As a lawful permanent resident (LPR) or green card holder you can normally enjoy the freedom of travel without restraint, whether inside the borders of the United States and its territories, or outside to other countries. Some limitations do apply, however, if you plan to travel outside the country, depending upon the length of your excursion, as well as your intention to continue to return and reside within the United States. Your Permanent Resident Card is no longer technically valid if you are out of the country for more than a year. If you plan to be out of the country for a year or more, it is therefore necessary to obtain a Re-Entry Permit. Also, if your old permit has expired, or if it is lost or severely damaged, you will need to apply for a new one.Biometrics Interview
In order to obtain your re-entry permit, you will need to have a Biometrics interview. This is an appointment you attend where your photo will be taken, as well as your fingerprints for identity purposes.
When you are planning to travel outside of the country, it is important that you apply for the permit well before you travel out of the U.S. Once the petition is received by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) you will receive a notice to attend a “Biometrics” appointment. This appointment notice typically arrives four to six weeks after the petition is filed.Who Needs a Re-Entry Permit?
A Re-Entry Permit (Sometimes also called a “White Passport”) is a document that is provided for an LPR who is planning to leave the country for more than a year. The Re-Entry Permit is sometimes called a “White Passport” because some countries allow the permit to be used in lieu of a passport for shorter trips outside of the country. One of the functions of our Austin, Texas Immigration Law Firm is to help LPRs obtain a Re-Entry Permit before traveling outside of the country. While having a Re-Entry Permit does not guarantee re-entry to the United States (all residents are subject to the applicable laws regarding entry into the United States), it does support and establish your intention to remain a resident, and allows you to re-enter the United States without having to legally obtain a new visa.
The Re-Entry Permit prevents the invalidation of your residency by establishing your intention to return to the country within a two-year range. The permit allows your return to the country without having to obtain a new resident visa. If you do not have a re-entry permit, you may experience difficulty upon return; you may have to appear before an immigration judge and experience other difficulties returning to the United States.What is the Purpose of the Re-Entry Permit?
You must be either a qualifying conditional resident or an LPR in order to file for the permit. The purpose of the permit is to indicate that you do not intend to abandon your immigrant legal status as a lawful permanent resident in the United States.Re-Entry Permit Requirements:
It is important to know that you cannot file to obtain the permit once you have left the country. You must be present in the United States both at the time you sign and file the petition and for the Biometrics Interview. However, it is not absolutely necessary to be present in the country when USCIS approves the petition. It is possible to have the permit sent to a US Embassy abroad, where you can pick it up once it has been approved.
Without meeting the proper requirements as listed above, the Re-Entry Permit Petition may be denied.How Can An Austin Immigration Lawyer Help With Your Re-Entry Permit?
The Re-Entry Permit petition involves much more than simply filling out an application and waiting for results. There are a number of procedural and material requirements. Navigating through the process can be very daunting and time-consuming. For this reason, it is advisable to obtain the advice and assistance of a qualified immigration law attorney to handle the matter. To those unfamiliar with the paperwork and legal requirements, the Re-Entry Permit process can quickly become frustrating and overwhelming. An attorney experienced in all aspects of residency status can make the process more manageable and prevent you from loosing your permanent residency.The Lyttle Law Firm Can Help With Your Re-Entry Permit
The Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas, has experience in handling Re-Entry permits and can alleviate the practical burdens of navigating through the process. Moreover, because immigration law deals solely with federal law and not state law, the Lyttle Law Firm can handle cases for clients no matter what state they currently reside in or where they intend to reside in the future.
Austin, Texas immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle of the Lyttle Law Firm speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently, and can communicate directly with clients in these languages. If you need the assistance of a competent immigration attorney to handle your Re-Entry petition, please call the Lyttle Law Firm for a consultation.