jul 3, 2018 at 16:16

4 Answers 4


If you are an Ethiopian citizen, then you will not be able to enter the UK without an Ethiopian passport, and you would have to apply for a UK visa. There will be no way you could get a visa to enter the UK with only a green card.

Unfortunately, you may have to postpone this work trip until you obtain your US passport.

  • 20
    ... or an Ethiopian passport and a UK visa.
    – phoog
    Jul 2, 2018 at 21:41

Yes, you need a passport. If you are unable to get an Ethiopian passport and are a refugee or asylee, you may be able to get a travel document from the United States to serve in its place. But the UK will not admit you with just a green card, so the airline won't let you get on the plane.

  • "If you are unable to get an Ethiopian passport and are a refugee or asylee, you may be able to get a travel document from the United States to serve in its place." You may be referring to the Refugee Travel Document, which is available to someone in asylee or refugee status, or a permanent resident who got that status through being an asylee or refugee. However, any permanent resident can get a Re-entry Permit (doens't need to have been a refugee or asylee).
    – user102008
    Jul 3, 2018 at 14:37
  • @user102008 thanks for pointing that out. I didn't mention it because I do not know whether the UK will accept a reentry permit in lieu of a passport. Do you?
    – phoog
    Jul 3, 2018 at 16:04
  • @user102008 The UK Government website does not mention a re-entry permit. Jul 4, 2018 at 6:32
  • @AndrewLeach but that site doesn't mention refugee travel documents either, and the UK does accept those.
    – phoog
    Jul 4, 2018 at 11:18
  • @AndrewLeach: In any case the OP will need to apply for a British visitor visa to visit the UK. The requirements for a British standard visitor visa says "When you apply you’ll need to provide a current passport or other valid travel identification" so non-passports are accepted, and it doesn't list any specific ones.
    – user102008
    Jul 4, 2018 at 15:31

A Green card, on its own, is only valid for entering Canada by land, or re-entering the US.

So no, you will have to cancel the trip (don't forget to get the airport taxes refunded) unless you can get an emergency travel document.

And get a passport before your next trip. You need it.

  • Is this answer relevant for the UK? Why does it mention Canada? Jul 3, 2018 at 21:15
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    @AndreaLazzarotto TO make it clear that Green cards aren't usable for entry into any other country at all
    – Crazydre
    Jul 3, 2018 at 21:42
  • It seems I read it with the emphasis on "by land" rather than on "Canada or the US" and then I started wondering why Canada was mentioned at all. The emphasis in written form is sometimes ambiguous. I will make an edit suggestion. Jul 4, 2018 at 7:35
  • OK, apparently I can't make an edit suggestion because it's less than 6 characters. My suggestion was to replace Canada by land with *Canada* (by land). Jul 4, 2018 at 7:38
  • @AndreaLazzarotto Personally I don't feel such an edit is needed. Jul 4, 2018 at 8:04

If you have your ticket already, you may be able to expedite the passport application. This generally involves personally going into one of the passport centers (they are in select major cities). Information on how much you can expedite and under what conditions is available here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/hurry.html

  • 3
    This is about expediting the issuance of a United States passport, which the OP cannot get in the first place because they're not a citizen (yet). Jul 3, 2018 at 19:14

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