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How to Apply for Reentry Permit in USA

How to Apply for Reentry Permit in USA

If you are a permanent resident of the United States and you plan to travel abroad for an extended period of time, applying for a reentry permit is essential to maintain your residency status. A reentry permit allows you to reenter the United States without the need for a returning resident visa. In this article, we will guide you through the process of applying for a reentry permit and answer some frequently asked questions about the process.

What is a Reentry Permit?

A reentry permit is a travel document that allows a permanent resident to reenter the United States after an absence of more than one year but less than two years. It serves as a proof of intention to maintain permanent residency despite a prolonged absence. Without a reentry permit, a permanent resident who has been abroad for more than one year may be considered to have abandoned their residency status.

Step 1: Complete Form I-131

To apply for a reentry permit, you need to complete and file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. The form can be downloaded from the official website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Make sure to fill out the form accurately and provide all the necessary information.

Step 2: Gather Supporting Documents

Along with Form I-131, you will need to submit several supporting documents to establish your eligibility for a reentry permit. These documents may include a copy of your permanent resident card (green card), evidence of your ties to the United States, such as your employment or business, proof of your intention to return to the United States, and any other relevant documents requested by USCIS.

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Step 3: Pay the Filing Fee

The filing fee for Form I-131 is subject to change, so it is important to check the USCIS website or consult with an immigration attorney to determine the current fee. You can pay the fee using a check or money order made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

Once you have completed Form I-131, gathered your supporting documents, and paid the filing fee, you are ready to submit your application. Make sure to make a copy of your application and supporting documents for your records. You can submit your application by mail to the appropriate USCIS lockbox facility, as specified in the instructions for Form I-131.

Step 5: Biometrics Appointment

After USCIS receives your application, you will receive a notice with the date, time, and location of your biometrics appointment. At the appointment, your fingerprints, photograph, and signature will be taken for background checks and to create your reentry permit.

Step 6: Interview (if required)

In some cases, USCIS may require you to attend an interview to further assess your eligibility for a reentry permit. If an interview is necessary, you will receive a notice with the date, time, and location of the interview. Make sure to bring all the necessary documents and be prepared to answer questions about your travel plans and reasons for needing a reentry permit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to process a reentry permit application?

A: The processing time for a reentry permit application can vary. It is advisable to submit your application at least 3-4 months before your planned departure date to allow for sufficient processing time.

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Q: Can I apply for a reentry permit from abroad?

A: Yes, you can apply for a reentry permit from abroad. However, it is recommended to apply from within the United States to ensure a smoother process and avoid potential delays.

Q: Can I travel while my reentry permit application is pending?

A: Yes, you can travel while your reentry permit application is pending. However, if you leave the United States before receiving your reentry permit, you will need to obtain a returning resident visa to reenter the country.

Q: Can I extend my reentry permit?

A: Reentry permits are typically valid for two years. If you need to extend your reentry permit, you must file a new Form I-131 and go through the application process again.

Q: Can I apply for a reentry permit if I have already been abroad for more than two years?

A: If you have been abroad for more than two years without a reentry permit, you may face difficulties reentering the United States as a permanent resident. In such cases, it is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney for guidance on the best course of action.

In conclusion, applying for a reentry permit is crucial for maintaining your permanent residency status in the United States. By following the steps outlined in this article and providing all the necessary documentation, you can ensure a successful application process. If you have any further questions or concerns, it is always recommended to seek professional immigration advice to ensure the best outcome for your situation.

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