A reentry permit allows a permanent resident or conditional resident with a green card to travel abroad without losing permanent resident status for extended periods of time. However, this can last up to a maximum of 2 years during the validity of the reentry permit.
First, a reentry permit allows permanent residents to leave the United States for an extended period of time. At the same time, the status of a permanent resident of the United States is not lost. As the holder of a Green Card, a Permanent Resident has the right to freely travel and return to the United States, provided that his stay abroad is less than 1 year. Any trip abroad of one year or more will automatically result in the loss of permanent residence.
Second, the reentry permit serves as an international travel document instead of a passport for stateless permanent residents who cannot obtain a passport from their country or who wish to travel to a place where they cannot use their passport.
A reentry permit does not preserve a residence for naturalization purposes. In certain situations related to work outside of the United States, you may be able to retain your US residency for naturalization purposes.
How do I apply for a re-entry permit?
To obtain a reentry permit, complete Form I-131, Application for a Travel Document. You must submit this application well in advance of your planned trip.
Form I-131 for re-entry must be completed while the person is physically in the United States.