I am a lawful permanent resident Green Card holder. How do I apply for a reentry permit?
A lawful permanent resident, or “Green Card” holder, may normally travel outside the United States and return; although, there are some limitations. A reentry permit can be crucial to help prevent two types of problems:
- Your Green Card becomes technically invalid for reentry if you are absent from the United States for 1 year or more.
- Your U.S. permanent residence may be considered abandoned for absences shorter than 1 year if you take up residence in another country.
Do I need a reentry permit?
The purpose of the reentry permit is to establish that you did not intend to abandon your lawful permanent resident status. It allows you to apply for admission to the U.S. after traveling abroad for up to 2 years without the need to obtain a returning resident visa. Reentry permits are usually valid for 2 years from the date of issuance.
You may also want to obtain a reentry permit if you are unable to or do not wish to get a passport from your country of citizenship and plan to travel outside of the United States. Many countries throughout the world may allow you to use a reentry permit much like a passport – placing necessary visas and entry and exit stamps in the permit.
How do I get a U.S. reentry permit?
To obtain a reentry permit, it is encouraged to hire an experienced U.S. immigration attorney. Our Los Angeles immigration lawyers have successfully helped hundreds of clients obtain travel permits by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.
What is the fee to file for a travel permit?
There are different circumstances in most cases and the fee can vary depending on the circumstance. Please contact our experienced immigration attorney now for a FREE consultation.
What will happen if I do not apply for a reentry permit before I travel outside of the United States?
Green Card holders who are planning to travel outside of the United States for 1 year or more are strongly encouraged to apply for a reentry permit prior to departing the U.S.
If you stay outside the U.S. for 1 year or more and did not apply for a reentry permit before leaving, you may be considered to have abandoned your permanent resident status. In these events, you will be referred to an Immigration Judge to decide whether or not you have abandoned your status.
If you are in a situation similar to this, please contact our Los Angeles lawyer right now.
Can I file my Form I-131 to get a reentry permit while I am outside of the United States?
The simple answer is no. You cannot file Form I-131 to obtain a reentry permit unless you are physically present in the United States when you file the form. You should file Form I-131 at least 60 days prior to the intended travel date.
Can I leave the United States while my reentry permit application is pending?
USCIS will not automatically deny a reentry permit application is the applicant departs the United States before they can approve the application. You are required to attend the biometrics appointment to have your fingerprints and photo taken, once these have been obtained the applicant may depart the United States and await the reentry permit approval before reentering the U.S.
You cannot have your biometrics taken abroad. If you leave the United States before you provide your biometrics, USCIS will deny the application.
I am leaving the U.S. for less than 1 year. Do I need a reentry permit?
If you plan to travel outside of the United States for less than 1 year, a reentry permit is not required in order to return to the U.S. without losing your LPR status.
If you have questions that were not answered above, please contact our immigration lawyer now for a FREE consultation via online or by phone at (213) 738-8700.