A Warning to US Green Card Holders Spending Substantial Time outside the US – Time to Think About obtaining a Reentry Permit
With the increasing crackdown at airports around the US on green card holders who have spent prolonged periods of time outside the US, now is the time to consider obtaining a reentry permit. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) inspectors are becoming more aggressive in seeking to coerce individuals to abandon their permanent residence. They do this by proposing that the green card holder sign form
If the person does not agree, there are usually one of two outcomes. The first possibility is that CBP will make a notation in the passport. This notation — such as “
Coercion to get a person to “voluntarily” give up his green card is against CBP’s own rules. Besides filing a complaint, one way to avoid this coercion is to obtain a reentry permit. The reentry permit gives the US government advance notice of the person’s intention to stay outside the US for a protracted period of time — up to 2 years. By securing the reentry permit, CBP is much less likely to harass these individuals at airports. In addition, new reentry permits can be obtained after the 2 years elapses.
The reentry permit can be obtained relatively quickly — within 2–3 months usually. One does not need to remain in the US for the entire period. However, the applicant must be in the US at the time of filing and go through biometrics. Expedited biometrics can usually be done within 2 – 2 ½ weeks of filing the application.
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