Anyone who applies for and is granted legal permanent resident status within the United States is expected to live in the country on a permanent basis without leaving for any lengthy period of time. Therefore, if you want to travel aboard for longer than one year but would like to keep your LPR status, you must seek special permission from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to do so.
Obtaining a reentry permit requires substantial documentation and may introduce several legal complications. As such, working with a Washington DC reentry permit lawyer can be helpful to pursuing this type of documentation effectively. With an experienced immigration attorney’s guidance, you will be much less likely to inadvertently make a mistake in your petition or misstep when it comes to USCIS regulations. We could work hard to ensure that your travel plans can proceed without interfering with your lawful status here.
When to Apply for a Reentry Permit
The primary function of a reentry permit is to formally notify the U.S. government that you do not intend to abandon your permanent residence within the U.S. even though you will be out of the country for an extended time. A person with LPR status who acquires a reentry permit may leave their U.S. residence and travel aboard for a maximum of two continuous years without needing to get a returning resident visa. It can also serve as a substitute for a passport from a green card holder’s country of origin in some situations.
It is crucial for any lawful permanent resident intending to travel outside U.S. borders for longer than one year to obtain a reentry permit before departing. While it is technically possible to reestablish LPR status after a prolonged absence without such a permit, it requires an appearance before an immigration judge and involves a much more complex process of proving that there was no intent to abandon the U.S. residence. Additionally, USCIS does not permit applications for reentry permits to be filed from outside U.S. borders.
Accordingly, prospective applicants should file their reentry permit petition no later than 60 days before their intended date of departure. A Washington, DC attorney could provide a clearer picture of formal and informal deadlines associated with this proceeding, as well as assist with building a comprehensive reentry permit petition in a timely fashion.
The Reentry Permit Application Process
Individuals who want to acquire a reentry permit must complete Form I-131 and submit it to USCIS along with copies of official photo identification and documents proving valid LPR status. It may also be necessary to pay a filing fee in some circumstances.
After confirming their receipt of a reentry permit application and necessary supporting documents, USCIS may forward notifications about required biometrics screening and/or interview appearances. Once granted, reentry permits cannot be extended or renewed, and anyone who wishes to apply for a new one must return any active permits they have before they will be allowed to apply. An attorney in Washington DC could help someone through the process of applying for a re-entry permit.
Seek Help from a Washington DC Reentry Permit Attorney
Having a reentry permit is essential to maintaining lawful permanent resident status here while traveling outside of the U.S. for an extended period of time. If you have travel plans of this nature, acquiring this permit should be a top priority.
A dedicated Washington DC reentry permit lawyer could guide you through this application process and help you pursue a positive outcome. Call today for a consultation.