When can I, as a conditional green card holder, leave the country with a pending I-131?
I am an EB-5 investor and a conditional permanent resident. My re-entry permit expired last October. I have applied for another while out of the U.S., but it was denied because I was not physically in the country when I applied. I plan to re-apply. Do I need to stay in the U.S. while waiting for a biometrics interview after filing the petition? After submitting the I-131 application, can I leave the country then return for the fingerprinting appointment?
As you have discovered, you need to be present in the U.S. when you file for the travel document. You can leave and return for the biometrics or you can visit the ASC and request them to do the biometrics before you leave. You don't need a re-entry permit unless you plan to remain outside the U.S. for an extended period of time, up to two years.
I'm still not clear if you are inside or outside of the U.S. Generally, if you are inside the U.S. and a conditional green card holder, that is your permission to travel, unless you plan on spending 180-plus days out of the U.S., which requires notice to USCIS.
You must be in the U.S. when you file an I-131 application and until it is received by USCIS. You can leave thereafter and must return for the biometrics appointment. You can request your re-entry permit be forwarded to you to pick up at the consulate in your home country, or you can have someone mail it to you via a courier mail service.
As long as you are on U.S. soil when you apply for the re-entry permit, you should be OK. You do not need to stay in the U.S. while waiting for a biometrics interview after filing the petition. Yes, you can leave the country after submitting the I-131 application and then return for the fingerprinting appointment.
You must be physically present in the United States when USCIS receives your Form I-131, application for re-entry permit. You also must complete a biometrics appointment in the United States, usually within a month or two after filing the Form I-131. There is no rule that would prohibit you from departing the United States upon USCIS' receipt of your I-131 and then returning to the United States to complete your biometrics appointment. There also is no rule prohibiting you from waiting for your re-entry permit outside the United States. Please make sure to enter the United States at least every 180 days and have other evidence of your intention to permanently reside in the United States until you receive your re-entry permit. After you receive your re-entry permit, you may remain outside of the United States for up to two years (or until the expiration of the re-entry permit), but you still should maintain your intention to be a U.S. permanent resident.
You can travel as a conditional permanent resident at any time; you do not require a U.S. re-entry permit. You must be physically in the United States at the time you file for your U.S. re-entry permit. You do not need to wait in the U.S. to take your biometrics, but you would have to return at some point for your appointment date to have your biometrics taken or have your appointment re-scheduled, or try to walk in without an appointment to have same taken. Yes, after fingerprinting, you're free to leave the country.
Yes, as long as you are physically present in the U.S. at the time of filing the re-entry permit, you can depart the country after filing and return for the fingerprinting appointment without jeopardizing the application.