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Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth?

Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth?

Old Feb 9th 2020, 1:23 am
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Default Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth?

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I'm a dual citizen with 2 passports. Let's say passport A and passport B. Passport A is the country of birth / country of origin. Passport B I acquired later in life before immigration to US.

Upon entering US I presented my green-card and was fully prepared to also show my passport. When asked to show one I showed my passport B. I was then surprised that the immigration officer didn't accept the passport B and asked me to present passport A. When I asked for the reason the reply was look at your green card (where the country of origin is) it says Passport A, you have to show me passport A.

I was under impression that I am entitled to show any passport as long as I have at least one I should be permitted to enter is that not true ?
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Old Feb 9th 2020, 1:42 am
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Default Re: Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth

The country code on your green card will be your country of birth. It doesn’t necessarily follow that is also your country of citizenship but Uncle Sam presumes it will be hence the request for Passport A.
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Old Feb 9th 2020, 1:47 am
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Default Re: Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth

Right, but am I to assume that Uncle would deny me entry if I had greencard and only Passport B and happened not to have Passport A on me at the time (perhaps I lost it or perhaps it was expired and I sent it to be renewed over mail, or another thing I could have sent it via mail to get a visa) ?
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Old Feb 9th 2020, 10:46 am
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Default Re: Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth

If you’ve coming from Canada and Mexico then you only need your Green Card - no passport required. If you’re coming from elsewhere then you are suppose to show your passport from your country of origin and your Green Card. I’m not aware of a legal prohibition on showing a different passport to the one listed on your Green Card - and being refused entry with a valid Green Card seems highly unlikely - but since we’re discussing hypotheticals I would always ensure to show Passport A and avoid any potential issues.
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Old Feb 9th 2020, 11:55 am
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Default Re: Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth

I always traveled to the US under VW with passport B, so I applied for my L1a with passport B. I do recall on the DS-160 it asks in section 2 for details of all nationalities and passports so they will have them all on file.

I kept using this passport B nationality all the way to my N400

The one time it came up was at my Naturalization interview, when the interviewing office advised that my country of Birth (passport A) needed to be on the certificate.

I only showed my passport minimal times as a GC holder as I had GE and it was linked to the GC (I did. always have the passport with me). I always needed it at checkin. I thought in theory all you needed was a GC to enter.

Not sure why the OP had issues. Was the Passport B citizenship known to the US? Was A a citizenship that is on a current banned list or China etc?


Last edited by tht; Feb 9th 2020 at 12:11 pm.
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Old Feb 9th 2020, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth

Ultimately, it doesn't matter what's 'right' or what's 'wrong'. The officer at the POA had the final say. If he/she is suspicious of anything, wants to make it difficult or requests anything in particular, then as you found out, you must comply.

The golden rule is, if you travel anywhere you're likely to be asked to provide proof of citizenship/residence/birth country, and you don't have a US passport, then as you already found out, it's best to have it with you. Even if you don't need it. Personally, I wouldn't volunteer it, but I would have it available, whether you think it's 'fair' or not. After all, it could mean a delay or at worst, a trip back on the next plane!
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Old Feb 9th 2020, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth

Originally Posted by tht View Post
The one time it came up was at my Naturalization interview, when the interviewing office advised that my country of Birth (passport A) needed to be on the certificate.
At my interview I was asked which country I wanted on my certificate.
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Old Feb 9th 2020, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth

I can think of two circumstances where you are born in a country but not have citizenship.

I wonder if in this case the officer didn't know that and expected place of birth and passport to match or if they were just being officious.
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Old Feb 9th 2020, 6:07 pm
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Default Re: Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth

Originally Posted by gad33 View Post
At my interview I was asked which country I wanted on my certificate.
i did not really care, it only shows on the certificate as “Country of former nationality” if anything he did me a favor because I have have an explicate certificate from the one listed (Germany) to confirm permission to acquire the USC and not loose my German one. Despite the cost at least I have been able to retain them all, luckier than some who loose them when they acquire a new one.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 10:39 am
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Default Re: Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth

Originally Posted by gad33 View Post
I can think of two circumstances where you are born in a country but not have citizenship.

I wonder if in this case the officer didn't know that and expected place of birth and passport to match or if they were just being officious.
I suspect that is the case. I failed to mention before, but during the all of the process of acquiring the green card I always presented and used passport B. Original entry visa and all subsequent L1 entry stamps where placed in passport B (this latest ARC entry stamp was placed in my passport A). Of course I did have a complete scan of all pages of both passports as part of my I-485 application as it is required.

This is what I've been able to dig up:
United States (U.S.) LPRs do not need a passport to enter the U.S. as per 8 CFR 211.1(a)
And the CBP carrier information guide, page 28 ( could not provide the URL as per forum rules but attached the printout of the article 1191 from the help.cbp.gov website:
A Lawful Permanent Resident may travel to the United States without a passport with a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551).
If I was armed with these 2 pieces of write-up would I be able to enter without the passport A or would this just make the officer upset I wonder.... at this stage the question is would I have issues for my spouse her situation is exactly the same except for another complication
that her passport A has her maiden name on it so it doesn't match what's on the green card, while the passport B does have a matching name, so to avoid questions it would seem easier to show the passport B where name is the same (that is if the officers new the rules).

Last edited by ambidexterous; Feb 10th 2020 at 10:43 am.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth

Originally Posted by ambidexterous View Post
I suspect that is the case. I failed to mention before, but during the all of the process of acquiring the green card I always presented and used passport B. Original entry visa and all subsequent L1 entry stamps where placed in passport B (this latest ARC entry stamp was placed in my passport A). Of course I did have a complete scan of all pages of both passports as part of my I-485 application as it is required.

This is what I've been able to dig up:

And the CBP carrier information guide, page 28 ( could not provide the URL as per forum rules but attached the printout of the article 1191 from the help.cbp.gov website:


If I was armed with these 2 pieces of write-up would I be able to enter without the passport A or would this just make the officer upset I wonder.... at this stage the question is would I have issues for my spouse her situation is exactly the same except for another complication
that her passport A has her maiden name on it so it doesn't match what's on the green card, while the passport B does have a matching name, so to avoid questions it would seem easier to show the passport B where name is the same (that is if the officers new the rules).
I don’t think bringing Print-outs of rules will help you, they may look at them when they send you to secondary.....

I found the best approach once I got my GC was to get Global Entry, that was the fastest way in but they will also want passport detail during the application.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 11:37 am
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Default Re: Entry to US on green card. Do I need to present passport of country of birth

Originally Posted by tht View Post
I don’t think bringing Print-outs of rules will help you, they may look at them when they send you to secondary.....
More likely that thy would be a hindrance and look like trying to prove the officer is wrong.
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