USCIS Changes Biometric Requirement for Re-Entry and Refugee Travel Document Applications

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) posted an update on its web site about changes it is making to the biometrics requirement for reentry permit and refugee travel document applications (Form I-131).  The most important change is that applicants (between the ages of 14 and 79) must now provide biometics (finger prints) before departing the United States.  This is in addition to the requirement that the application be made while the applicant is physically present in the U.S. The immigration service filing fee for biometrics is $80.  

Although the USCIS advises applicants to apply for a reentry permit well in advance of travel,  one can request expedited processing.  To do so, an applicant must submit pre-paid express mailers with the Form I-131 for USCIS to send the applicant his or her receipt and ASC appointment notice, as well as the completed reentry permit or refugee travel document, if approved.  A request for expedited processing should contain the applicant’s reasons for such processing so that USCIS may determine whether the applicant qualifies for expedited processing.

A reentry permit is needed if a lawful permanent resident needs to travel outside the U.S. for more than one (1) year.