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Does a Re-entry Permit guarantee that a permanent resident will be readmitted to the U.S. ?

NO. Neither a Re-entry Permit, nor a green card (for trips taking less than one year), nor the "special immigrant" visa, will guarantee that a permanent resident will be readmitted to the U.S.


Remember: the immigration inspector at the port of entry always has the right to refuse entry to any permanent resident if he or she deems that the individual has either abandoned the intent to remain permanently in the U.S., or has committed a crime, or falls within one of the grounds for exclusion under U.S. immigration law.

Reader Comments


Hi, Iam writing in behalf of my brother-in-law. He got his immigrant status approved in September 2004, came to US and stayed until March 2, 2005. Decided to stay in the PHilippines since his mom was diagnosed a colon cancer. He did apply for a re-entry permit and got an approval last Jun6 2005 to June 2007. Basically, he was given 2 years. However, he left before he received his re-entry approval. My question is, will the 2 years be counted from the date he left for Philippines which was March 2005 or June 2005? Cause it is, then does he has to leave before March 2, 2007 or he can come back to US after March but before June 2007?

Thanks so much for your help.


Reentry Permit valid for "2 years from the date of issuance."

In general, the regulation which defines the validity period of a reentry permit is 8 CFR 223.3(a)(1) which states: "a reentry permit issued to a permanent resident shall be valid for 2 years from the date of issuance."

Second, 8 CFR 223.3(d)(1) states "A permanent resident or conditional permanent resident in possession of a valid reentry permit who is otherwise admissible shall not be deemed to have abandoned status based solely on the duration of an absence or absences while the permit is valid."

Therefore, it would be reasonable for an Immigration Inspector to rely on the expiration date of the reentry permit, itself. However, there is a risk that a particular Immigration Inspector may interpret these rules differently, so it may be prudent to take a conservative approach and assume that one only has two years from the date of departure, in order to avoid the risk of a harsh interpretation by an Immigration Inspector.

reentry permits

How many times can an individual apply for a reentry permit?

No limit on reentry permits

There is no explicit limit on the number of times that one can apply for a reentry permit. However, the USCIS will only grant one year terms if since becoming a permanent resident you have been outside the U.S. for more than four of the last five years (with certain exceptions). In addition, at some point, the USCIS could view one's continual absence from the U.S. as indicating a lack of intent to remain permanently in the U.S.--depending upon one's purported reason for applying for another reentry permit.

Studying abroad for 3 years

I am a green card holder (living in the US for 10 years, 3 of those as GC holder). I need to study abroad for three years. Is this advisable? Could I get a reentry permit twice to cover that time?

Would residing outside the US for this period delay the amount of time until I could apply for naturalization? Thanks

Studying Abroad & Reentry Permits

U.S. Permanent Residents who will be outside of the U.S. for extended periods of time, including for studying abroad, may wish to obtain a Reentry Permit because that is the best evidence of intent to reside permanently in the U.S.  In addition, you may wish to take various precautions, as stated in: Keeping your Green Card

If one studies abroad for longer than the validity date of the reentry permit, then it may be necessary to apply for one or more additional reentry permits, when one is present in the U.S.  One must be present in the U.S. to apply for a reentry permit.

Regarding citizenship, a reentry permit to-reenter generally does not relieve the person to whom issued from meeting the requirements of the naturalization laws. Notwithstanding the possession of a reentry permit, absence from the United States by an applicant for naturalization for a continuous period of one year or more during the period for which continuous residence in the United States is required for admission to citizenship will break the continuity of such residence, except where, the applicant meets other exceptions.

Therefore, residing outside of the U.S. may affect one's eligibility for citizenship, depending upon the category under which one applies for citizenship. See:Naturalization Requirements

re entry permit

im a medical student in pakistan and my husband is in america.when i got my green card i had to leave for pakistan again because i still have two more years of medical school left.i applied for reentry permit through a lawyer because i cannot afford to visit america after every six months.the lawyer told me that i can leave after applying and my husband can recieve my reentry permit within four or five months and mail it to me so when i have to travel back to america i should have it.its been more than five months and the processes is still pending and we havent recieved the reentry permit.i left for pakistan on 15th may 2007 and on 15 nov it will be exact six months.so i want to know the status of my reentry permit how i can i do that while sitting here in pakistan and i want to know if it is required and necessary for me to be there in america before 15th november besides the fact that i have applied for reentry permit but i havent recieved it yet and the prosses is still pending it hasnt till now been approved or may be denied.if it gets denied and if im not in america at that time will i be given some time to reenter.will there be any chances that my greencard will be canceled or i will not be allowed to reenter america after this date in any of the above situations.

Processing Time for Reentry Permit

As of October 15, 2007, the USCIS was processing reentry permit applications for green card holders which were filed on or before May 7, 2007.  Therefore, if your reentry permit application was filed on or about May 15, 2007, the USCIS should have completed or should be completing processing around now.

You should contact the law firm which handled your matter to find out whether they have received your reentry permit, or whether they received any notice regarding where it may have been sent.

If your reentry permit application is denied, it is unlikely that you would be given any extra time to reenter.  Instead, it would be prudent to return to the U.S. asap.

On the other hand, if a reentry permit is denied, it does not mean that one's green card is automatically canceled.  Instead, the status of your green card depends on how long you have been outside of the U.S.  In that regard, note that one has one year in which to use a green card and a valid passport to seek reentry to the U.S. in valid status.  However, it is best not to wait until the last minute to return.

Note, also, that since you are attending medical school outside of the U.S., you should be prepared to document that fact to the Immigration Inspector in order to explain why you have remained outside of the U.S.


I was granted indefinite political asylum from my country of origin guatemala in 1998. In 2006, i was granted my green card. However for very personal reasons I cannot disclose, i cannot apply for a guatemalan passport, seeing myself under the necessity to apply for a reentry permit. My question is given my situation as an ex asylee, with a green card and my refugee travel document, is it true I cannot go back to my country of origin until become a citizen?

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Search for H1B Visa Employers

You can search for "H1B Visa Employers" using this database, which was compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources. This database identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas in the past, or who have at least started the process by filing for the LCA. If you find an employer you are interested in, you can then contact them to inquire as to whether they have any current job openings in your field. Please tell your friends about this valuable resource.

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Foreign Medical Graduates ("FMGs") should be aware that there are "FMG Friendly" employers, and "FMG Unfriendly" employers. This database (compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources) identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas for foreign medical graduates in the past (or at least started the process by filing for the LCA), and who can therefore be deemed "FMG Friendly". Please tell your colleagues about this valuable resource.

Use this form to search for "FMG Friendly" employers in a given state.

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