Traveling outside US while on Green Card

There are some limitations for a Permanent resident to travel outside U.S. and return. A reentry permit will help a Permanent resident to enter into U.S. without any problem. A reentry permit is used to determine that you did not intend to abandon your status, and it allows you for admission into the United States after traveling abroad for 2 years without having to obtain a returning resident visa. Reentry permits are normally valid for 2 years from the date of issuance.

You need to file the I-131 form with the Re-entry permit fees to obtain a reentry permit. It is recommended that you file the I-131 form well in advance of your planned trip. Ensure that you file the I-131 form at least 60 days before your intended travel. You need to be physically present in the United States to file this form. You cannot file the I-131 form while you are outside U.S.

You do not need to file the I-131 form and get a reentry permit if you will be outside the United States for less than 1 year. If you have been outside the United States for less than 1 year, you may use your Permanent Resident Card as your travel document.

Reentry permit fees:

The Reentry permit fees is $385. It includes an application fee of $305 and a biometric fee of $80. You can pay the Reentry permit fee with a personal check, money order, or cashier’s check. Do not send cash. The check or money order must be drawn on a bank or other financial institution in the United States and must be payable in U.S. currency.

If you are filing the I-131 form at one of the USCIS Lockbox facilities and would like to receive an e-mail and/or text message that your application has been accepted, then complete a Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and clip it to the first page of your application.

The I-131 form will not be approved in the following cases:

1)If you have already been issued a reentry permit and it is still valid.
2)If the federal register contains a notice that prohibits the issuance of re-entry permit for travel to the area where you intend to go.

Checklist of your Re-entry permit application package:

  • The I-131 form
  • The G-1145 form (optional)
  • Photographs
  • Supporting documents
  • Reentry permit fees

Assemble your application package in an orderly manner. Using a paper-clip, attach the Re-entry permit fees to the first page of your I-131 form. If you do not send the Reentry permit fees along with your application, your application will be returned. Place your supporting documents under your application. Mail your application by certified mail, certified mail or courier service and request a return receipt.Within 30 days of submitting your application to USCIS, you can expect to receive a Form I-797 Receipt Notice. This Notice is your confirmation that the USCIS has received your application and accepted it for processing. After you receive the Receipt Notice, you will receive an Appointment Notice requesting your appearance at your local Application Support Center to have your fingerprints taken.

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2 thoughts on “Traveling outside US while on Green Card

  1. I’m a Local Permanent Resident (LPR) and planning to travel outside the US for about 6-9 months to attend some personal things. Do I need to file re-entry permit for this? I have been told by some LPR’s that it’s better to apply for re-entry permit if I’m outside the US for more than 6 months. Do I really need this re-entry permit? What if my intended travel date is on the end of December 2013 and my green card is yet to be delivered?

  2. Flavinson if you have your Green Card then such a visit out of the US for 6-9 months would be fine especially if your Green Card is not expiring during that period. You may get asked a question upon your return at the Airport border control but if your answers are legitimate and the countries you visit while away don’t throw a red flag then you should have no issue. Usually the general rule of thumb is one year out of the US or more if you need a reentry permit. If you don’t have your Green Card and you don’t have Advanced Parole to cover you for your travels then don’t leave the US until you have this.

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