I am a citizen of one of the countries on the US travel ban list. I applied and got my passport from my embassy last week and I'm planning on traveling to another country (not my country of origin).

I am currently a US permanent resident and awaiting to receive US citizenship. I plan to travel in a couple of months for a two-week stay. Would this travel ban apply to me or should I cancel my trip? After all, doesn't the law say that I can travel freely with my permanent resident card for up to a year?

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    Regardless of whether you can legally do this now, waiting until you receive your US citizenship will make it far easier and less stressful. US Citizens can't be denied reentry, at all. Aug 13, 2018 at 2:31
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    @LegendofLegends Until you have citizenship, you have no guarantees. Only you can decide if it's worth the risk. Aug 13, 2018 at 3:14
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    @RobertColumbia US permanent residents can only be denied entry under the most limited of circumstances. For most people, waiting for citizenship is entirely unnecessary.
    – phoog
    Aug 13, 2018 at 8:36
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    Even after you have become a (naturalized) Citizen, there may be no guarantees: newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/…
    – user52701
    Aug 13, 2018 at 12:55
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    I guess there's really no guarantee of me returning to a country I've lived in for ten years..... Utter ridiculousness that a permanent resident has to go through this headache. Thank you all Aug 13, 2018 at 23:57

1 Answer 1


The travel ban in its current form does not apply to US permanent residents (holders of green cards): source. Given the current administration, what might happen in the two weeks you're gone is impossible to predict, but as the policies stand now you should be allowed back in. (Although it seems quite unlikely that green card holders would be denied entry categorically given the backlash against the initial ban, which did apply to them)

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    @jwenting The current administration did try to initially prevent US permanent residents from returning under the initial order, though in a chaotic fashion. Courts were very quick to stop that as well, and the version of the order that is currently in effect explicitly exempts permanent residents. But given the initial order, I'd say this administration is more likely to act in ways others wouldn't, even if courts may well intervene. Aug 13, 2018 at 10:23
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    @ZachLipton they didn't deliberately try that, it was merely a side effect of a quickly and poorly written statement and an even worse implementation of it by DHS and TSA. I seriously doubt that was ever the intent.
    – jwenting
    Aug 13, 2018 at 10:31
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    @jwenting "Senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security initially interpreted Trump's order to not apply to green card holders from the seven banned countries. Trump White House overruled that reading, however, meaning those green card holders were initially barred." I agree that the entire process was utterly chaotic and filled with incompetence, but once people were asking for guidance on this topic, they did not immediately say "of course permanent residents are exempt." That said, I agree with phoog above. Aug 13, 2018 at 10:40
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    I have reverted the edits because there is specific historical evidence that this administration is more likely to change immigration laws regarding the entry of green card holders from certain countries, namely that they (for a short time) already did so. It's not a political rant and the current administration is clearly relevant to the initial question. In general, I do agree with phoog, however.
    – ajd
    Aug 13, 2018 at 13:07
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    @RonJohn True. They can (and did) change immigration policy, though. U.S. law gives an absurdly broad amount of power to the President to ban pretty much anyone from entering the country any time he wants for however long he wants if that person is not a national of the United States. Literally the only requirement in the law is that the President 'finds' that the person's (or group's) entry to the country is not in the national interest.
    – reirab
    Aug 13, 2018 at 18:49

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