Our office has been handling an increasing number of expedited processing Form I-131 reentry permits for legal permanent residents (“LPR”) who are or are planning to spend extended periods of time abroad and who wish to maintain their legal permanent resident status.
Reentry Permits Are Generally Valid for Two Years
One of the questions we receive very often in connection with the reentry permit applications is what would be the duration of the reentry permit, once issued. For most of the applicants, the answer is that the reentry permit is valid for two (2) years starting from the date on which the reentry permit is issued.
But One-year Reentry Permits Are Given for Extended Absenses
However, pursuant to 8 CFR 223.2(c)(2), an LPR who, since becoming an LPR or during the past five (5) years, whichever is less, has been outside of the U.S. for more than four (4) years in the aggregate will be issued a reentry permit with validity of only one (1) year from the date of issuance.
There are exceptions. If the LPR is employed by public international organization of which the U.S. is a member or is a professional athlete, then the reentry permit can be issued for two (2) years despite extended periods of absence from the U.S.
The restriction described above on the validity of reentry permits makes it important for some applicants to be able to calculate the aggregate amount of time spent outside of the U.S. for the past five years (or since becoming LPR). Such applicants should also make plans to renew their reentry permit within one year of issuance.
Please visit our Reentry Permit and Expedited Processing page for more information.