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I am looking for recent experiences for people who travel from US mainland to Puerto Rico and from Puerto Rico to US mainland.

  1. Did you other others in your flight had to go through custom/immigration in either direction?
  2. Was your state ID/driver license sufficient for this travel?
  3. Was there any other difference then a regular domestic travel?
  4. Were you non-citizen or non-permanent resident during that time?

I am a little concerned since i have green card and AP in processing and i don't want to show them for any reason as there is risk of them getting canceled.

I know Customs suggests that all non-citizens and non-permanent resident should carry passport. But was wondering if they actually will require it an look at it in practice.

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    Don't you think that refusing to show your passport when it is required would increase the risk of your adjustment of status application being refused?
    – phoog
    Jun 24 at 1:33
  • I suspect the answer will strongly vary on whether or not you look “American”.
    – JonathanReez
    Jun 24 at 1:59
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    Whether you have to go through an immigration check, whether a passport is required, and whether your Adjustment of Status and Advance Parole applications are affected are different things. Your AOS and AP applications should not be affected if you didn't depart the US. There is a possibility that you would have to go through an immigration check and would have to present a passport, but at the same time it would not be considered a departure or entry.
    – user102008
    Jun 24 at 4:26
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Travel from the US mainland to Puerto Rico is definitely considered "domestic", and is no different to travel to any US state. I have made this trip several times over the past ~10 years as a non-citizen, and know several other people that have as well (US citizens and greencard holders).

As with any US domestic trip, it is ALWAYS recommended (and generally, legally required) for a non-citizen to carry their passport and/or greencard with them. US law allows immigration staff to confirm a persons valid immigration status any time they are within 100 miles of a US border, and that obviously includes all of Puerto Rico, and spot checks are carried out on occasion. That's not to say yours will be checked (and certainly, mine never was) - but the odds of being checked are probably higher than in most other airports given Puerto Rico's geographic location (close to Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

Puerto Rico also has some additional customs rules that mainland states may not have, and bags (and potentially, passengers) can be subject to additional checks on arrival. Again, I've never experienced this personally.

As you will not be entering or leaving the US, such a trip will have no impact on your AOS/AP/EAD processing.

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  • "US law allows immigration staff to confirm a persons valid immigration status any time they are within 100 miles of a US border": immigration officers do not need to be within 100 miles of a border to investigate immigration status.
    – phoog
    Jun 24 at 20:21
  • @phoog The Fourth Amendment may disagree with you, but this probably isn't the place for that discussion...
    – Doc
    Jun 24 at 20:36
  • The 100-mile limit does not come from the fourth amendment but from 8 USC 1357(a)(3), where "reasonable distance" is defined by 8 CFR 287.1(a)(2) as 100 miles. This only concerns the power "to board and search for aliens any vessel within the territorial waters of the United States and any railway car, aircraft, conveyance, or vehicle." By contrast, the power "to interrogate any alien or person believed to be an alien" is conferred by 1357(a)(1), which is not limited to areas close to the border.
    – phoog
    Jun 25 at 3:59

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