Will United allow me to board Canadian bound flight with just a green card?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by ryeguy, Jun 29, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. ryeguy

    ryeguy Silver Member

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    Hello,

    So while I know that entering Canada as a Green Card holder without a passport is absolutely allowed, I am a little nervous about getting on to the plane without a passport. I'm fairly sure that the Green Card will be sufficient at boarding but I'm wondering if anyone can verify from actual experience that this won't be a problem.

    My Canadian passport was mailed to me here in the US and is lost in the mail. Passport Canada says I'm way better off dealing with it in person in Canada and my flight to Vancouver is in a week.

    Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  2. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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  3. ryeguy

    ryeguy Silver Member

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    Thanks! But I know that info is absolutely incorrect for my situation, just need first hand confirmation that green card boarding is ok. Perhaps a United GA might be in the house?
     
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  4. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    No experience being a Canadian, but the following are typical rules that work with most countries. It's probably an offense to conceal that you're a national of the country you're entering. Most countries will not refuse entry to their own nationals regardless of their passport situation. There may be a delay though.
    But if you have some paperwork to back up your passport story, there should not be any delays at all in your case.
     
  5. ryeguy

    ryeguy Silver Member

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    Not worried about getting into Canada, won't be a problem and don't need to worry about concealing anything. Besides, citizenship is clearly stated on the green card... But I'm steering the topic away - What I am concerned about getting on the plane.

    United's site does not mention requiring a passport, it does list the documents CBP allows for exiting the country, one of which is a Green Card. I just don't want any surprises at the airport.
     
  6. ryeguy

    ryeguy Silver Member

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    I guess I should clarify the original question... Will United allow a passenger to board with a Green Card?
     
  7. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    No, you will need your passport to board an international flight. Sent from a reasonably priced car. The green card holder will also need their passport to re-enter the US if returning by air.
     
  8. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Most likely UA will want to see your passport at check-in. I think it's possible you might be able to sneak on-board but someone in customs will catch this on one side or both. I think you may need to wait for the passport or visit an embassy office before you fly.
     
  9. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    There has always been a way for non-citizens to leave the country with a missing or unavailable foreign passport. But since travel procedures are always in flux, it's best to ask United what ID's they'll require to let you board.
     
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  10. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    Of course the right move is to go to the Canadian Consul General office in San Fran and get an emergency passport.
     
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  11. Garp74

    Garp74 Gold Member

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  12. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    It is clearly stated here that Canadian Citizens require one of the following, a NEXUS card, or a Passport. Both of which are also acceptable forms of identification for TSA. TSA does accept a Permanent Resident Card as a form of government issued photo identification, so you should be able to get through security with your Green Card. I don't believe UA will let you board though. If your passport information is already in UA's system, then the system may let you check-in online, but then you'll be required to present either a NEXUS card or a Passport to physically board. I'd probably call UA and ask... if they say no, a trip to the consul general as @colpuck suggested should get you a replacement passport.
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Permanent Resident Card (official name for green card) is on the list you linked to.

    In my experience flying to Canada from SFO, UA won't let you board unless they have checked the docs. I don't know if they will accept a green card as the only document. I remember seeing someone at the gate on a recent flight arguing with the gate agent that he didn't need a passport to enter Canada as a Canadian citizen. GA wouldn't accept it, and I don't know how the discussion ended (I boarded at that time), but I believe he eventually ended up getting on board. The problem is that UA faces fines and return transportation costs if Canada denies admission to someone without proper documentation/Visa, so GAs may not be vey flexible with bending rules.

    If an temporary passport isn't an option, I would definitely to very early go the airport to sort this out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
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  14. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Lots of pretty poor advice being given here.... all least two people actually directly contradicting themselves in the very same sentence. Unless the rules were changed in recent years my personal experience is that you do not need any other identification other a green card. Its quite likely you may/or will run into airport personnel who don't know the rules so be prepared to have to make your case. But unlike those here seem to be just guessing note: this is is based on my personal experience
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
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  15. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    Personal experience certainly adds weight, but the UA website (link in my post above) specifically says that Canadian residents are required to travel with a NEXUS card or a Passport. I still think the appropriate course of action here is to call UA and ask. If UA tells you you're good and comments your record as such, you can defer to notes in your record if an agent does happen to give you a hard time. IMO that's a better bet than taking anyone's comments here as gospel or waiting until the day of travel and realizing you don't have the appropriate documentation. Just my $0.02.
     
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  16. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    UA will not let anyone board an intl flight without a passport. The case of NEXUS card holders may be a bit more nuanced but even they will need a passport if traveling by air:
    • In the United States, a trusted traveler card such as NEXUS is a valid secured document under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, and may be used by itself to reenter the United States from Canada, including by air. Although the card creates a presumption of nationality, neither US nor Canadian law view the NEXUS card as full proof of citizenship. NEXUS cards issued after September 2010 are accepted as proof of citizenship (if the card holder is a citizen of either country) and the traveler is no longer required to carry the passport (if traveling by land only - airport documentation checks can and do require presentation of a passport in addition to the NEXUS card in the event of a secondary inspection).
     
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  17. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    Canada - Destination Passport

    Passport required.

    Travel without passport is possible for:
    Legal permanent residents of the USA holding Permanent Resident/Resident Alien Card (Form I-551) and seeking entry to Canada from:
    - the USA;
    - St. Pierre and Miquelon.

    Document validity rules:

    Passports and/or passport replacing documents issued to nationals of Canada must be valid on arrival.

    Warning: if departing from the USA (regardless of any destination passport exemptions), a valid passport and/or accepted departure document is required by the US immigration authorities.

    Additional information:
    Holders of proof of citizenship issued by Canada, not holding a valid passport; will be granted entry upon arrival only after examination by a Canadian Border Services Officer provided having satisfied the officer about their citizenship.
     
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  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Indeed it does say that.

    But it also says:

    Lawful Permanent Residents require one of the following:

    - passport
    - DHS Travel Document
    - Permanent Resident Card
    - ADIT Stamp

    (I added the bolding).

    So... does the OP fall under the Perm Resident rule or the Canadian Citizen rule? Or both? I could see where my interpretation might differ from a GA's interpretation of those rules even if I showed up with a printout of that page at the gate.

    (and then there is the issue that these are just the departure requirements, but in addition there are also the entry requirements that the passengers have to fulfill and that UA will check to not be liable for return transport and fines)
     
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  19. ryeguy

    ryeguy Silver Member

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    This is exactly what i am looking for... Is this an airline document? If so, perfecto! We're did you find this?

    Thanks!!!


     
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  20. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    Yes, it comes out of the Timatic system airline agents around the world (including UA) use to determine required international travel documentation.
     
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  21. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I am curious to know the outcome. I have NEXUS but I still needed to show my US passport on the US side when I flew with UA to YUL last month. However, I did not have to show my passport when I got there. The NEXUS system just scanned my retina and I was good to go...

    Sent from my DROID4 GLOBAL using milepoint
     
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  22. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    The problem is officially resolved with this data I guess. However, a couple who are friends of mine were in the identical situation, being in the US without their Canadian passports and flying back. They boarded their AA flight without incident or comment, and of course had no problem in Canada.
    FWIW, in case other people rad this and think of other situations, most countries allow their own nationals to enter with national ID cards rather than passports but airlines will not allow boarding flights without documents that will be acceptable at the destination. They usually don't much care about departing country documents unless exit visa is required.
     
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  23. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Glad OP got the answer he was looking for.

    I get the feeling that one could have a signed note from both Stephen Harper and Barack Obama, and a GA might not let him through.

    Have no idea why rolling the dice with just a Green Card is the only option one week out. Were I the OP, I'd be at the Consulate General's office at 9:01 a.m. the next business morning.

    If OP insists on the hard way, would suggest the OP check-in online or print the BP prior to arriving at the airport. Because, the CSR will be another person having to argue with. And as it is, both the TSA (private "security" folks at SFO) and the UA GA, it's going to boil down to the individual on whether they allow the Green Card.

    Hope the OP makes contingency plans.
     
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  24. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    Captain Oveur makes good suggestions, at SFO the gate staff will require checking passports at the desk and again when boarding the flight, also at the desk they will ask to see your BP and if you have printed out prior to airport arrival they will take it and reissue a new one on their BP stock. I do fly SFO YVR numerous times throughout the year and the procedure has always been the same.
     
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  25. ryeguy

    ryeguy Silver Member

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    Just boarded, no issues - though this is likely just my lucky day. In any case looking forward to having a replacement passport issued as soon as humanly possible after I land... Traveling like this is too stressful. Thanks for all your advise. OP is greatly appreciative!
     

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