You may be asking the question, “When do I Need a Re-entry Permit?” If you are currently a permanent resident of the United States, you are eligible to travel without any restrictions outside of the United States. That being said, if you intend to re-enter the United States, you will need to present your green card and a valid passport from your country of citizenship, in order to be readmitted. If the trip is longer than one year but less than two years, then you will also need a re-entry permit to come back into the United States. This is issued to lawful permanent residents who intend to travel outside the United States by filing a Form I-131 with USCIS. In some situations, the reentry permit could also be used as a travel document when traveling outside the U.S.

Can I Leave the Country and Get Back Without a Re-Entry Permit?

Going outside the United States without a re-entry permit could generate many serious problems for conditional or permanent residents. It could be, for example, determined that you have abandoned your resident status in the United States. An individual’s permanent residence could be deemed abandoned for absences longer than one year and for absences shorter than one year if residency is taking in another country. This is a scenario you want to avoid if at all possible, so always consult with your Arizona immigration attorney before leaving the country. Verifying all your options first is strongly recommended.

Avoid Hassles with a Re-Entry Permit

One of the biggest benefits of having a valid re-entry permit before you leave the country is that you do not have to go through the process of obtaining a returning resident visa from a U.S consulate or embassy. That being said, having the permit does not relieve you of any of the requirements associated with the United States immigration laws. Simply having a reentry permit alone does not guarantee that you will be readmitted into United States, as you will still be subject to immigration inspection to determine whether you are admissible or not. Speak with your attorney first before making any plans to leave the country. This will increase the chances that you are prepared for a hassle-free return. Consult with an Arizona immigration attorney to learn more about these complex issues.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding When Do I Need a Re-entry Permit?, You Need an Immigration Attorney, or other Immigration Law matters,  please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at  480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.