|Subject: Biometrics Now Required for Reentry Permits and Refugee Travel
||Posted on: Sun, 25 May 2008 01:53:56 +0000 (UTC)
The USCIS has recently changed the system and procedure for processing
reentry permits and refugee travel documents. These applications are
made on Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. Under the new
procedures, effective March 5, 2008, applicants for reentry permits
and refugee travel documents must provide biometrics information
before departing the United States.
This is done via an appointment at an Application Support Center
(ASC), scheduled after the filing of Form I-131. The I-131 is more
commonly used for advance parole applications, which is familiar to
many adjustment-of-status applicants. The new procedures do not
pertain to the advance parole, as they only pertain to the somewhat
less common reentry permit and refugee travel document.
The new procedures apply to individuals between the ages of 14 and 79
who are applying for reentry permits and refugee travel documents.
They are advised to apply well in advance of their need to travel and,
with limited exception, the fingerprinting and photographing must
occur before departure.
The USCIS indicates that the filing receipt and notice of appointment
at the ASC are mailed to the applicant shortly after the I-131 is
filed. There is an option for providing the USCIS with pre-paid
express mailers, for transmitting the receipt and appointment notices
as well as the reentry permit more quickly. However, this apparently
requires a specific request for expedited processing and justification
for that request.
The reentry permit is a document used by a "green card" holder
(permanent resident) who needs to travel outside of the U.S. for an
extended period of time. The "green card" is the proper document for
requesting reentry to the U.S. if one has been absent for less than
one year. A permanent resident who plans to be outside of the U.S. for
a year or more, but who will continue to maintain U.S. permanent
residence nonetheless, will need a reentry permit to request a return
to the U.S. as a permanent resident.