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Application for I-131 Reentry Permit

Application for I-131 Reentry Permit

Today, it is a necessary procedure for permanent residents to re-enter the country if they leave the United States for a long period of time (more than 6 months) and go abroad.

1. Reentry Permit
Commonly speaking, if you apply for a Reentry Permit before going abroad (before leaving the United States), it will be considered that you have not given up your permanent residency when you return to the country, so there will be no inconvenience in re-entry. This is called a reentry permit. If you do not stay in the U.S. for more than one year, the required continuous residence for the purpose of naturalization is suspended. 

2. 6 months or 1 year
There are many questions about whether permanent residency can be maintained if you visit the US for 6 months or 1 year from abroad. In the Immigration Act, there is no provision in itself that the permanent residency is deprived or re-entry is prohibited if the period of stay abroad exceeds 6 months, except for those who have stayed abroad for more than one year. However, when deciding whether to give up living in the U.S. as a permanent resident at the time of re-entry inspection, the period of stay abroad becomes an important screening criterion, so it is recommended that the period of stay abroad should not exceed 6 months. Conversely, it is also a common misconception that permanent residency can be maintained as long as you enter the United States within six months. This is because the period of stay abroad is regarded as a very important screening criterion during the re-entry examination, but it is not the only one. Therefore, other evidence that you have not given up residing in the United States (tax report, house rent, bank account, credit card, driver's license, etc.)

3. How to apply :
When applying, you must apply for FormI-131 while you are in the United States, and in principle, biometrics services (commonly referred to as “biometrics or fingerprinting”) must be done before leaving the United States and you must receive approval before leaving. However, there are cases in which those who do not have time apply, leave, and then re-enter the United States for biometric authentication. And you can get the approval if you ask for it abroad (US embassy or consulate) when you apply.

4. Materials : Form I-131, 2 recent photos (passport),USCIS filing fee (currently $660)

5. Procedure period : Currently more than 1 year on average

6. Validity :
Generally, once approved, it is valid for two years. However, if you stay abroad for more than 4 years out of the last 5 years during your permanent residency period, you will receive a 1-year validity period with special exceptions (e.g., if you went abroad by order of the US government other than deportation).

7. Impact on citizenship applications
If a permanent resident stays abroad for more than 6 months, in most cases, it is considered that he has not maintained a permanent residence in the United States, so he can apply for citizenship after waiting another 3 or 5 years from the time he returned from his 6-month stay abroad. . This is the same in that even if you stay abroad with a re-entry permit, you have to wait 3 or 5 years from the time you return to the United States if you have stayed abroad for more than 6 months.

If the period of stay abroad is more than 6 months and less than 1 year, it may be acceptable to maintain the residence in the United States if there is a suitable reason. Residency may be granted.

However, N-470 is not open to anyone, but only applies to those who go abroad as an overseas dispatched employee of a US company, US government agency, or international organization of which the US is a member. And, unlike the I-131, which can only be applied while staying in the United States, it is possible to apply abroad as long as you have stayed in the United States for one year consecutively before staying abroad.

8. Conclusion
Permanent residents must apply for a re-entry permit when staying abroad for a long period (more than 6 months). If you enter the United States after staying abroad for a long time without applying, it will be considered as giving up your permanent residency, and in the worst case, you may be denied entry. Therefore, it is important to apply before departure to avoid adverse situations. In addition, the reason for staying abroad is important when applying for a re-entry permit.


4055 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 244 

Los Angeles, CA 90010 

Phone : 213-263-2636

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