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Applying for a US Reentry Permit during the Pandemic
One of the less talked about effects of COVID-19 is how it left people stranded. The unexpected spread of the virus has people stuck abroad, turning a one-month trip into a year-long stay. This can cause trouble with your legal permanent resident (LPR) status. In this article, we’ll talk about common concerns related to reentry permit applications during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you’re concerned about losing your permanent residence due to travel abroad, talk to an experienced North Carolina or California immigration attorney now!
What is a Reentry Permit and why do I need One?
A valid re-entry permit lets you live, study, or work abroad for some time without losing the validity of your permanent resident card. There are many reasons where you can’t move to the US right away or that require you to go abroad. With a re-entry permit, you can work on your other obligations before finally going to the United States. A re-entry permit allows you to only enter the US once in two years, then once in a year after four years.
Your Green Card has a period of validity of 10 years for lawful permanent residents. However, simply having a valid Green Card won’t suffice to keep your lawful permanent resident status. To maintain your status as an active Green Card-holder, you’ll have to travel to the USA and reside there permanently for half the period of your stay.
Note that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not provide exemptions for permanent residents to live abroad without a reentry permit EVEN during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have plans to travel abroad, apply for a re-entry permit along with your other travel documents. If you’re having trouble with your stay abroad during the trying times brought about by the virus, talk to a skilled North Carolina or California immigration lawyer to ease your worries.
What if I don’t get a re-entry permit?
If you travel to your home country and return to the US without a valid permit, then the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has evidence to consider your absence as an abandonment of your permanent residency status. The CBP official might take it to mean you planned to move abroad and live there permanently. A valid re-entry permit prevents any such complications with CBP when you reenter the US borders.
How do I apply for a re-entry permit?
First, get in touch with an immigration attorney from the North Carolina or California immigration office of Diener Law. We will help you with the necessary paperwork you need to travel abroad and get a re-entry permit, including government forms, supporting letters, and other travel documents. We will help you demonstrate:
- You have loyalty to the United States and have no reason to abandon your LPR status; and
- You have valid reasons to remain outside the US.
Any error in a travel document can cause you trouble with your trip abroad. Our immigration lawyers have extensive experience with hundreds of applications to help give you the best possible chance at getting your travel and re-entry approved. Call us now to get started on your travel plans!
Afterward, you apply to the USCIS office. Take note that you have to be physically present in the US as your application is submitted to qualify for the re-entry permit.
Next will be the biometrics to confirm your identity.
You do not have to be in the US to wait for the approval of your application. After you’ve done the biometrics check, you’re free to go abroad. If everything goes as planned, you’ll be able to get your re-entry permit.