Reentry Permit Processing Time: How to Overcome Timing Issues

Reentry Permit Processing Time and How to Overcome Timing Issues

A reentry permit is a travel document for United States permanent residents (similar to a passport). Having a reentry permit is important if you must leave the U.S. for longer than 6 months.

 

With a reentry permit, a permanent resident can leave the United States for up to 2 years and reenter the country without the need to apply for a returning resident visa.

 

To get a reentry permit,  timing is highly important. You are required to be physically present inside the United States when your reentry permit application is filed and accepted by USCIS. You are also required to attend a biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment in the U.S.

 

In this guide, I will discuss the reentry permit processing time, common issues regarding reentry permit timing, and how to overcome these issues.

 

If you have any questions, please email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m very responsive via email and would be happy to answer your questions.

 

Overview:

 

1. What is the Reentry Permit Processing Time?

2. Overview of Reentry Permits

3. Process of Getting a Reentry Permit

4. Issues with Reentry Permit Processing Time and Possible Solutions

5. Conclusion

 

1. What is the Reentry Permit Processing Time?

 

Quick Answer

 

From the day your reentry permit application is filed, it takes about 6 weeks for your biometrics appointment, where your digital fingerprints are taken. After your biometrics appointment, your actual reentry permit should be issued within 1 to 3 months. Total processing time: 2 to 5 months on average. 

 

If you request expedited processing of your reentry permit application (discussed below) and USCIS grants your request, it will take about 1 to 4 weeks for your biometrics appointment. Your actual reentry permit should then be issued about 1 to 3 months after your biometrics appointment. So with expedited processing, the total processing time can be anywhere from 1 to 4 months.

 

There are 4 key points throughout the process of getting your reentry permit.

 

1) Once you file your reentry permit application, you will receive a receipt notice from USCIS. The receipt notice is a confirmation by USCIS that they have received your reentry permit application.

 

2) After getting your receipt notice, USCIS will then send you a biometrics appointment notice. To get a reentry permit, you are required to attend a biometrics (digital fingerprinting) appointment in the U.S. Your biometrics appointment notice lets you know when and where your biometrics appointment is scheduled.

 

3) The next step is to actually attend your biometrics appointment. At this appointment, your digital fingerprints will be taken.

 

4) After you attend your biometrics appointment, the last step is actually getting your reentry permit from USCIS.

 

Important note regarding expedited processing: 

 

In certain situations (explained in more detail below), USCIS may grant expedited processing of a reentry permit application. If you are approved for expedited processing, the reentry permit processing time for your case will be faster than regular processing. I will display processing times for both regular processing and expedited processing below.

 

Reentry Permit Processing Time: 

 

1. Issuance of USCIS Receipt Notice (1 to 2 Weeks from Filing)

 

  • After you file your application for a reentry permit (Form I-131), USCIS will send you a receipt notice letting you know that they have received your reentry permit application.

 

  • Regular Processing: You should receive your receipt notice from USCIS within about 1 to 2 weeks of filing your reentry permit application.

 

  • Expedited Processing: You should receive your receipt notice from USCIS within about 1 week of filing your reentry permit application.

 

2. Issuance of Biometrics Appointment Notice (4 to 6 Weeks from Filing)

 

  • After filing your Form I-131, you will receive a notice from USCIS that your biometrics appointment has been scheduled.

 

  • Your biometrics appointment is where you will have your digital fingerprints taken.

 

  • Regular Processing: You should receive your biometrics appointment notice within about 1  month of filing your reentry permit application.

 

  • Expedited Processing: You should receive your biometrics appointment notice within 1 to 2 weeks of filing your reentry permit application.

 

3. Actual Biometrics Appointment Date (6 to 8 Weeks from Filing)

 

  • The next key point in the reentry permit process is actually attending your biometrics appointment.

 

  • Your biometrics appointment must take place at a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) in the United States.

 

  • In extremely rare circumstances, USCIS may allow you to have your biometrics taken at a USCIS office outside of the U.S.

 

  • Regular Processing: Your biometrics appointment will be scheduled to take place about 2 weeks after you receive the biometrics appointment notice.

 

  • Expedited Processing: Your biometrics appointment will be scheduled for about a week after you receive the biometrics appointment notice.

 

4. Issuance of Reentry Permit (2 to 5 Months from Filing)

 

  • After you attend your biometrics appointment, the last step in the process is to actually receive your reentry permit from USCIS.

 

  • Regular Processing: Your reentry permit will be issued within about 1 to 3 months after your biometrics appointment.

 

  • Expedited Processing: Your reentry permit will be issued within about 1 to 3 months after your biometrics appointment.

 

Here is a Link to View Current USCIS Processing Times. You can use this link to check how long USCIS is currently taking to process cases. Where it asks you select the form, enter Form I-131 in the space provided. Then select the appropriate USCIS Service Center in the following space. If you need help determining the USCIS Service Center where you case will be processed, send me an email at Michael@AshooriLaw.com.

 

2. Overview of Reentry Permits

 

A reentry permit is a travel document for U.S. lawful permanent residents (looks similar to a passport). A reentry permit has 3 major functions:

 

1. Protects Your Status:

 

  • As a U.S. permanent resident, when you leave the US for longer than 6 months, or if you travel frequently, immigration officers may question you when you come back to the U.S.

 

  • Immigration officers are looking to see if you have abandoned your status as a lawful permanent resident (this can be done intentionally or unintentionally). Abandoning your green card can have major consequences.

 

  • A reentry permit creates a legal presumption that you intend to stay a U.S. permanent resident.

 

2. Can be Used as an Entry Document:

 

  • Without a reentry permit, a US permanent can travel outside of the United States for less than a year and then reenter the country using their Green Card (Form I-551).

 

  • If a US permanent resident leaves the United States for a year or longer, their green card is no longer valid to reenter the U.S. Instead, the permanent resident must apply for a returning resident visa (SB-1 Visa).

 

  • With a reentry permit, a lawful permanent resident can leave the U.S. for up to 2 years and use their reentry permit as an entry document to reenter the country.

 

3. Passport/Travel Document:

 

  • Some U.S. permanent residents are unable to get a passport from their country of citizenship.

 

  • Another major function of a reentry permit is that is can be used as a passport.

 

  • When traveling, many countries permit you to use your reentry permit similar to a passport (stamping the reentry permit and placing visas inside the reentry permit).

 

3. Process of Getting a Reentry Permit

 

To get a reentry permit, a you must file a Form I-131. You must be in the United States when the Form I-131 is filed, received, and accepted by USCIS. After the Form I-131 is filed, you will receive an appointment notice to attend their biometrics appointment. The biometrics appointment is where you will get fingerprinted. The reentry permit is issued within a few months after your biometrics appointment is completed.

 

To get a reentry permit, there are 5 main requirements:

 

  • You must be a U.S. lawful permanent resident or conditional lawful permanent resident
  • 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

 

4. Issues with Reentry Permit Processing Time and Possible Solutions

 

Many lawful permanent residents encounter difficulties with the timing of their reentry permit. For many permanent residents, they are in a rush to leave the United States as soon as possible.

 

To get a reentry permit, you must be in the United States at the time your reentry permit application is filed, received, and accepted by USCIS. You must also be in the U.S. for your biometrics appointment.

 

These requirements to be physically present in the United States  create issues that must be carefully planned and strategized for.

 

To get a reentry permit, there is no exception to the requirement that you must be physically present in the United States at the time of filing the I-131. There is no way around this. If you are outside of the U.S. when you file your reentry permit application, it will be denied.

 

However, there are some possible solutions regarding the biometrics appointment.

 

Here are some possible solutions to help you work around the biometrics appointment:

 

1. Expedited Processing

 

In certain cases, you can request that your biometrics appointment be expedited. If your expedite request is granted, you can receive your biometrics appointment notice within 2 weeks of filing your Form I-131.

 

There are a few scenarios where you can request expedited processing:

 

  • Emergency Situation
  • Severe financial loss to company or person
  • Humanitarian reasons
  • USCIS has a compelling interest
  • USCIS error
  • National interest situation

 

2. Reschedule Your Biometrics Appointment

 

Another solution may be to reschedule your biometrics appointment. Once you get your biometrics appointment notice, if it is scheduled for a day that you will not be able to attend, you can reschedule your appointment. To reschedule your biometrics appointment, just follow the instructions on your biometrics appointment notice.

 

Important Note: Your biometrics must be completed within 120 days of filing your Form I-131.

 

3. Walk-In Appointment

 

If you must leave the United States as soon as possible, one solution may be to attempt a walk-in appointment at a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC).

 

To do this, you should go to an ASC with your biometrics appointment notice, your ID, and evidence of why you cannot attend your scheduled appointment. At the ASC, you should then ask to have your biometrics taken.

 

It is at the discretion of the Application Support Center whether they will accommodate you. It is best practice to get to the Application Support Center early in the morning for best chances.

 

4. Leave and Come Back

 

Another solution for people who need to leave the United States ASAP is to file the Form I-131, leave the United States, and come back for your biometrics appointment.

 

If you plan to do this, make sure that your Form I-131 is received and accepted by USCIS before you leave the United States. You can file a Form G-1145 along with your Form I-131 to be notified via email or text message once USCIS receives and accepts your Form I-131.

 

Important: If you are applying for a reentry permit because you have been advised by a CBP officer that you are at risk of abandoning your permanent resident status, you should not leave the U.S. before attending your biometrics appointment.

 

5. Conclusion

 

A reentry permit is a travel document for U.S. lawful permanent residents, similar to a passport. Getting a reentry permit is a good idea if you will be leaving the United States for longer than 6 months, if you leave the U.S. frequently, or if you are unable to get a passport from your home country.

 

The reentry permit processing time takes about 4 months to complete. On average, you will get your biometrics appointment notice within 1 month of filing your Form I-131. The biometrics appointment will be scheduled for roughly 2 weeks after you receive your appointment notice.

 

There are options to speed up the reentry permit processing time. If you are approved for expedited processing, your biometrics appointment notice can be issued within 2 weeks.

 

You may also be able to have your biometrics taken early if a USCIS Application Support Center is willing to accommodate you.

 

If you have questions regarding anything discussed in this guide, or if you need help with your reentry permit, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m very responsive via email and I would be happy to help you with your reentry permit.

 

Resources:

 

 

 

 

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Dina Ibrahem
22:56 01 Oct 21
I've been dealing with them for a year now, they helped me a lot, very professional and friendly! I am always comfortable taking their advices and consult them through my case and they never let me down. and most importantly is that they are very... humble and available literally any time i needed an advice or if I have any concerns.I also LOVE that they email me before any important appointment I would have, making sure that I receive the mails and always sending me soft copies just in case which is GREAT and they constantly keep reminding all the way till my appointment comes. I am still a client with them and very happy, Thanks to Vaneskha Wilson, Jeser Romero, Lahaina Araneta, Milena Manukyan, Elaine Leduna , Karla Samayoa and of course Michael Ashoori.read more
Sach Gill
19:39 30 Sep 21
Had a chat with Rohit Srinivasa. He is informative and possess good knowledge about the immigration related matters. Highly recommended.
Aniruddha Ghosh
16:53 30 Sep 21
Talked to Rohit Srinivasa from Ashoori Law. He is incredibly knowledgable about US immigration laws and is quite freindly. Highly recommended if you are a student on F-1 (OPT, STEM) or are looking to file H-1B.
Kristina Karalic
18:56 29 Sep 21
We accidentally found Ashoori Law online, but we're so happy we did because they have been nothing but outstanding! Ashoori Team has been helping us with multiple cases, including B, L visas and green cards. Their portal is very user friendly, and... their staff is always responsive, caring and detailed. I'd like to give a special shout-out to their Director of Legal Operations, Lahaina Araneta, who has been an absolute delight to work with. I am highly recommending Ashoori Law to anyone seeking immigration services!read more
Zulfa Sultana
18:18 29 Sep 21
I am glad I chose them. Above everything, they are friendly and work closely with you. Owner of the law firm himself is available to talk if needed. Highly recommending them.
Joao Castro
00:31 29 Sep 21
Michael and his team deserve more than a five star rating. I hired Mike already based on a recommendation from a friend of mine, who also requested his services. My friend gave him five star as well, and this could simply not be different.Since my... first contact with Michael, I've perceived his solid ethical principles, responsive professionalism and personal attention to all details in US immigration complex process. In my case, he was key for me to obtain I-131 permits for three Green Cards - and the documents were shipped after just six weeks after the process initiation. In another process, he has been immediately responsive to replace Green Cards. And all my contacts were online - which is a testimony of his great online reputation.If you are looking for US Immigration lawyer assistance for true delivery, great value and avoid risks and potential problems, the answer is Michael Ashoori Law, with his fantastic team, that really and personally takes care of your immigration needs.JCread more
Ahmad Jawid
01:45 28 Sep 21
Ashoori Law, Michael and his team are very professional , helpful and great people for their clients . i am very glad that i had Ashoori Law team for my paperworks . I recommend everyone Ashoori Law especially for Immigration purposes ask for... Michael .read more
Ariel 0054 Realty
01:43 28 Sep 21
Extremely professional teamWithout any doubt, they can handle with knowledge and expertise any caseYou are in good hands with them
Mittal Patel
20:29 27 Sep 21
Have worked with many immigration Lawyers. Ashoori law was very affordable and got back to me in timely manner. Made sure I was on time with my fillings and that we responded to our RFE with adequate info. Lahaina is one of their E2 lawyers and was... expert with these kinds of cases. Will hire them again for renewals.read more
Pragalath Mohandas
20:30 25 Sep 21
Amazing experience. Ashoori Law firm gave me hope and prepared a strong case & I got my E2 case approved in one week. I spoke to other immigration lawyers & i was not satisfied. its easy to communicate with everyone! I highly recommend them to... anyone looking to get immigration help!read more
bhakti savai
12:26 21 Sep 21
I had great experience with Ashoori Law. Professional, knowledgeable, responsive, client-centric, and timely! Highly recommended!
William & Heather Oon
01:17 20 Sep 21
We are grateful and thankful to Ashoori Law and its team. They are very understanding, patient, responsive with all our enquiries and prompt in providing updates to our status. We highly recommended their service.
Kaushik Kuila
19:43 17 Sep 21
I have used Michael Ashoori's Law Firm for my mother's Green Card processing. I have found them very professional and responsive along the way, answering all my queries in a timely manner. I'll readily use them for any immigrations needs in future.
Hyunwook Shin
07:45 10 Sep 21
Michael Ashoori and his firm helped us navigate the complex filing process, answer any questions we have with care, and eventually attain successful approvals. Highly recommended!
Sharon Shanaya
21:53 05 Sep 21
My case was a bit complicated due to my ex-husband and his family but this firm dealt with my I-485 case so nicely and professionally. I was given only 2 weeks to lodge my application due to my messy divorce. This firm made sure my case was filed... before my conditional green card expires. Got my green card in 5 months even during this Covid time when everything takes ages to process. I Will recommend them to anyone who is having difficulty with immigration. Absolutely the best. Don't waste ur time with other attorneys.read more
H. George
02:10 01 Sep 21
Very professional, they have a very good system to prepare your case and make proper follow ups.My case was a little bit complicated and other places they were taking advantage trying to charge me a lots of money but Michael never did... that.Recommending 100% best lawyer ever.read more
Linda Bradley
06:06 25 Aug 21
Very happy with your services 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
jarka sakacova
01:08 24 Jul 21
I have a very pleasant experience with Rohit from Ashoori Law , he was very patient, professional and had a strong knowledge and answered all my questions in detail. I would recommend highly to use Ashoori Law service.
samah elwakkad
15:36 23 Jul 21
I would like to thank Ahoori law office and all the team who was helping us to obtain our L1A approvalThis office Law is truly dedicated to clients, very responsive and professional, they helped me get through so many obstacles.Can't thank them... enough for their effortsIt's really amazing how they guide their clients until they achieve their goals.Thank you Michael for the amazing dedicated team and a special thanks for Lahaina who is really an amazing person and very knowledgeable and really helpful and supportive, also Christina who has helped me a lot through this.You're the best guysKeep it upread more
raechel schofield
22:07 22 Jul 21
Highly recommend Ashoori Law. My adjustment of status was a smooth and easy process. They are always happy to answer any questions you may have along the way.
Kishore Kumar
21:13 22 Jul 21
I highly recommend Michael and his legal team for being thorough professionals. I worked with Lahaina Araneta and Kelly Raposa. Both are so helpful. They made my adjustment of status to register permanent residence a smooth and seamless process. I... definitely recommend their service !read more
Manoj Gunawardena
13:46 22 Jul 21
My experience with Ashoori Law is very good, all of my questions were quickly answered and clearly. The staff was qualified, friendly. Specially I worked with Mr. Rohit Srinivasa . I can highly recommend them.
Mohammad Ahraz Hussain
19:55 20 Jul 21
The whole process of evaluating the case, submission of RFE and then correspondence was extremely well done!
Zed Karkar
15:06 20 Jul 21
A Very helpful and professional law firm. helped us out with our application.
Inger Nicolaisen
14:57 15 Jul 21
Michael Ashoori’s professionalism and expertise is unmatched in the industry! My experience with Ashoori Law is very positive, all of my questions were quickly answered making my adjustment of status a very smooth process. The staff was... unbelievably friendly and ensured the best amount of care was taken with my case! I can’t recommend them enough!!read more
Sadaf Nadeem
00:42 09 Jul 21
I highly recommend Micheal and his legal team for being thorough professionals. Their knowledge and expertise are second to none and their work ethic is unmatched.
kvshirazi
18:28 08 Jul 21
I had a great experience with Ashoori Law. Lahaina, Michael and Ehsan helped me to get my TN visa approved in no time.Lahaina is very responsive. Being able to reach out and talk to your lawyer/attorney is exactly what you need when you apply for... your visa...I definitely recommend them for any immigration services.read more
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Michael Ashoori Headshot

Michael Ashoori, Esq.

U.S. Immigration Lawyer

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.