Q: What is a Re-Entry Permit?
A: A Permanent Resident who intends to travel and remain abroad for a period of one year or more risks being denied admission to the United States as he or she would be deemed to have abandoned his or her permanent resident status. A Re-Entry Permit allows a US Permanent Resident to re-enter the United States after being abroad for a period of one year but less than two years.
Q: I am a Permanent Resident and I need to return to my home country and remain there for more than one year. Do you recommend that I apply and obtain a Re-Entry Permit?
A: If you travel abroad and is absent from the US for more than one year and you do not have a Re-Entry Permit, you would be deemed to have abandoned your permanent residence and may be denied admission. The purpose of a Re-Entry Permit is to solve this problem for a Permanent Resident who plans to be absent from US for more than one year but less than two years.
Q: If my mom who is a permanent resident remains abroad for more than one year on the Re-Entry Permit, how will this affect her application for naturalization?
A: Unfortunately, it will affect her application for naturalization. To be eligible for naturalization, she needs to have been continuously resident in the US for the past 5 years prior to her applying for naturalization. The continuous presence requirement is broken if she is absent from the US for a period of more than 180 days. Any absence of one year or more creates an irrebuttable presumption that her continuous residence has been broken. The Re-Entry Permit will help her preserve her permanent residency but will not help her preserve her continuous residence. As such, she will need to wait for at least four years and one day from her return to the US before she becomes eligible to file for her naturalization.
Q: What is the difference between Advance Parole and Re-Entry Permit.
A: Advance Parole is given to a foreign national who is not yet a Permanent Resident. For example, a foreign national who is applying to adjust his or her status to become a permanent resident is eligible to apply for advance parole. Another example of those who may apply for advance parole are individuals who have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Re-Entry Permits are strictly for US Permanent Residents as well as Conditional Residents who intend to remain abroad for more than one year (but less than two years). The Advance Parole document is valid for a maximum period of one year whereas the Re-Entry Permit is typically valid for two years.
Q: What is the Form to use if I wish to apply for the Re-Entry Permit? How much is the Filing Fee?
A: Use Form I-131 Application for Travel Document. The Filing Fee including Biometrics is $660.00. The biometrics fee of $85.00 is waived for those 13 years old or younger and for those 79 years and older.
Q: I need to travel immediately and I anticipate that I will have to continue to be abroad for more than one year. Can I apply for the Re-Entry Permit when I am outside the United States?
A: You must apply for the Re-Entry Permit and provide your Biometrics before departing the US. In special circumstances, you may request for the Biometrics to be expedited. In addition, you might be allowed to attend the Biometrics appointment earlier than scheduled. In the application, you may specifically request that the Re-Entry Permit be sent to a US Embassy, consulate or DHS office overseas for you to pick up.
Q: How many times can I apply for a Re-Entry Permit? Can it be extended?
A: A re-entry permit cannot be extended. You will need to apply for a new Re-Entry Permit when needed. Also, the grant and period of the validity of subsequent Re-Entry Permits may be for the lesser period of one year. USCIS retains the discretion to approve a Re-Entry Permit for only one year instead of two.
Q: My Re-Entry Permit is still about to expire but I need to do another extended travel. Can I apply for another Re-Entry Permit?
A: Yes, you may. But since your present Re-Entry Permit is still valid, you will need to send that Re-Entry Permit in when you submit your application for the new Re-Entry Permit.
Q: My father has been abroad for more than one year with a re-entry permit. The re-entry permit still has about 9 months validity left and he cannot find it. It is lost. How will he be able to come back to the US? He wants to travel back to the US next month.
A: He has to file Form I-131A Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation) to request for a travel document. According to the instructions he will need to file this application in person at the USCIS international filed office or with the Consular Section at the U.S Embassy.
Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.
Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration Lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. If you require advice or assistance, you may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at email@example.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Q: What is a Re-Entry Permit?