I-131 Reentry Permits - services provided by Capitol Immigration Law Group PLLC, an award-winning U.S. immigration law firm x

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What is a Reentry Permit (or Travel Document)?

A reentry permit is a permission from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to a U.S. lawful permanent resident (LPR) or a conditional permanent resident to reenter the U.S. after an extended period of stay abroad.  Normally, LPRs are expected to reside in the U.S. on a permanent basis.  However, in many circumstances, an LPR needs to travel frequently or to reside abroad for an extended period of time ranging from a few months to a few years and the reentry permit is the document which would allow its LPR holder to maintain their LPR status while spending time abroad.  The actual reentry permit looks a bit like a U.S. passport – a booklet with a tamper-proof photo page with biographic information and a number of stamp pages. Sign of airport departure board. Generally, a reentry permit can help prevent two types of problems:  (a) your Permanent Resident Card becoming technically invalid for reentry into the U.S., if you are absent from the U.S. for one (1) year or more or (b) your U.S. permanent residence being considered as abandoned for absences shorter than one (1) year if you take up residence in another country. In certain cases, LPRs who do not have a valid passport can obtain a reentry permit for international travel in lieu of a passport. A reentry permit establishes a presumption that its holder did not abandon their U.S. permanent residency, and it allows its holder to apply for admission to the U.S. after traveling abroad for a period of up to two years, without having to obtain a returning resident visa.  Reentry permits are normally valid for 2 years from the date of issuance. Extensions are possible in almost all cases.

I am a Green Card Holder – Do I Need a Reentry Permit?

There a number of situations in which we recommend LPRs to obtain a reentry permit before travel abroad.  Generally, if you will (or potentially could) remain outside of the U.S. for a period of more than one (1) but less than two (2) years then you should definitely consider obtaining a reentry permit in order to maintain your permanent residency (green card).   Alternatively, if you are traveling frequently in and out of the U.S., especially if you spend considerable periods of time abroad, even though each of your individual stays outside of the U.S. is less than one year, a reentry permit would help you demonstrate your continued intent to maintain U.S. permanent residency, but also help you avoid questioning at the U.S. border.

How long are you going to be outside of the U.S.?

Unless you are a frequent international traveler or were advised by a border agent to obtain one, no reentry permit is normally required for trips of less than six months.

You may also want to get a reentry permit if you plan on traveling outside the U.S. and cannot, or do not wish to get a passport from your home country. Some LPRs based on asylum do not actually have foreign passports and for them the only travel document permitting them to leave the U.S. is the reentry permit.  As a result, many countries throughout the world allow you to use a reentry permit much like you would use a passport – placing necessary visas, and entry and exit stamps in the permit – so you may use it as your main travel document.  Please see below for a more detailed description and specific examples of situations requiring reentry permit.

Frequent Reentry Permit Situations

Below are some of the most common situations where we have recommended and have been able to secure a reentry permit for our clients. We are happy to review your personal situation and recommend the best approach – please submit a free and no-obligation case review request.

Overview of Our Reentry Permit Application Process

  1. You complete the intake form.
  2. We respond within one business day with free case recommendation and a fee proposal.
  3. You send us electronically a number of requested documents.
  4. We prepare and send you electronically a package of documents and instructions for review and signature.
  5. You sign and FedEx (or similar) the signed documents back to us.
  6. We file the application for you.
  7. You attend the required biometrics appointment.
  8. The reentry permit is produced and we send to you (abroad, if necessary).

Reentry Permit Process Timeline

The reentry permit application (Form I-131) is filed with USCIS along with supporting documentation and the correct filing fee.  Effective April 2008, all reentry permit applications include a required biometrics processing component.  Each applicant must submit to biometrics processing at a local USCIS service center before his or her reentry permit can be issued.  While biometrics can be rescheduled one or more times, failure to attend the biometrics appointment within 120 days of the application receipt date may cause the reentry permit to be denied.

Regular Processing: 1-2 months for biometrics; 2-4 months for document production.

A regular processing reentry permit application can take between 1-2 months from the time of applying to the biometrics appointment; with another 3-4 months for the actual reentry permit to be produced and mailed to the applicant.  If you have a foreign passport and can travel internationally, then you can depart the U.S. after processing the biometrics.   LPRs who need the reentry permit for international travel would need to wait until its production before they can make travel arrangements and depart the U.S.


Expedited Processing - Do I Qualify?

Because of these significant processing times under the regular processing, we recommend that reentry permit applications be initiated well in advance of any planned trip.   Additionally, USCIS has established an “expedited processing” procedure which permits, under certain circumstances and emergencies, the biometrics to be scheduled on a first-available basis so that the applicant can travel abroad.  In many cases, under the expedited processing procedure, we are able to schedule the biometrics appointment within 2-4 weeks of application filing.

Expedited Processing: 3-4 weeks for biometrics; 1-4 months for document production.

The government has indicated that they would consider a request to expedite the the biometrics scheduling on a case-by-case basis.   In our experience and in most cases, due to the significant processing time for a regular reentry permit, we can make the case in the reentry permit filing that the required biometrics should be expedited due to scheduled travel (plane ticket purchases), work schedule (must appear for a new assignment abroad), medical needs (urgent surgery abroad), or others.    When we file a reentry permit and request expedited processing (majority of our cases), we include prepaid FedEx envelopes to that USCIS can promptly return the biometrics notice back to us.

Pricing and Service Package Options

Government Filing Fees Alert: the total government filing fee per reentry permit application is $660 (for applicants between 14 and 79 years of age) and $575 for children under 14 and seniors over 79 years of age. Refugee/asylum applicants for a travel document pay a government filing of $220 per application.
Service Package (attorney fee, per person) Basic Standard VIP
$595 $695 $795
Start Process Start Process Start Process
Expedited processing request
Government filing fee (additional) $660 (see below) $660 (see below) $660 (see below)
Additional costs/expenses None None None
Days to prepare documents for review and signature 2 business days 2 business days same or next business day
Days to file application after receipt of signed documents and payment 2 business days 2 business days same or next business day
Prompt email case status alerts and updates
Unlimited biometrics rescheduling
Reentry permit delivered to Client’s U.S. address or pickup at pre-selected U.S. consulate abroad. Worldwide courier delivery – FedEx International Priority Worldwide courier delivery – FedEx International Priority
Unlimited case support and consultations via email or phone
Support team lead by experienced immigration attorney
Family member discounts Available Available Available
Complimentary U.S. citizenship eligibility analysis

Reentry Permit Expense Calculator – How Much is the Reentry Permit Going to Cost Me?

Government Filing Fees: the total government filing fee per reentry permit application is $660 (for applicants between 14 and 79 years of age) and $575 for children under 14 and seniors over 79 years of age. This amount includes the biometrics fee. Refugee/asylum applicants for a travel document pay a government filing of $220 per application.

Why Hire Us? Features of Our Reentry Permit Representation and Process.

In addition to our experience and expertise in handling many reentry permits over the years, we offer a smooth, easy and predictable reentry permit application process.     Below are some of the main features of our reentry permit representation offering.


Focused and Experienced

As you may be getting the sense from our website, we have done more than a few reentry permits. Our immigration attorneys have years of experience in obtaining expedited processing reentry permits. We have an immigration practice dedicated to reentry permits and our knowledge and experience of reentry permits is unparalleled.

Fast Document Turnaround and Filing Times

We recognize that most of our clients are in a hurry to file and/or depart the U.S. We offer prompt case initiation, document turnaround and filing service. In many cases, we are able to file within a 2-4 days of case initiation.

Email and Phone Support

Our immigration attorneys and other case managers are reachable via email and phone to answer any case questions or concerns. Talking to an immigration attorney is very easy. Questions or concerns will be addressed quickly. We will be immediately available for as long as your case is pending and until you receive your reentry permit. 

Reliable Courier Delivery

When we have to send documents to you, especially when the reentry permit is issued, we use the most reliable and fast delivery methods. Most of the time we are able to have FedEx hand-deliver the documents to you anywhere in the world.

Family and Corporate Discounts

While we believe our rates are a great value for the level of service and attention we provide, we also offer discounts for families applying for reentry permits together. Getting a reentry permit is not inexpensive, and we want to help large families or groups. Similarly, we offer corporate rates for frequent corporate clients.

Extra Benefits and Services

For every reentry permit client, we offer a number of additional and related benefits and services, often for no additional fee. For example, we can provide guidance on best ways to maintain U.S. permanent residency. We can analyze U.S. citizenship eligibility or provide other immigration legal services.

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Testimonials - What Others Say about Us

This is my second experience with Capitol Immigration Law Group and it was as excellent as the first one. Attorney Dimo Michailov assisted me during the whole process and was always available when I had questions. What pleases me the most is his response time. Thank you very much for your dedication!  — G.D., Venezuela

I reside at Bangalore, India and was traveling to US to get my reentry permit. One of my friends highly recommended this firm and hence I signed up for their services to submit my form I-131. Once I provided all the documents (scanned over e-mail) as per their check-list, they literally took care of everything. All I had to do was sign few forms and follow-up with them via e-mail. They know their business very well and have exceeded on my expectations on all fronts.  — P.B., India

Thank you kindly for your excellent service throughout the entire [employment-based green card] process. I have been so impressed and grateful for your clear and timely communication. You are very well organized and knowledgeable about the entire […] process. We always felt you were representing us well and moving us through all of the requirements in a very expeditious and professional manner. — B.T., United States

After a frustrating experience with a large and prestigious law firm, I had a very pleasant surprise when I found the Capitol Immigration Law Group.  I became aware of the firm on the web by the quality of information on their website.  Subsequently, attorney Dimo Michailov and his team [at the Capitol Immigration Law Group] provided prompt and extremely professional service in all respects. — S.V., Hungary

I am very pleased with Capitol Immigration Law Group services: the professionalism of their personnel, their fast response to all my questions and concerns, their personalized treatment to the client – all where beyond my expectations. — G.D., Venezuela

Very professional and knowledgeable. Excellent communication. I would not hesitate to recommend the Capitol Immigration Law Group to any of my family or friends. I have already recommended Dimo Michailov to my brother for his immigration matters.  — C.L., Sri Lanka

[Referred client’s name redacted] just called me and told [me] about how impressed he is [with] your prompt service.  I’m really proud to have recommended him to you. I’m really lucky to find such a good attorney among thousands of attorneys in this country.  I will keep on telling about you to all my friends who are in-need of Immigration help.  — P.K., India

We have many more like these, but we think you get the idea.

Recent Reentry Permit Articles

Can Biometrics be Completed at a USCIS Office Outside of US? 8 Jan 2017 - Many USCIS applications (normally those which result in the production of a “secure document”) require the applicant provide digital biometrics at a USCIS office.   In most cases, the biometrics process includes digital fingerprinting and a digital photo. Many applicants who need to submit to the required biometrics are able to do so in the closest USCIS […]
Reentry Permit Government Filing Fees to Increase Significantly on December 23, 2016 24 Oct 2016 - The Department of Homeland Security has just released the final rule announcing the increase of most of the Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) application filing fees. The weighted average of the increase is 21 percent and USCIS is adding one new fee.  Most notably, the filing fee for I-131 reentry permits is set to increase from […]
Green Card Holder and “I-327 Advised” Passport Notation – What To Do? 6 May 2015 - Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) who travel frequently outside of the U.S. and spend extended periods of time at a time (during a single trip or through pattern of shorter but frequent trips abroad) are often questioned at the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) U.S. port of entry about their residence and intention to remain a […]
Reentry Permit Renewal and Surrendering of Current Document 12 Apr 2015 - Our office serves many first-time and returning reentry permit applicants and our clients and readers often want to know the options for extending (technically, obtaining a new) reentry permit if their circumstances  require continued stay outside of the United States.    We have addressed the renewal options and strategies in earlier articles; however, an additional follow-up […]


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