Got it! So the number of REPs doesn't have to be consecutive. One could apply for 1st REP, stay out of US for 2 years, travel to the US, live here for 1-2 years, and if need arises, could apply for a second REP and it would most likely be granted and would not be a problem. Am I following this correctly? Thank you!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.