Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the U.S. can travel freely outside of the nation. When LPRs may need to travel and remain outside of the U.S. for longer than a year – or when their travels may require them to reside in another country for a period of less than one year, however, the LPR status can become invalid or be considered abandoned.
In these situations, obtaining a reentry permit can be essential to:
- Preventing LPR status from being invalidated
- Having permission to travel abroad for up to two years without needing to secure a resident visa upon reentry to the U.S.
Applying for a Reentry Permit
Applying for a reentry permit starts with the completion of Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. This form will need to be submitted to USCIS “well in advance” of the planned trip aboard to ensure the permit is secured before the applicant leaves the country.
It is possible, however, for USCIS to issue decisions regarding reentry permits after an applicant has left the country (as long as the application is submitted while the petitioner was within U.S. borders). In these cases, it should be specified on the application that the individual will be leaving and that the reentry permit (if issued) should be remitted to a specific overseas U.S. Embassy or consulate office.
Reentry Permits: More Important Information
- The biometrics requirement – Upon filing an application for a reentry permit, the applicant will be notified about when (s)he is required to submit to biometrics (as part of the background check process). This must be done within the U.S. If petitioners leave the U.S. after submitting their reentry permit application but before the biometrics have been submitted, the application can be denied.
- Permit expirations & extensions – Once a reentry permit has been issued, it cannot be extended. So, if the permit expires, the permit holder will have to apply for a new reentry permit. If the permit holder loses this permit, this should be indicated on the application (as USCIS will not grant a new permit if someone is already a permit holder).
Contact a Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.
Do you need help with any immigration issues? If so, you can turn to a Los Angeles immigration lawyer at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.
To learn more about our citizenship, immigration and deportation defense services contact us today by calling (626) 684-3712 or (866) 227-5527 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the screen. From our office in Pasadena, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world.
We offer free, confidential initial consultations to provide potential clients with expert advice regarding their immigration law needs. Additionally, we are able to provide immigration legal services in various languages, including in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesian, Tagalog and Fukienese.