Green Card Reentry Permit Process

Learn About Reentry Permit Process And Documents

Applying For The Re-entry Permit USA

The following are the steps involved when applying for a reentry permit.

NOTE: The applicant must be physically present in the United States when filing the application for Reentry Permit.

STEP 1: Complete The Application For Reentry Permit (Form I-131)

The very first step when it comes to applying for the reentry permit is completing the application. Lawful Permanent Residents and Conditional Residents must complete Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.

NOTE: Applicants should keep a copy of the completed application for their records.

STEP 2: Collect The Required Supporting Documents

In addition to Form I-131, the application for reentry permit must include the following documents:

A. Filing fee.

B. Proof of Legal Permanent or Conditional Residency. This may include:

1. Copy of the front and back of Form I-551 (the legal permanent resident card or “green card”).

2. If the applicant does not have his or her green card, a copy of the applicant’s biographic pages of his or her passport and a copy of the visa page showing applicant’s initial admission as a permanent resident, or any other evidence that he or she is a permanent resident.

3. A copy of the Form I-797, Notice of Action, approval notice of an application for replacement of applicant’s green card or temporary evidence of applicant’s permanent resident status.

STEP 3: Mail The Application, Supporting Documents And Application Fee To The USCIS

Applicants must mail the Form I-131, supporting documents and filing fee check for the reentry permit to the appropriate USCIS lockbox that serves their area of residence.

NOTE: A Form I-131 that is not signed or accompanied by the correct fee will be rejected with a notice that Form I-131 is deficient. Applicants may correct the deficiency and resubmit Form I-131. An application or petition is not considered properly filed until accepted by USCIS.

STEP 4: Appear For Biometrics

All applicants between the ages of 14 through 79 applying for a Reentry Permit must be fingerprinted as a part of USCIS biometric services requirements.

After the Form I-131 is filed, USCIS will send the applicant a Request to Appear for Biometrics in writing. The notice will contain information regarding where and when the applicant must appear to be fingerprinted. If necessary, USCIS may also take applicant’s photograph and signature.

NOTE: Failure to appear to be fingerprinted or for other biometric services may result in a denial of the application. All applicants for Reentry Permit between the ages of 14 through 79 are required to pay the additional $80 biometric fee.

NOTE: If the need to travel is immediate and an immediate return to appear for Biometrics is not possible, the applicant may request for an expedited Biometrics appointment if sufficient evidence of the need to travel is presented. The applicant is also allowed to include a pre-paid mailer so that the Receipt Notice and Biometrics appointment notice may be sent back by overnight mail.

Re-entry Permit For Green Card Holder Dependents

Each member of the family who is a legal permanent or conditional resident who will travel abroad for a period of more than one year and does not intend to abandon their status must file a separate application for the reentry permit. Minor children cannot be included on a parent’s reentry permit.

I131 USCIS Reentry Permit Possible Problems

A. Applicant’s Departure From The U.S. Before Biometrics

Departure from the United States before a decision is made on an application for a Reentry Permit usually does not affect the application. However, if biometric collection is required and the applicant departs the United States before the biometrics is collected, and is unable to return, the application may be denied. The applicant must either return to attend the scheduled biometrics appointment or request a rescheduling. If the applicant misses the biometrics appointment, he or she may be able to appear for fingerprinting during the application support center’s “walk-in” hours. However, there is only a small window of time in which to get the fingerprints recorded before USCIS moves to deny the application.

USCIS may entertain a request to expedite the processing, particularly issuance of the Biometrics appointment. A request to expedite should be submitted in writing along with the application. The applicant can also include return mailers for the receipt notice, the Biometrics Notice and the reentry permit.

B. Prolonged Absence From The U.S.

Applications who are away from the U.S. for an extended period of time risk losing their permanent resident or conditional resident status. It is vitally important for applicants to understand that a reentry permit cannot guarantee them entry into the United States if they have been living outside the U.S. continuously.

Permanent or conditional residents who remain outside the United States for one year or more are considered to have abandoned their permanent or conditional resident status.

C. Problems While Applying For Naturalization

Absences from the United States for one year or more will generally break the continuity of the required continuous residence in the United States for Applicants who intend to apply in the future for naturalization. If they intend to remain outside the United States for one year or more and they meet certain stringent requirements, they should file Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes.

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