Unexpired re-entry permit, traveling back to US, applying for second re-entry permit

jefkorn

Registered Users (C)
Hello folks,
Hope you are doing well and staying safe. I'm hoping you can help me understand and plan the travel for my father in law who received his green card about 2 years ago.

Situation:
Father in law sponsored by US citizen son. He received his green card when he traveled to USA (California) on an immigrant visa about 2 years ago. Applied and received SS car, state ID (CA State ID), re-entry permit. Traveled out of US after staying for about 4 months or so. He filed his tax returns while overseas. He doesn't have a bank account, name on the lease or utility bills in the US because he is planning to live with his son. His re-entry permit is still valid until Apr. 2021. He wants to travel back to his son who has moved from CA to NY.

Questions:
1. Is it going to be a problem when he travels to NY on an unexpired green card and re-entry permit?
2. Should he be prepared to answer questions about ties to US?
3. He is planning to apply for a second re-entry permit while he is in the US, I assume it's ok as I didn't see any limit on how many times he can apply for re-entry permits?
4. How long should he stay in the US on his second trip ever as he does have a need to travel back overseas for personal reasons?
5. What should be his long term plan/strategy if he wants to maintain his permanent residence status?

Anything else you may want to share in order to understand the overall situation and plan the future accordingly. Thank you in advance and I'll participate in the discussions as you respond.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
1. No
2. Possibly, more likely so if he comes back on a return ticket, but the re-entry permit should be his main “protection” from that.
3. You can basically apply 3 times consecutively, but the third is limited to one year so effectively a total of 5 years. (This is in the i131 instructions too I believe.) Remember these permits are granted on a discretionary basis.
4. impossible to answer from the information you’ve given. At minimum he should be aware that re-entry permit processing seems extremely slow at the moment, there have been many reports of people still waiting for biometrics months after submitting the application
5. His long term “strategy” to maintain his green card should be to permanently move to the US. That’s what a green card is for, for permanent residence - it is not a super visa.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Re 3, the effective outcome above is correct, FYI the actual wording in the instructions is “if you have been outside the United States for more than 4 of the last 5 years since becoming a lawful permanent resident, the permit will be limited to 1 year
 

jefkorn

Registered Users (C)
Thank you SusieQQQ! for your reply, much appreciated!

Sounds good! So looks like it's not an issue given that he'll be returning to a new state where he doesn't have his "own" strong ties but I suppose having his son's home is good enough reason.
2. Possibly, more likely so if he comes back on a return ticket, but the re-entry permit should be his main “protection” from that.
So maybe get a one-way ticket?
3. You can basically apply 3 times consecutively, but the third is limited to one year so effectively a total of 5 years. (This is in the i131 instructions too I believe.) Remember these permits are granted on a discretionary basis.
Wondering how will the mechanics of this work? Meaning can he come back after a given re-entry permit expires, apply for a new one and leave..wouldn't this eventually be a red flag or a problem in maintaining his permanent resident status? I know when applying for the first re-entry permit (currently unexpired), he simply put "personal reasons" or something like that without any additional evidence to justify the need for re-entry permit. Would he need to provide more detailed supporting evidence when applying subsequently?
4. impossible to answer from the information you’ve given. At minimum he should be aware that re-entry permit processing seems extremely slow at the moment, there have been many reports of people still waiting for biometrics months after submitting the application
What I meant to ask was is there a ceratin number of days/time he is required to stay in the US to retain his permanent resident status? So when he travels to US before the expiry of his current re-entry permit, and let say it takes 2 monhts for the second reentry permit to come in the mail, he decides to travel back overseas, he would have stayed for 2-3 months in this year and a total of maybe 4-5 months since he was granted LPR status, is this an issue? Sorry if this information is not enough, please ask and I will do my best to clarify the situation further as needed.
5. His long term “strategy” to maintain his green card should be to permanently move to the US. That’s what a green card is for, for permanent residence - it is not a super visa.
Understood and hear you loud and clear! But due to personal circumstances, he still needs to be overseas for some time. One option is to apply for re-entry permits (maybe 2 or 3 in total) and then eventually migrate "permanently".. Looking for how best to go about it.

Thank you again for your replies! I used be very active way back when so great to see you and others still helping each other!
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
The whole point of a REP is that it establishes you did not intend to abandon residence/does not count against you purely on days absent. So no, staying a certain amount of days to maintain residence between permits doesn’t really make sense. It may well be more difficult to get a second or third one. I don’t know. To be honest, it doesn’t sound like he should have gotten the green card yet if he was not ready to move permanently for a matter of years. Now that he has a green card, this is really the only option to maintain it. Remember also all the REP does is not let lengthy Absences count against him. He is still required to file taxes (as you say he has been), and especially note that it does not protect against absences relating to naturalization, so whenever he returns permanently is the start of his naturalization clock. The absences can have other implications too, such as Medicare eligibility.
 

jefkorn

Registered Users (C)
Thank you for your reply! I hear ya! but sometimes life happens and in this case, that's what happened. Anyway, so if one were to apply for REP back to back so to speak, it doesn't necessarily matter how long LPR stays in the US?

Also it looks like one should open a bank account while they are here waiting for REP approval and maybe a driver's license as well..could come in handy later to prove ties if needed.

Does anyone has experience with applying for REP (Reentry Permit) multiple times, how was the experience with approvals and at the ariport while entering the US right before expiry of the RPE?
 

jefkorn

Registered Users (C)
I know the thread title is ambitious but so it begins. Apparently one can apply for as many re-rentry permits (REP) as one wants. There's no legal upper limit except the duration of validity would go down from 2 years to 1 year if one lives for 4 or more years since receiving LPR status or in the last 5 years.

I also understand that REP is discretionary and there're no guarantees for approval. Having said that, has anyone applied for more than one REP permits after receiving their green card? One REP at a time obviously. Is it sufficient to simply state "personal reasons" as the reason for travel or does one need to provide more and more justification in terms of the need to travel for such an extended period of time?

Are there any negative repercussions of applying REPs repeatedly let say after the previous one expires? Does it establish a presumption of one's intent to stay out of USA as much as possible (as allowed within the legal bounds).
 

jefkorn

Registered Users (C)
ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION
Multiple threads created by OP on similar issues merged
Apologies for creating a new thread for similar topic. I thought it might be better to keep them separate. No worries though, thanks for your moderation efforts!
 

cafeconleche

Registered Users (C)
I applied for two RPs. The second time, they erroneously issued it for just 1 year, so I had to get this corrected while I was abroad. It was nervewracking, as I didn't have a passport and couldn't travel without the RP. I had to get my congressperson and senators involved. Got it eventually with Senator Feinstein's office's help.
 

jefkorn

Registered Users (C)
Thank you cafeconleche! Did you apply consecutively for two RPs? In other words, did you stay out for 2 years, travelled back to US and right away applied for the second RP? Yeah I hear ya, it can be very stressful especially when you are overseas and need this kind of stuff corrected. Glad to know that it eventually worked out for you!
 

jefkorn

Registered Users (C)
LPR travelled on the first re entry permit before its expiry. Now does LPR need to stay in US for a certain amount before applying for a second re-entry permit? Does it matter if LPR applies for a second re-entry permit say within 3 months of arriving on the first re-entry permit vs 6 months or so? Please note LPR stayed outside US for the duration of validity of first re-entry permit, traveled back to US before its expiry and plans to apply for a second re-entry permit as he/she still needs more time to go back to home country to take care of family affairs.
 
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Fin

Registered Users (C)
I have applied for re-entry permit with USCIS a couple of months before the existing one expired and got it without issues. Some people who don’t have passports use RP to travel. About GC and residency - it’s most the issue of intent. You should be able to prove that your primary residence was USA during the time of your absence.
 

jefkorn

Registered Users (C)
Thank you @Fin! for your reply. So looks like it's immaterial if there's no gap between two applications or if there's a little (few days to few months) May I ask about applying for a second re-entry permit? Did you enter a simple/short reason for requesting it ..something like "personal" or "family reasons" or does one need to provide little more than that when applying for a second re-entry permit? For the first re-entry permit, LPR simply wrote "Personal" and no other docs or anything attached with the re-entry permit application.


Regarding the intent, the LPR doesn't rent but lives with his/her adult son in US. So can't maintain a rental while traveling on a re-entry permit outside US. What other steps he/she can take while in the US to show the ties later when/if asked:

1. Open a bank account
2. Apply for local state ID?
3. Doesn't work overseas, is retired so no issues of working overseas
4. Receive some sort of mail at US address?
5. Of course file taxes while in US
6. What else can LPR do while in US to establish the proof for intent to live permanently in US?
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Thank you @Fin! for your reply. So looks like it's immaterial if there's no gap between two applications or if there's a little (few days to few months) May I ask about applying for a second re-entry permit? Did you enter a simple/short reason for requesting it ..something like "personal" or "family reasons" or does one need to provide little more than that when applying for a second re-entry permit? For the first re-entry permit, LPR simply wrote "Personal" and no other docs or anything attached with the re-entry permit application.


Regarding the intent, the LPR doesn't rent but lives with his/her adult son in US. So can't maintain a rental while traveling on a re-entry permit outside US. What other steps he/she can take while in the US to show the ties later when/if asked:

1. Open a bank account
2. Apply for local state ID?
3. Doesn't work overseas, is retired so no issues of working overseas
4. Receive some sort of mail at US address?
5. Of course file taxes while in US
6. What else can LPR do while in US to establish the proof for intent to live permanently in US?
One of the main points of the re-entry permit, other than the time out it allows you, is to show that intent was there to return. You don’t need to do all that other stuff (other than file taxes of course). From the uscis info sheet: “A reentry permit establishes that you did not intend to abandon status,”
 

jefkorn

Registered Users (C)
Thank you @SusieQQQ! I understand the premise of approved re-entry permit. What I'm trying to figure out is how does this play out when applying for subsequent re-entry permits? How many can one apply in a life time? Theoretically speaking, could one keep applying for 3 re-entry permits in a row and if all of them were approved in in successions, could such LPR stay out for 6 years without having any issues on entry back to US? Not saying that the LPR is loking to apply for 3 re-entry permits back to back but trying to educate the LPR on options.

Just a general update, the LPR in question travelled to US on first un-expired re-entry permit and was not asked questions except a general question about what brings you back and LPR answered that his stay outside was approved for 2 years and he/she was returning to live with the adult son. No other questions were asked on the entry. So all in all smooth re-entry.

I'm not sure if similarly smooth entry is to be expected on subsequent entry to US on approved re-entry permit..I could be reading more into it than what might happen in reality ..

I supposed in short, if re-entry permit is approved, don't worry, travel overseas and travel back to US before its expiry.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
I was simply responding to your question about proving intent: you don’t have to as it is clearly there in the very act of applying for one, according to uscis.

As for lifetime, it is effectively a 5 year max if you apply consecutively. Somewhere in the I131 instructions it says something like if you’ve spent 4 of the past 5 years outside the US your REP will be granted for one year only.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Just a general update, the LPR in question travelled to US on first un-expired re-entry permit and was not asked questions except a general question about what brings you back and LPR answered that his stay outside was approved for 2 years and he/she was returning to live with the adult son. No other questions were asked on the entry. So all in all smooth re-entry.
So he told CBP he is returning to live but immediately wants to apply for another permit to leave again? You know they keep answers like that on record? I mean i don’t think it’s fundamentally a problem but he might get deeper questions the next time he returns as a result. Not refusal of entry, but possibly not a very pleasant re-entry experience. Why did he say that if he didn’t mean it?
 

jefkorn

Registered Users (C)
So he told CBP he is returning to live but immediately wants to apply for another permit to leave again? You know they keep answers like that on record? I mean i don’t think it’s fundamentally a problem but he might get deeper questions the next time he returns as a result. Not refusal of entry, but possibly not a very pleasant re-entry experience. Why did he say that if he didn’t mean it?
No, the LPR didn't volunteer that he/she is planning to apply for a second re-entry permit. I understand your point, anything said at the immigration counter needs to be weighed before it's said! I personally wouldn't say a word unless asked specifically about something and even then I would be careful!
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
No, the LPR didn't volunteer that he/she is planning to apply for a second re-entry permit. I understand your point, anything said at the immigration counter needs to be weighed before it's said! I personally wouldn't say a word unless asked specifically about something and even then I would be careful!
Yes, I get that he didn’t volunteer it but he misrepresented his reason for return instead. Is it a huge problem, no, could it lead to unpleasantness next time, yes. Some people don’t deal well with secondary and annoyed CBP officers.
 
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