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30th March 2011
By Bob Ziegelbauer in Immigration Law
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A frequent question asked of us by new permanent residents or green card holders is whether or not they are able to journey abroad and for how lengthy they're able to stay abroad.

Lawful permanent residents or green card holders could travel in and from the U.S. typically without having restrictions when the trip will probably be for not greater than 1 year. 1 only must existing his/her passport as well as the green card to re-enter the U.S.

Nonetheless when the stay outside the U.S. will exceed 1 (1) 12 months, then the green card holder must obtain a re-entry permit in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

To apply for re-entry permit, a Form I-131 Application for Journey Document has to be filed along with a copy with the front and back from the green card plus a filing fee of $305.00 and $80.00 biometrics fee. The application is filed using the Nebraska Company Center.

The applicant need to apply for your re-entry permit whilst he/she continues to be physically existing inside the U.S. and just before traveling overseas. The man or woman require not wait nonetheless for the decision about the application prior to traveling and may request its delivery to an abroad office of your U.S. Embassy or Consulate of his/her country of location.

Under a current decision by the Administrative Appeals Workplace, the application for re-entry permit was denied by the USCIS Nebraska Service Center following it was decided the applicant filed the application soon after possessing already left the U.S.

In his appeal, the applicant admitted that he filed the application whilst he was overseas but he contended that he had an original travel document which was legitimate with the time that he left the U.S. The document expired even though he was abroad and he filed the I-131 in an try to extend the expired travel document.

The AAO denied the appeal stating the rules did not supply for extending an expired journey document and that "there is no exception for your physical presence requirement on the time of filing a Form 1-131."

This month, the USCIS also issued its freshly revised I-131 directions on the biometrics (e.g. fingerprints and pictures) that need to be taken by candidates for re-entry permits and refugee journey documents. The directions state that whilst departure in the U.S. prior to a choice is created about the re-entry permit application generally will not affect the application, there exists a threat of denial if your applicant leaves prior to his/her biometrics are collected.

A re-entry permit is valid for two years through the date of issuance. In the event the green card holder continues to be from the U.S. for a lot more than four years from the final five years or considering that getting to be a permanent resident, the permit's validity will probably be restricted to only one year, except when the green card holder is traveling under U.S. federal government directive, or is employed by a public global organization, or is a professional athlete who regularly competes.

A re-entry permit is not a guaranty of admission to the U.S. It really is only a proof that the permanent resident hasn't abandoned his/her status through the prolonged absence. He/She is still subject to the immigration policies on admissibility.

Also, it does not negate the rule that absence in the U.S. for one particular yr or more will normally break the constant residence requirement for naturalization.

The USCIS advises applicants for re-entry permits to anticipate their journey ideas and to apply for the travel document or re-entry permit from the U.S. at the very least 60 days just before their journey dates in order to possess their biometrics collected. When the green card holder leaves the U.S. whilst the selection on the Form I-131 is pending but prior to the biometrics is taken, then it would not necessarily deny the re-entry permit application provided that the applicant returns towards the U.S. inside that yr to go to the biometrics appointment.
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About the Author
Andrew Saul is a partner and father who's keen on anything that life has to offer. He's got been writing all his existence but, now his youngsters are grown up, he's enough time to delight in this passion effectively.
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