I am currently waiting for my green card in the USA. I was wondering if I could travel to Puerto Rico since it is a territory. Under my green card application I'm not allowed to leave the USA, if I do it is seen as abandoning my application. However if the flight is domestic I assume there would be no problem as there is no immigration.

  • If you have a state ID, just use that one. I flew to Puerto Rico few years ago as F-1 student. – mlt Aug 11 '14 at 18:38
  • @mlt What state ID did you use? – Vagish Aug 11 '14 at 18:45
  • You can fly domestic airlines with ID of any state. I had MN driver's license that time. – mlt Aug 12 '14 at 20:00
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    @mlt Not all US state identifications are valid for flying as of 2020-10-01. See the TSA Identification page. – Basil Bourque Jan 3 at 22:05

Flights to Puerto Rico are considered domestic flights, and US Citizens do not need a passport to travel between the US and any US territories. However, foreign citizens do need a passport to travel between the two, (see answers.usa.gov) so I can't say for certain how a trip like that will affect your Green Card eligibility. Your best bet is to check with an immigration official.

  • What ID do US citizens take? Would an Ohio driving licence suffice? – Vagish Aug 11 '14 at 12:49
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    @user102008 I've added a link to a citation. (It will appear when the edit is approved.) – Alan Munn Aug 11 '14 at 21:56
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    But how do they know you are not a U.S. national if you just use another photo ID? – user102008 Aug 12 '14 at 0:33
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    I've been to PR twice as a non-US citizen, both times traveling from the mainland. On neither occasion did I need to talk to CBP, and on neither occasion did I need to show my passport (I have a US drivers license). However, any non-Citizen should always travel with their passport, especially when travelling to areas like PR or the border states. Regardless, none of this is relevant for the original question. – Doc Aug 12 '14 at 1:05
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    @Doc There is a distinct gap between "you must show these documents" and "you must be able to show these documents upon request". – LessPop_MoreFizz Aug 12 '14 at 1:27

It's domestic, period, so no passport control. Never heard of CBP officials doing spot checks for flights to/from Puerto Rico but if they do, you could explain your Status to them in case you don't bring your passport. They will be able to check it out

Btw, once you get your Green card it's all you need even when entering the US from overseas. For example if you go to Europe, although a passport is needed for entry over there, once you get back to the US you simply present the Green Card.

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    CBP does random checks of flights from Puerto Rico to the mainland, due to the high incidence of illegal immigrants from the Dominican Republic or elsewhere. Legally this is similar to the highway checkpoints in the southwestern US. – Michael Hampton Apr 27 '16 at 1:14
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    I see! However, seeing as passports aren't required for the travel itself, surely one should be able to board without unless the officer smells something fishy? – Crazydre Apr 27 '16 at 1:21
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    Right. They aren't looking for the people with visas or green cards. They're looking for people who got illegally smuggled into the country. – Michael Hampton Apr 27 '16 at 1:22
  • @MichaelHampton is it Border Patrol agents or CBP field agents? What would they do if they found a noncitizen who did not have a passport? – phoog Oct 10 '18 at 19:43
  • @phoog Having a valid passport isn't per se a prerequisite for being legally in the US. Unlike in most countries, whether you're legal is determined by your registered status, not by what documents you hold (other than the physical I-94 if your entry wasn't electronically recorded). To gain entry is another thing – Crazydre Jan 7 '19 at 22:20

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