Visa and Greencards > Other Services > I-131 Reentry Permit

I-131 Reentry Permit

A Reentry Permit is a travel document that allow permanent residents (green card holders) to remain outside of the United States for up to two years while preserving their green cards.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a reentry permit?
A reentry permit is a travel document issued by USCIS that allows you to preserve your green card while living or traveling overseas. A reentry permit allows you to stay outside the US for up to two years while maintaining your permanent residency in the US. 


Why do I need a reentry permit?
Permanent residents (green card holders) should get a reentry permit before any planned travel outside of the US for over one year. A reentry permit is a document that helps to establish that you intend to remain a permanent resident and that you do not intend to abandon your green card.  
If you are outside of the US for over one year, US Customs and Border Protection may determine that you have abandoned your green card. Because of this, they may prevent you from entering the US.
If you leave the U.S. for over 180 days, you may also be questioned by US Customs and Border patrol officials to see whether you have been maintaining your permanent resident status or whether you have abandoned your status as a permanent resident.
In both of these scenarios, a reentry permit helps you prove your intent to maintain your US residency and green card.


Can I file a reentry permit outside of the US?
No. You must be physically in the United States to file a reentry permit application and for your biometrics appointment.
Once your application is filed and your biometrics appointment is complete, you may travel overseas, even if the application is still pending. 


Can I submit my biometrics from outside of the US?
No. For the application, you must have your biometrics taken at a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) in the United States. It is not possible to have your biometrics taken while overseas.


How long are reentry permits valid for?
Reentry permits are valid for up to 2 years.


Do I have to stay in the US until my biometrics appointment?
No. However, if you depart the United States before taking your biometrics, you will need to return to the US for this appointment several weeks later. It is not possible to have your biometrics taken overseas.


How many times can I renew my reentry permit?
You may renew your reentry permit an unlimited number of times. However, after several reentry permit applications, your intent to reside in the US permanently may be called into question.


I have been warned by CBP that I have had too many long stays outside of the US. Should I apply for a reentry permit?
Yes. In this scenario, applying for a reentry permit is strongly advised as a means to protect your status.

Visa and Greencards > Other Services > I-131 Reentry Permit

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