Reentry Permit

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

1. What is a travel document and who needs one?

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may need permission to return to the U.S. after traveling abroad. This permission is granted through a travel document. Travel documents are also given to foreign nationals who want to travel, but cannot get a passport from their country of nationality.

2. What is Reentry Permit?

Re-entry Permit is a travel document issued to lawful permanent residents and conditional residents to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad.

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3. Who needs Reentry Permit?

Lawful permanent residents and conditional residents require Reentry Permits to re-enter the U.S. after travel of one year or more.

4. How do I file for Re-entry Permit?

You must file Form I-131, Application for a Travel Document, complete with supporting documentation, photos and applicable fees with the USCIS.

5. What are the documents required to file for Re-entry Permit?

If you are a permanent resident or conditional resident, you must attach any one of the following documents along with Form I-131, Application for a Travel Document:

  1. A copy of the alien registration receipt card, or
  2. If you have not yet received your alien registration receipt card, a copy of the biographic page of your passport and the page of your passport indicating initial admission as a permanent resident, or other evidence that you are a permanent resident, or
  3. A copy of the approval notice of a separate application for replacement of the alien registration receipt card or temporary evidence of permanent resident status

6. What is the purpose of Re-entry Permit?

A Re-entry Permit allows a permanent resident to apply for admission to the U.S. upon return from abroad during the period of the permit’s validity without the necessity of obtaining a returning resident visa.

7. What is the processing time for a Re-entry Permit?

The Reentry Permit processing time is generally between 8 to 16 months.

8. What is the validity period of Re-entry Permit?

  1. For lawful permanent residents returning to the US, a Reentry Permit is valid for two years from the date of issuance of the re-entry permit
  2. For conditional residents returning to the U.S., the re-entry permit is valid for two years from the date of issuance of the re-entry permit or until the date the conditional resident must apply for the removal of conditions, whichever comes first

9. Can I apply for an extension of Re-entry Permit?

No, a Re-entry Permit may not be extended.

10. When should I apply for Re-entry Permit?

You must apply for Re-entry Permit before leaving the U.S. Failure to do so may cause you to lose permission to re-enter the U.S. and lead to the denial of any other applications.

11. Does Re-entry Permit guarantee me admission into the U.S.?

No, Re-entry Permit does not guarantee you admission into the U.S. Foreign nationals with Re-entry Permit are still subject to the immigration inspections process at the port of entry.

Note: Travel outside of the U.S for more than one year will under most circumstances break the continuous residence requirement for later Naturalization purposes.

12. How can I check the status of my Re-entry Permit application?

You may check status by using VisaPro’s free visa status service.

13. Can I be denied issuance of a Re-entry Permit?

Yes, a Re-entry Permit may not be issued if:

  1. You have already been issued such a document and it is still valid, unless the prior document has been returned to the USCIS, or you can demonstrate that it was lost
  2. A notice was published in the Federal Register that precludes the issuance of such a document for travel to the area where you intend to go

14. How can I appeal a denial of Re-entry Permit?

If your Reentry Permit application is denied, the denial letter will tell you how to appeal.

  1. Generally, you may appeal within 33 days of receiving the denial
  2. Your appeal must be filed on Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal to the Administrative Appeals Unit
  3. The appeal must be filed with the office that made the original decision

Note: After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU) in Washington, DC.

15. What is the difference between an Advance Parole and a Re-entry Permit?

The differences between Advance Parole and Re-entry Permit are:

  1. Advance Parole is issued to a foreign national who does not have permanent resident status. A Re-entry Permit is issued to a permanent resident of the U.S.
  2. On the appearance, an Advance Parole document is a piece of paper with the foreign national’s photograph whereas a Re-entry Permit looks like a passport
  3. Advance Parole is valid for one year whereas a Re-entry Permit is valid for two years