The honest reason for why I would like to apply for the reentry permit as a US LPR (Part 4 in I-131) is reflected by the following:

I do not intend to leave the US for extended periods of time. I would use the reentry permit to travel back to the US in case I lose my passport.

Does this sound OK or should I come up with smth better?

  • You can enter the US without a passport (only the Green Card), you don't need a I-131 Commented Feb 20 at 8:54
  • 1
    Having a reentry permit is not required for LPRs in order to enter the US. It is normally obtained if a person intends to leave the country for more than a year. In this case, when applying for the permit, people typically provide explanations for their extended leave.
    – mavzolej
    Commented Feb 20 at 9:18
  • 1
    "if I get stuck in some other country I may not be able to board a plane without a passport or travel document": TIMATIC recognizes that a green card is sufficient, so you would at least be able to fly directly to the US without a re-entry permit as long as you haven't been away for more than a year. "Reentry permit, on the contrary, can even be used for obtaining a visa, in case if I need transit through another country": which countries issue visas on a US reentry permit? The normal procedure for a lost or stolen passport is to get a new one from your country of citizenship.
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 20 at 13:59
  • 1
    The US government allows airlines to board green card holders for a flight to the US without a passport. See the CBP carrier information guide, page 32: "A Lawful Permanent Resident may travel to the United States without a passport with a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)." Are you worried that an airline will refuse to board you without a passport anyway?
    – user102008
    Commented Feb 20 at 17:38
  • 1
    I think if you have any legitimate purpose, USCIS will be happy to take your money and issue you the re-entry permit. That said, if you're willing to spend hundreds of dollars every 2 years to renew your re-entry permit, you're better off just spending the money for rush service to replace your lost passport (should that ever happen).
    – Brian
    Commented Mar 9 at 1:51

1 Answer 1


Reentry permit is not a substitute for your national passport, it is a permit to return after a prolonged absence as an LPR.

If you don't intend to stay outside the US for more than a year then you don't need the permit or the passport, you just need your green card.

If a passport is required by other countries, the reentry permit won't help anyway. If you lose your national passport - reach out to your nearest consulate for a replacement. If you lose your green card - reach out to the nearest US consulate for assistance.

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._re-entry_permit To my understanding, in certain cases, similarly to the refugee travel document, the reentry permit can be used for visa issuance purposes.
    – mavzolej
    Commented Feb 20 at 16:49
  • @mavzolej from the article it seems like only one country has explicitly said that they accept it, and some others implicitly accept it as a travel document. It may be considered as a laissez-passer, or an emergency passport, but these have much stricter restrictions than national passport and you'd need to have a lot of explaining to do as to why you're using it. Usually, I-131 travel documents are used for visas only by refugees or otherwise stateless persons. It will raise a lot of flags if you use it the way you intend.
    – littleadv
    Commented Feb 20 at 16:56
  • 1
    See also this document: "You may also want to get a reentry permit if you plan on traveling outside the United States and cannot or do not wish to get a passport from your home country. Many countries throughout the world may allow you to use a reentry permit much like you would use a passport—placing necessary visas and entry and exit stamps in the permit—so you may use it as your main travel document. Be sure to check with any country you plan to visit about specific requirements before you travel."
    – user102008
    Commented Feb 20 at 17:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.