Reentry Permit Expedited by filing Form I-131

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Filing Form I-131 To Get Your Reentry Permit Expedited

You can get your reentry permit expedited by filing form I-131.

            Permanent residency – or a green card – is a dream come true for many immigrants.  We all know that you need to reside in the US for some years before your application is granted. But what if your brother is getting married in a few weeks and you must attend? Or what if your mother gets sick and you have to spend a long time back home? In many cases, you will not be able to travel without jeopardizing your immigration status. When you file Form I-131, however, you can comfortably start getting your travel bags ready. Filing Form I-131 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) works in different ways to give you travel permission, depending on your status. There are three uses of this form:

  1. For people with pending permanent residence applications, or who have some other status like TPS that may allow brief travel outside the US – these people can file for advance parole using Form I-131.
  2. For permanent residents (those who already have a green card) – these people can file for a reentry permit to allow them to remain outside the United States for up to two years continuously without endangering their green cards
  3. For asylees (those who have been granted asylum or refugee status but who are not permanent residents) – these people can file for a Refugee Travel Document to allow travel outside the United States (but do not travel back to the country from where you claimed asylum, or you will face potential loss of your status.)

You use Form I-131 for all these benefits, depending on your status. A sample of this form can be found here. Remember, though: getting any of these documents is not a guarantee of re-entry into the US! Rather, it is a prerequisite. In this article, we will discuss Form I-131 for reentry permits only. Here are a couple of tips to help you get your reentry permit expedited.

Who should file Form I-131?

            For lawful permanent residents, a reentry permit is necessary if you are a frequent traveler. You must file Form I-131 for a reentry permit from inside the United States. There is no exception to this rule! However, once you complete your fingerprinting, you can leave (it takes about 3 – 4 weeks). Ideally, you should remain physically present in the US when waiting for a decision from the USCIS. However, if you cannot, you can ask for the reentry permit, once approved, to be sent to the consulate in your home country for pickup.

Criteria for expediting processing of Form I-131.

            The USCIS can expedite the processing of your travel permit under certain circumstances. These include severe financial loss to the company or person; emergency cases and humanitarian grounds. Nonprofit institutions whose request is in pursuance of cultural and social interests of the United States can make the request for the expedition.

            Certain US government entities such as the Department of Defense or National Interest Situation can apply for a reentry permit expedited In this case, the request should be made by an official government department. It should also explain that a delay will be disadvantageous to the Government.

What you need to do to get your reentry permit expedited.

The requirements below are key and must be met by all persons applying for a travel permit, expedited or not;

  • You must be a U.S. lawful permanent resident or conditional lawful permanent resident (and if you are a conditional resident – file with extreme caution, as you must still file the I-751 to remove conditions on time, whether you are in or out of the US!)
  • Your intent to depart the United States must be for a temporary basis.
  • You must file a Form I-131 and provide supporting documents.
  • Your reentry permit application must be filed while you are physically present in the United States.
  • You must attend a biometrics appointment

Once you satisfy the above requirements, the next thing to do is inform USCIS of your desire to have your reentry permit expedited. You need to follow these simple steps for a successful expedition request;

  • Write a cover letter stating your request for an expedited travel permit- it is your responsibility as the applicant to provide reasons for your expedited request. The applicant has the burden of proof to convince USCIS that the request is justified.
  • Collect evidence in support of the reason given in the cover letter above. Let us assume your request for an expedited travel permit could be based on humanitarian grounds, such as health issues. In this case, the proper evidence can be hospital records, evidence of actual or imminent fatality or doctor’s note.
  • Complete Form I-131. It is advisable to be extremely keen and accurate while completing this application form. Mistakes and inaccuracies are quite to the request for expedition.
  • Contact USCIS; Contact the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283 one week after filing to follow up on your request. Be prepared to attend an appointment at your local USCIS office soon after if requested.

The filing fees while getting a travel permit differs on the basis of certain factors;

  • $575 for a reentry document or advance parole, plus an $85 biometrics fee for applicants between age 14 and 79 years of age.
  • $135 for a refugee travel document for applicants who are 16 years of age or older, plus an $85 biometrics fee (unless the applicant is age 80 or older)
  • $105 for a refugee travel document for applicants who are under the age of 16 years, plus an $85 biometrics fee if the applicant is age 14 or 15.

The USCIS adjusts these fees regularly, so it is important to visit the USCIS Webpage for confirmation before filing. Note: do not trust the amount of the filing fee in the instructions! These are not always updated as quickly as the website is.

You Can Get Professional Help At HMA Law!

Despite the simple breakdown we have given in this article, understanding all the instructions can be problematic for some. Luckily, we can help you get your travel permits – whether advance parole, reentry permit, or refugee travel document – expedited. At HMA Law, our experienced attorneys will work round the clock to ensure you can leave the country and get back. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need help with form I-131.

Do not look further, give us a call now. We deliver.

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