The Reentry Permit is a travel document issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to lawful permanent residents (LPRs or “Green Card holders”) and conditional permanent residents who want to remain outside of the U.S. for more than one year but do not intend to abandon their status in the U.S. It permits these individuals to remain outside the U.S. for up to two years.
NOTE: A reentry permit allows permanent residents and conditional permanent residents to apply for admission to the U.S. without having to obtain a returning resident visa from an American Consulate after traveling abroad for a prolonged period.
A re-entry permit is also issued to lawful permanent residents who want to travel outside the U.S. but are unable to obtain a passport or other form of travel document from their country of nationality or are considered “stateless”. In certain cases, traveling outside the U.S. without a reentry permit could have severe consequences to permanent or conditional residents.
Requirements To Apply For The Reentry Permit
A. Who May Apply?
To be able to apply for a re-entry permit, the applicant should be:
- A legal permanent resident and wish to remain outside the U.S. for more than one year; or
- A legal permanent resident who cannot get a national passport from his or her country of nationality or are considered “stateless” (some countries accept a re-entry permit in lieu of a passport).
B. Who Cannot Apply?
Lawful permanent and conditional residents are not eligible to apply for re-entry permit if:
- Their Prior Reentry Permit Is Still Valid: An application for a reentry permit shall be denied if the applicant was previously issued a reentry permit, which is still valid, unless it was returned to the Service or it is demonstrated that it was lost.
- A Notice Published In The Federal Register Regarding Destination: A notice published in the Federal Register precluding the issuance of re-entry permit for travel to the area where they intend to go.
C. Are There Other Restrictions?
Depending on certain circumstances, restrictions may be placed on legal permanent and conditional residents’ ability to file for Reentry permits. Restrictions apply if:
1. There Have Been Extended Absences From The U.S.: A reentry permit issued to a person who, since becoming a permanent resident, or during the last 5 years, whichever is less, has been outside the United States for more than 4 years in the aggregate, shall be limited to a validity of one year, except that a permit with a validity of two years may be issued to:
i. Permanent residents as defined in 8 CFR 211.1(b)(1)(ii) or 211.1(b)(4);
ii. Permanent residents employed by a public international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute, and his or her permanent resident spouse and children; or
iii. A permanent resident who is a professional athlete who regularly competes in the United States and worldwide.
2. The Applicant Is Otherwise Eligible For Nonimmigrant Diplomatic or Treaty Status: A permanent resident entitled to nonimmigrant status under Section 101(a)(15)(A) , (E), or (G) of the Act because of occupational status may only be issued a reentry permit if the applicant executes and submits with the application, or has previously executed and submitted, a written waiver on Form I-508 and, if applicable, Form I-508F (election as to tax exemption under the Convention between the United States and the French Republic).
Section 101(a)(15)(A) of the Act:
i. an ambassador, public minister, or career diplomatic or consular officer who has been accredited by a foreign government recognized de jure by the United States and who is accepted by the President or by the Secretary of State, and the members of the foreign national’s immediate family;
ii. upon a basis of reciprocity, other officials and employees who have been accredited by a foreign government recognized de jure by the United States, who are accepted by the Secretary of State, and the members of their immediate families; and
iii. upon a basis of reciprocity, attendants, servants, personal employees, and members of their immediate families, of the officials and employees who have a nonimmigrant status under (i) and (ii) above.
Section 101(a)(15)(E) of the Act:
An alien entitled to enter the United States under and in pursuance of the provisions of a treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the foreign state of which he is a national, and the spouse and children of any such alien if accompanying or following to join him – a) solely to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or trade in technology, principally between the United States and the foreign state of which he is a national; or b) solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which he has invested, or of an enterprise in which he is actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital.
Section 101(a)(15)(G) of the Act:
i. a designated principal resident representative of a foreign government recognized de jure by the United States, which foreign government is a member of an international organization entitled to enjoy privileges, exemptions, and immunities as an international organization under the International Organizations Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669) 22 U.S.C. 288, note, accredited resident members of the staff of such representatives, and members of his or their immediate family;
ii. other accredited representatives of such a foreign government to such international organizations, and the members of their immediate families;
iii. an alien able to qualify under (i) or (ii) above except for the fact that the government of which such alien is an accredited representative is not recognized de jure by the United States, or that the government of which he is an accredited representative is not a member of such international organization, and the members of his immediate family;
iv. officers, or employees of such international organizations, and the members of their immediate families;
v. attendants, servants, and personal employees of any such representative, officer, or employee, and the members of the immediate families of such attendants, servants, and personal employees.
I-131 Reentry Permit And Advance Parole Comparison
|Features||Reentry Permit||Advance Parole|
|Issued To||Permanent and Conditional Residents (Green Card holders)||Foreign national with pending Adjustment of Status application|
|Physical form||Booklet, similar to a U.S. passport||Notice of Action, similar to a receipt or Approval notice
Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card) which also serves as the Advance Parole
|Validity||Up to two years||Up to two years|
|Apply while outside the U.S?||No||No|
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