How Long Can a Green Card Holder Stay Outside the U.S.

How Long Can a Green Card Holder Stay Outside the U.S. Green card holders can leave the United States and re-enter multiple times if they don’t plan to stay overseas for 1 year or longer As a lawful permanent resident (LPR or green card holder), you are allowed to leave the United States and re-enter multiple times if you plan on returning to the United States in less than 1 year.

Green card holders can leave the United States and re-enter multiple times if they don’t plan to stay overseas for 1 year or longer

As a lawful permanent resident (LPR or green card holder), you are allowed to leave the United States and re-enter multiple times if you plan on returning to the United States in less than 1 year. If, however, you plan on or need to stay away for 1 year or more, you will need to apply to USCIS for a re-entry permit. You must do so before you leave the United States. Typically, re-entry permits are good for 2 years after the date they are issued. If you stay outside the U.S. for longer than that amount of time, you may not be allowed to re-enter the country.

Video — Fill the Form I-131 step-by-step

Who Needs a Re-entry Permit?

re-entry permit gives permission for green card holders or conditional permanent residents to apply for admission to the United States after returning from another country while the permit is valid without having to acquire a returning resident visa from a U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy.

Green card holders who will not be staying outside the U.S. for 1 year or longer will need their green cards (Form I-155) to be readmitted. If the green card holder has been outside the U.S. for more than 180 days, but less than 1 year, he or she will need their returning resident visa to re-enter the United States. Although it is not required to show your unexpired passport upon re-entry, it is always a good idea to carry it with you.

Except for not having to acquire a returning resident visa overseas, possession of a re-entry permit will not allow you to be exempt from adhering to any of the other U.S. immigration law requirements. Regardless of how long you are outside the U.S., you will not jeopardize your status as an LPR or conditional permanent resident as long as you have a valid and unexpired re-entry permit. In other words, USCIS will not judge you to have abandoned your status while your re-entry permit is valid.

Staying outside the U.S. for more than 1 year, however, typically will disrupt the progression of your mandatory continuous residence for naturalization purposes. If you know that you will need to be outside the U.S. for 1 year or longer, you could be eligible to file Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes.

You will not be issued a re-entry permit if you have already been granted one and it has not expired, unless you the first document has been returned to USCIS or you can show that it has been lost.

If you must leave the United States because of some type of emergency and you have applied to become a lawful permanent resident, but not yet been granted this status, you will need to apply for advance parole. You must acquire this travel document before leaving the U.S. Form I-131 is used for this application as well.

Failing to file the required travel documents before leaving the United States could result in you being found inadmissible by authorities and your re-entry into the United States being denied.

Complete your immigration paperwork using our online software. We make it easy!

Complete your immigration paperwork using our online software. We make it easy!

How to Apply for a Re-entry Permit

You are eligible to file a re-entry permit application (Form I-131) if you are in the U.S. as a green card holder (lawful permanent resident) or a conditional permanent resident. It is mandatory that you be present in the U.S. when you file your application for a re-entry permit and also to be able to attend the biometrics appointment. Once you have filed your re-entry permit application, USCIS will notify you — in writing — about the date, time, and location of your biometrics appointment.

Green card holders can apply for re-entry permits by filing USCIS Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.

How Long is a Re-entry Permit Valid?

Typically, a re-entry permit granted to a green card holder will be valid for 2 years from the date it is issued. One exception exists, however, for LPRs who have been outside the United States for more than 4 of the past 5 years since they became lawful permanent residents. These LPRs will be given re-entry permits valid for only 1 year. However, lawful permanent residents who have spent that much time outside the United States might still be eligible for a 2-year re-entry permit under the following three conditions:

  1. If the LPR’s travel was ordered by the U.S. Government (not including deportation, removal, exclusion, or rescission order);
  2. If the LPR travels because of employment with a public international organization of which the U.S. is a member through treaty or statute; or
  3. If the LPR travels as a professional athlete and competes regularly within the U.S. and around the world.

A re-entry permit granted to a conditional permanent resident can be used for 2 years from the date it was issued or until the time the conditional permanent resident has to apply to have the conditions removed from his or her status — whichever comes first. Furthermore, a re-entry permit may not be extended for any reason.

Complete your immigration paperwork using our online software. We make it easy!

Complete your immigration paperwork using our online software. We make it easy!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Be aware of any changes in US immigration policy

Our robot will always keep you posted on the Facebook

 

 

Usimmigrationforms.com is not a law firm. We do not provide legal advise or opinion to our customers. If you have a complicated case or need to receive a legal advise please consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

Immigration Advocacy Service

Immigration Advocacy Service

With our Attorney Application Review option, you can choose to have an experienced immigration attorney review your application and correct any mistakes.

With our Attorney Application Review option, you can choose to have an experienced immigration attorney review your application and correct any mistakes.

646-838-3958      info@usimmigrationforms.com

646-838-3958

info@usimmigrationforms.com

160 Broadway 4th floor New York NY 10038

160 Broadway 4th floor

New York NY 10038

Follow us

Follow us

Receive the latest news

Receive the latest news

TERMS AND CONDITIONS | PRIVACY U.S. immigration forms is not affiliated with the USCIS or any government agency. We are not a law firm, do not provide legal advice, and are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Customer support is for technical and billing issues only, and will not answer legal questions. Some forms that can be completed online using our service are available and come with written instructions for free from the USCIS. U.S. immigration forms purchase price does not include any government application, biometric or filing fees. Access to and use of the usimmigrationforms.com website, as well as all cancellation, termination or refund/return policies, are subject to U.S. immigration forms Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The “U.S. immigration forms” mark and U.S. immigration forms logo are service marks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office under the laws of the United States of America.

Eng

The latest news on immigration in the US

Always fresh and relevant

You have Successfully Subscribed!