If you are a green card holder planning to travel outside the country for more than a year, a re-entry permit is what you need before departing. If you don’t have one, your entry into America can be revoked while abandoning your legal status. To avoid making such severe mistakes, ensure partnering with a professional to travel stress-free.
When a permanent resident (P.R.) travels outside the U.S., they may re-enter based on a green card as long as they stayed abroad for no more than one year. However, when they remain outside the country for more than one year, a green card alone cannot permit re-entry to The States. This is where a Re-Entry Permit comes into play. Although it doesn’t guarantee admission, your trip as a permanent resident is undoubtedly recognized as temporary. It certifies that your permanent residence status isn’t abandoned despite you having to travel for an extended period.
Essentially, a re-entry permit is an official travel document having two sole purposes:
- It allows a Lawful Permanent Resident (L.P.R.) or Conditional Permanent Resident (C.P.R.) to re-enter America after traveling abroad for less than two years.
- It can also function similar to a passport for a U.S. P.R. if they cannot obtain one from the country of their nationality.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials can stop you from entering America without a valid re-entry permit. Your absence indicates that you moved abroad permanently. A re-entry permit thus helps prevent this problem and stands valid for 2 years. If your permit expires, you will have to apply for a new one. If the circumstances demand you to stay abroad for a prolonged period, contact an attorney to help you maintain your legal status in America.
Submit a complete and accurately filled Form I-131 with the USCIS. Be physically present in the country when doing so, or your application will be denied. Your biometrics are collected along with the following documents:
- Copy of your passport and green card
- Application and biometrics payment receipt
A statement indicating the reason (and location) of your extended travel and the intent to return is a must to provide. You must also submit evidence of homeownership, bank statements, tax returns, and driver’s license. Processing can take anywhere between 90 days and seven months from the date of application submission to the biometrics appointment and, finally, the issuance of the permit.
Get the Legal Help You Need
A re-entry permit isn’t a cure-all – it doesn’t protect you from abandonment issues and can risk your legal status. Contact an attorney for better assistance if you are an LPR wishing to travel abroad for more than a year while preserving your legal status. Do not leave your immigration benefits to chance. Schedule a consultation with a Daniel Albert Law Firm attorney today, and address your immigration needs without costly delays and rejections. Call us at 832-930-3059 for more information.