How to Maintain your Lawful Permanent Resident Status
for Extended Departures from the U.S.
§ 223 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-649, __ Stat. __, 8 U.S.C. § 1203.
(c) 1999 VIKRAM BADRINATH, P.C. All rights reserved.
Generally, a lawful permanent resident or conditional resident may not use his "green card" to obtain re-admission to the United States after an absence of one (1) year or more.
A re-entry permit is a document which allows a lawful permanent resident or conditional resident to apply for re-admission to the United States after an absence of more than one (1) year without having to obtain a special immigrant visa from the United States Consulate abroad, provided that entry to the United States is made during the validity period of the permit. A re-entry permit should be obtained for any absence outside the United States for a period of more than six months. See Maintenance of LPR Status. Please note, however, that presentation of a re-entry permit at a Port of Entry does not guarantee re-admission to the United States. Accordingly, a lawful permanent resident may still be required to demonstrate his intention to maintain lawful permanent residence status in the United States as demonstrated by evidence of ties to the United States (family, employment, property, taxes, credit cards, holdings, memberships).
A lawful permanent resident or conditional resident must be physically present in the United States at the time he or she applies for a re-entry permit, before departure. However, departure before the decision does not effect the validity of a re-entry document and may be received at a consulate or overseas U.S. INS office.
If an applicant has been a lawful permanent resident for more than five (5) years and has resided outside the United States for more than four (4) of the last five (5) years, the U.S. INS will not issue a re-entry permit.
In order to apply for a re-entry permit, an applicant must complete and file an Application for Advance Parole (Form I-131). The application must be filed with the U.S. INS' Nebraska Service Center while the applicant is in the United States.
A re-entry permit is issued with a maximum validity period of two (2) years. A lawful permanent resident may apply for a new re-entry permit at the expiration of the two (2) year period, but must do so while physically present in the United States.
For more information about Reentry Permits, please contact us by email, telephone, or fax or schedule an appointment to have your individual case discussed and analyzed an attorney.