Lawyers at the Law Offices of Norka M. Schell, LLC work diligently to make sure that our clients are aware of the legal implications to travel abroad for an extended period of time.
Lawful permanent resident (LPR) normally may travel outside the United States and return; however, there are some limitations. A Travel Authorization Document can help prevent two types of problems when traveling abroad.
- The Permanent Resident Card of Lawful Permanent Resident becomes technically invalid for reentry into the United States if she or he is absented from the United States for 1 year or more.
- The U.S. residence of a Lawful Permanent Resident may be considered as abandoned for absences shorter than one year if she or he takes up residence in another country.
A Travel Authorization Document or Reentry Permit establishes that immigrant did not intend to abandon status, and it allows he or she to apply for admission to the United States after traveling abroad for up to two years without having to obtain a returning resident visa. Reentry Permits are normally valid for twp years from the date of issuance. A person may also want to get a reentry permit if he or she plans on traveling outside the United States and cannot or do not wish to get a passport from your home country. Many countries throughout the world may allow a person to use a reentry permit much like he or she would use a passport—placing necessary visas and entry and exit stamps in the permit—so a person may use it as his or her main travel document. Be sure to check with any country you plan to visit about specific requirements before you travel.
What will happen if I do not apply for a reentry permit before I travel outside of the United States?
If you are a LPR planning to travel outside of the United States for one year or more, it is important that you apply for a Travel Authorization Document before you depart from the United States. If you stay outside of the United States for one year or more and did not apply for a reentry permit before you left, you may be considered to have abandoned your permanent resident status. You may not be allowed to reentry the United States. If you are paroled in to the United States, you may be referred to an immigration judge in order to decide whether you have abandoned your U.S. residence. If you are in this situation, contact the Law Offices of Norka M. Schell, LLC today.
I am a LPR and need to travel abroad. Can I file for Travel Authorization to get a reentry permit while I am outside the United States?
No. You cannot file for travel authorization to obtain a reentry permit unless you are physically present in the United States when you file the form. You should file no fewer than 60 days before you intend to travel abroad.
If I file to get a reentry permit while I am in the United States, will USCIS deny the application if I leave the United States while the form is still pending?
We recommend that you file while you are in the United States. However, you do not have to be in the United States for USCIS to approve your application and issue a reentry permit to you if your biometrics have been obtained. You can indicate on your Form I-131 that you want USCIS to send your reentry permit to a U.S. Embassy, or consulate, or a DHS office overseas, so you can pick it up from one of those facilities.
If I file for travel authorization document while I am in the United States, can I submit my biometrics while I am outside the United States?
No. When you file your Form I-131 to obtain a reentry permit, USCIS will notify you when to appear at a designated Application Support Center (ASC) to obtain your biometrics. You must provide your biometrics at the ASC while you are in the United States. If you leave the United States before you provide your biometrics, USCIS may deny your application.
Call the Law Offices of Norka M. Schell, LLC at (212) 739-0438 today to assist you with your travel authorization document and others legal matter. We are here to help.