How to apply for a reentry permit-travel permit-return permit (updated 2021)
If you are an immigrant who has obtained a green card or asylum in the United States, you may travel outside the United States without losing the right to return to the United States and the right to be a permanent resident of the United States. However, to travel abroad and still protect your legal rights in the United States, you may need to apply for some type of document to return to the United States. You apply for a so-called “travel document” (sometimes called a “travel permit”) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”).
The U.S. Immigration Service issues three types of travel documents:
Green card holders (legal permanent residents) who want to leave the United States and stay in a foreign country for one year or more use a re-entry permit. Essentially, the reentry permit can become a necessary travel document for green card holders.
Without a re-entry permit, if you leave the United States for a year or more to travel abroad, you may be deemed to have given up your legal permanent resident status.
If you return to the United States from a foreign traveller in less than a year, you usually do not need to obtain a re-entry permit.
You must apply for a re-entry permit while you are actually in the United States. USCIS recommends that you apply for a re-entry permit at least 60 days before leaving the country.
In addition, you must complete the required fingerprints related to your re-entry permit before leaving the United States.
While your application for a re-entry permit is pending review by USCIS, you do not need to be in the United States, you can leave the United States after fingerprinting.
The validity period of the reentry permit is generally two years.
Refugee Travel Permit
Refugee travel documents are for refugees or asylums who want to leave the United States and travel outside the United States. It should be emphasized that if traveling outside the United States, refugees or asylum seekers should use refugee travel documents; green card holders are not allowed to travel outside the United States for a period of time before requiring re-entry permits (as mentioned above, usually less than one year) ).
If you do not have a refugee travel document, you will be denied entry into the United States when you return from abroad.
Refugee travel documents should be applied for before you leave the United States (although you may be allowed to obtain a refugee travel document location from outside the United States if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Overseas Regional Director who has jurisdiction over your foreign country permits it at his discretion).
Refugee travel documents are generally valid for one year.
Return to the United States
The return permit document is for people who want to leave the United States before certain pending immigration issues related to living in the United States are resolved.
Two common uses of reentry permit documents are:
If you have submitted a pending I-485 form, “Application for registration of permanent residence or adjustment of status” (“Form I-485 Travel Permit”). If you seek to travel abroad for “emergency humanitarian reasons” or for the promotion of “significant public interest” (including personal or family emergencies or genuine business reasons), you can apply for Form I-485 Travel Permit. Form I-485 applicants traveling outside the United States without obtaining advance documentation of the Form I-485 can be deemed to have abandoned their Form I-485 (and related green card applications).
If you are under the “Childhood Arrival Deferred Repatriation” (“DACA”) program as a childhood entrant under the deferred action. (“DACA Travel Permit”). If you are for educational purposes (including overseas semester projects or academic research), employment purposes (including overseas interviews, conferences, or meetings with clients), or humanitarian purposes (including obtaining medical treatment, attending a family member’s funeral, or visiting sick relatives) . DACA applicants who have not obtained the DACA document for returning to the United States in advance and travel outside the United States will lose their DACA status.
Documents for early return to the United States must usually be applied for and approved before you leave the United States (although in rare cases, USCIS may issue early return permits to people outside the United States).
The validity period of the reentry permit is usually one year.
It should be noted that the reentry permit does not guarantee that you can return to the United States. Instead, they just allow you to go to the U.S. port of entry and ask to return to the U.S. The final decision to allow you to return to the U.S. will be made by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry.
Processing Procedure | Form I-131
How do I obtain a reentry permit travel document? Whether you are applying for a re-entry permit, refugee travel document, or early return to the United States, you will apply to USCIS through Form I-131 “Application for Travel Document”.
The I-131 form must be submitted with certain documents, which will vary depending on the specific type of travel document you are seeking. How long does it take for i-131 approval? It usually takes 3-6 months.
The documents that must be submitted with Form I-131 when applying for a reentry permit include:
A photocopy of the official identification document; and proof of
your legal permanent resident status (including a copy of the front and back of your green card).
When you apply for a refugee travel document, the documents that must be submitted with Form I-131 include:
A photocopy of the official identification document; proof of
refugee or asylum status; and
a statement explaining the reason for answering “yes” to any questions on Part 6 of the I-131 form.
When you apply for an Early Return Permit, the documents that must be submitted with Form I-131 include:
A photocopy of the official identification document;
two identical passport-style photos taken within 30 days of submitting the I-130 form; and
a photocopy of any documents showing your current status in the United States.
How long does it take to obtain travel documents? Travel documents are usually approved within 3 to 5 months after submitting the application. You must submit it in the country until after your fingerprint. (During Covid-19, if you have fingerprints within 2 years, you can be exempt from fingerprints)
In addition, the fees you must pay in connection with the Form I-131 (“travel document fees”) will vary depending on the specific type of travel document you are seeking.
How much does the travel document cost? If you use the I-131 form to apply for a re-entry permit, the travel document fee is an application fee of US$575. If you are between 14 and 79 years old, you will need to pay a fingerprint fee of US$85, so the travel document fee The total is US$660 (if applicable).
If you apply for a refugee travel document on Form I-131, the cost of the travel document is (a) if you are 13 years old or younger, the application fee is $105, (b) if you are 14 or 15 years old, $105 The application fee, plus the $85 fingerprinting service fee, the total travel document fee is $190, (c) If you are between 16 and 79 years old, the application fee is $135 plus the fingerprinting service The fee is US$85 and the total travel document fee is US$220, or (d) If you are over 80, the application fee is US$135.
If you use Form I-131 to apply for an early return document, the travel document fee is an application fee of $575.
The I-131 form description details the requirements of the I-130 form.
Although travel documents enable immigrants to leave the United States without losing their legal rights, properly applying for travel documents can be a complicated process. DYgreencard.com has extensive experience in obtaining travel documents and can guide you through all aspects of the travel document application process. Whether you are applying for a re-entry permit, refugee travel document or advance parole travel document, when you apply for a travel document, please contact DYgreencard.com.