The Global Entry application asks for your passport information in addition to your Green Card, even though technically speaking you only need a Green Card to enter the US. Does this mean one is required to carry a passport when flying into the US or can you fly with just your Green Card and your Global Entry card?

As for scenarios where this could matter: you can fly to Canada and back with just your Green Card. You can likewise fly to the US from the UK with just a Green Card, as the UK doesn't have exit immigration. Finally, EU citizens can fly to the EU with just their national ID card and then return to the US with just their EU ID card and their Green Card.

  • I have tried this, just for fun, and most times it worked without a passport. Typically, the problem arises at the airline check-in, when they don’t know / recognize your country’s ID, even though they should.
    – Aganju
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 7:46
  • I'm skeptical to EU citizens beeing able to enter and exit EU/Schengen with just the national id card, that is meant for easy intra-EU travel. Also, before security in a US airport I had to show my passport, not sure if they would accept a EU national id card
    – Anders
    Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 6:05

2 Answers 2



As a U.S. lawful permanent resident, which document do I use at the Global Entry kiosk?

U.S. lawful permanent residents must use their I-551 permanent resident card at the Global Entry kiosk.

I have never seen any indication that permanent residents would need their foreign passport to use Global Entry. I expect the application asks for it simply as a way to confirm your identity and broaden the background check.

Note that you don't need the Global Entry card either. That card is only useful when entering the US by land or sea, or as a form of identification at airport security.

In any case, using Global Entry is always optional. It doesn't impose any extra documentation requirements solely on the basis of being a member. If you don't meet the requirements to use Global Entry on any given trip, you are always free to go through the normal immigration and customs process, following its normal requirements.

  • 1
    I can confirm that the green card alone is all that's necessary to enter via Global Entry. I also tried to use my passport at a machine once out of interest (the TTP account says both the green card and my passport are valid documents for US entry) and it appeared to be happy with that too, but when it asked me if I wanted a B-1 or B-2 entry I cancelled it and went back to the card.
    – user38879
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 19:45

You only need your I-551 (green card) to re-enter the US. If the green card is expired but you are still in the US legally, there is other documentation that you'll need to provide.

You should look entry requirements in Timatic, the IATA's system for documenting entry requirements. United Airlines has a nice free interface to Timatic. Make sure you specify USA for resident country/region and Alien Residents for passenger type. The Timatic results are all specific to the data you enter.

Since you mentioned situations where you may not need a passport to enter a country, in particular Canada, I looked up the entry requirements for a citizen of the last country in the list (as you must specify a nationality and I don't know yours) and the only exemption for having a passport is:

Passengers with a Permit to Re-Enter (Form I-327) issued by the USA.

Having a I-551 (green card) simply gives you a visa exemption:

Passengers with a Permanent Resident/Resident Alien Card (Form I-551) issued by the USA and an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). They are visa exempt for a maximum stay of 6 months.

Also, Canada indicates that a passport is required.

your valid passport that you used to apply for your eTA.

Regardless of what documents are requested when you actually enter Canada, or any other country, the airline should go by Timatic. If you have any trouble with airline personnel at check-in, you'll want to be able to show what the entry requirements are and that you have the appropriate documents. In this particular case, it shows that a passport is required.

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