Experience getting our United States Reentry Permit
Today we received the approval for our United States reentry permit (I-131, sometimes referred to as ‘leave of absence’) from USCIS. It took us roughly 3 months from the initial application to the final approval.
A reentry permit allows Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) to travel outside the United States for up to two years. A Lawful Permanent Resident may normally travel outside the United States and return even without a reentry permit. However, the reentry permit can help to establish that you did not intend to abandon your status / permanent residence in the United States. This can be important if are away from the United States for more than a year, or if you take up residence abroad (even if it’s for for less than a year).
As we are currently in the UK, we had to fly to the US twice, first to file our application and then to submit our biometrics. Here’s a detailed timeline of the steps we had to take to get our reentry permit.
- t=0 days: Submitted application by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, in Chicago
- t=6 days: Received notification that application has been received
- t=17 days: Received appointment letter for biometrics
- t=35 days: Submitted biometrics at Application Support Center (ASC) in Philadelphia
- t=92 days: Received approval notification
- t=TBD: Pick up the reentry permit from US Consulate in London
Overall, it was a fairly straightforward and quick process.
For a more detailed overview of the application process, the USCIS website explains it very well here.