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I-131 Re-Entry Permit

Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders) use re-entry permits to re-enter the U.S. after travel of one year or more. You must be physically present in the United States when you file the Re-entry Permit application. And you should file your Form I-131 no sooner than 60 days before you intend to travel abroad. Departure from the United States before a decision is made on an application for a Re-entry Permit usually does not affect the application. However, if biometric collection is required and the applicant departs the United States before the biometrics are collected, the application may be denied.


Generally, a Re-entry Permit issued to a permanent resident shall be valid for two years from the date of issuance. However, if since becoming a permanent resident you have been outside the United States for more than four of the last five years, the permit will be limited to one year, except that a permit with a validity of two years may be issued to the following:.

a. A permanent resident whose travel is on the order of the U.S. Government, other than an exclusion, deportation, removal, or rescission order.

b. A permanent resident employed by a public international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute.

c. A permanent resident who is a professional athlete and regularly competes in the United States and worldwide.

A Re-entry Permit issued to a conditional resident shall be valid for two years from the date of issuance, or to the date the conditional resident must apply for removal of the conditions on his or her status, whichever date comes first.



The Bureau does not extend re-entry permits. Reentry permits cannot be extended. If your permit expires, you will need to apply for a new one. If you have a valid reentry permit in your possession, you will need to send it in when you apply for a new one. You need not send in an expired reentry permit. For security reasons, USCIS will not issue a new reentry permit to someone who already has a valid one in his or her possession. If you need a new reentry permit because your previous one was lost, stolen, or destroyed, you should indicate this on your application for the new permit.



Please note that a re-entry permit does not guarantee admission into the U.S. Aliens with re-entry permits are still subject to the inspection process at the port of entry. It is also important to note that travel outside of the U.S for more than one year will under most circumstances break the continuous residence requirement for later naturalization purposes. Travel for over 6 months may break the continuous residence requirement.



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