Proudly Serving Dallas, FT.Worth, San Antonio, Houston.
Proudly Serving Dallas, FT.Worth, San Antonio, Houston.
Immigration law is quite complex, and compliance is critical to avoid unwanted consequences such as being declared inadmissible. A legal immigrant’s immigration status, such as a green card, may be revoked if they travel outside the US for extended periods of time (for work or study). Hence, it may be assumed that the immigrant has forfeited their residence in the United States.
If you need to travel abroad, it’s an excellent idea to consult an experienced immigration lawyer in Houston to ensure you minimize the risks associated with leaving the country.
The Reentry Permit is a travel document that functions like a passport and looks like a passport. A Reentry Permit is required for lawful permanent residents or conditional permanent residents who plan to leave the United States for a period longer than one year but less than two years.
A Reentry Permit indicates the individual’s intention to remain a lawful permanent or conditional permanent resident in the U.S. The permit can help to prevent the individual from being found inadmissible or losing lawful permanent resident status upon returning from abroad.
If a lawful permanent or conditional permanent resident has been outside the U.S. for more than two years, they will need a Returning Resident Visa (SB-1) to reenter the U.S.
The Advance Parole document is another kind of travel document. Those awaiting a decision on their green card application must apply for advance parole before they can travel abroad. You will lose your green card application if you leave the United States while waiting for your green card decision unless you have advance parole.
Among the immigrants who need documents to travel outside of the US and return to it are:
Travel documents are required to re-enter the US, without which you may not be allowed to re-enter, your immigrant status may be stripped, and deportation or removal proceedings may begin.
To apply, you must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, at least 60 days before your trip. In addition, you must provide details of the planned trip, details of any travel abroad you have undertaken since receiving your green card, and confirm you have complied with your tax obligations in the US. Form I-131 must be filed with supporting documents and a fee receipt.
You will be required to be physically present for your biometrics appointment, after which you can travel – even while waiting for your approval notice. If you wish, you can ask USCIS to make the re-entry permit available for collection at the US consulate or embassy in your destination country.
Lawful permanent residents are required to pay re-entry permit fees. Visit USCIS.gov for details on each fee.
For more information about the re-entry permit fee, contact a qualified immigration attorney. At Andrew T. Thomas, our experienced immigration lawyers in Houston help you understand and abide by the rules applicable to green card holders traveling abroad.
Re-entry permits take ninety days to seven months to determine. You can track the application’s progress on the USCIS website by entering your receipt number, so make sure you have that at hand – it is reflected on your receipt notice.
No, you cannot. When yours expires, you must apply for a new one and be in the U.S. to do so. When applying for a new re-entry permit, you must surrender your existing one.
You can apply for a re-entry permit as many times as you like. However, if you spend more than four out of five years outside the United States as a green card holder, you’ll only be issued a re-entry permit valid for a single year. A conditional permanent resident’s re-entry permit cannot be valid beyond the conditional green card’s final date.
Sometimes, significant time spent outside of the US while on a green card can be interpreted negatively by USCIS. If you have any queries about re-entry permits or need assistance with adjustment of status, help is close at hand. See an experienced immigration attorney in Texas and have your questions answered.
On returning to the U.S. after traveling abroad, be ready to present your valid re-entry permit, green card, and passport to the immigration officer. You can expect the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immigration officer to peruse your documents. They may ask you questions about your trip. Provided the CBP officer is satisfied that everything is fine, you will be admitted to the country.
If you have been abroad for an extended period, there is no guarantee that you will be granted re-entry – even with a re-entry permit. Maintaining ties to the United States while abroad is essential. In order to prove that you did not intend to settle permanently in another country, you must show your intention not to do so. Despite a re-entry permit, the CBP may deny you entry if it believes you intended to settle elsewhere permanently or failed to maintain sufficient ties with the US.
According to the USCIS office, many countries recognize the re-entry permit issued by the US government as if it were a passport. However, there are exceptions. Therefore, please check in advance with the country you plan to visit.
Whether you need assistance with your re-entry permit or any other citizenship and immigration services, Andrew T. Thomas, Attorney as Law, can assist. We have years of experience in all immigration matters and can offer you a free first consultation.
Often immigration law is more complex than it appears at first. Mistakes can be costly and even result in a negative outcome when a positive outcome should have been assured.
Our team of immigration lawyers is sympathetic to your cause and keen to assist you across all of our practice areas in pursuing your immigration goals. We can assist you with a variety of immigration matters, such as nonimmigrant visa applications, permanent resident petitions, and work permits.
Call us today for a free case evaluation.