Generally, a Lawful Permanent Resident or Green Card holder cannot continuously reside outside the United States for over a one year period, or for frequent less than one year short intervals without jeopardizing his residency status. For residing outside the US for too long or too frequently, he could abandon the residency status, and be forced by the United Sates Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to either surrender the status or go to an immigration court to tell the judge why the status should not be revoked. For the resident that does not frequently travel out of the United States, the risk of a surrender or revocation of the status is minimal. But for those who frequently travel or reside in overseas countries either for employment, business and for other reasons, the residency status could be in danger of abandonment.
To be protected from this danger, the permanent resident can acquire a re-entry travel permit. The permit allows the resident to be re-admitted by the USCIS to the United States even after frequent trips or long period of resident abroad without the need to obtain a returning resident visa from a United States Embassy or Consulate.
The resident must be present in the United States when he applies for the permit, and when he completes the fingerprint relevant to processing the permit. The permit is valid for two years only, and the two year period is counted from the date of the initial issuance. But the validity period is limited to only one year if the resident has already been outside the United States for more than four of the five years since he became a permanent resident. Even if the resident has been outside of the United States for four of the last five years of residency, the USCIS can still grant him the re-entry permit if he is traveling under the order of the United States Government, except in the case of deportation from the country, or employed by a public international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute, such as the United Nations, or a professional athlete that regularly competes in the United States or other parts of the world.
The re-entry permit cannot be issued to a person that is traveling to a place to which travel has been banned by the United States Federal Register.
The writer of this article is an attorney at Swaray Law Office. The law office is located in Brooklyn Center in Minnesota. Brooklyn Center is a northern suburb of Minneapolis, one of the main cities in Minnesota. It is also contiguous to Crystal, Brooklyn Park, Plymouth, Robbinsdale, Blaine and Fridley, among others.