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I am a permanent resident and wish to return to my home country to study. Do I have to apply for a re-entry permit with USCIS?

Saint Louis, MO |

I wish to travel and live in my home country of Australia for 4 years so I can study at a college. I do not want to lose mine and my daughter's permanent residency status though. The permanent resident status was obtained through marriage, which is now dissolved. I will continue to have a bank account, credit cards and a mailing address in the United States. The form I-131 is pretty pricey for both my daughter and I (considering I have thousands of moving costs). Is it vital that I file this form in order to not jeopardize losing my permanent resident status? Or would the ties I will continue to have with America be enough?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

Ties aren't enough and what you're saying you will keep will get you nowhere. Depending on various factors, you cannot leave for either more than one year or more than two years without the re-entry permit or you'll effectively be giving up your green card. I imagine this is not what you want to do, so it's important that you get the re-entry permit (which can usually be basically renewed overseas). I don't know the facts of your case to know exactly how much this applies to you, but those are the basic premises of which you should be aware.

This is not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship has been formed, now or in the future. This is just a casual opinion expressed about a hypothetical situation.


It is vital that you fill out the form I-131. However it is usually only for absences for up to 2 years. It is vital that you have a private consultation with an immigration attorney.

Alexus P. Sham (917) 498-9009. The above information is only general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.


You plan on a very lengthy absence, so yes, I would say that it is vital for you to have the re-entry permit. Also keep in mind that is is only good for 2 years.

Irene Vaisman, Esq. 11 Broadway, Suite 615 New York, NY 10004 (646) 253-0516 This is not legal advice and a client attorney relationship is not created. For a free consultation call (646) 253-0516.


Absolutely a must for any lengthy absence. With an absence for longer than 2 years, even with a reentry permit there is a danger that your permanent residency status may be deemed abandoned by you. You should therefore make arrangements to return prior to the 2 years running out (once your re-entry permit is granted) and/or re-apply. It would be best to have a consultation with an immigration attorney who can advise you more specifically on the facts of your personal case. Good luck.

This advice does not form an attorney-client relationship and is merely informative. It should not by itself be relied upon to address a legal concern.