8 CFR § 223.2 - Application and processing.
(a) Application. An applicant must submit an application for a reentry permit, refugee travel document, or advance parole on the form designated by USCIS with the fee prescribed in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) and in accordance with the form instructions.
(b) Filing eligibility -
(2) Refugee travel document.
(i) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, an applicant for a refugee travel document must submit the application while in the United States and in valid refugee status under section 207 of the Act, valid asylum status under section 208 of the Act or is a permanent resident who received such status as a direct result of his or her asylum or refugee status.
(ii) Discretionary authority to accept a refugee travel document application from an alien not within the United States. As a matter of discretion, the Service office with jurisdiction over a port-of-entry or pre-flight inspection location where the alien is seeking admission, or the overseas Service office where the alien is physically present, may accept and adjudicate an application for a refugee travel document from an alien who previously had been admitted to the United States as a refugee, or who previously had been granted asylum status in the United States, and who departed from the United States without having applied for such refugee travel document, provided the officer:
(A) Is satisfied that the alien did not intend to abandon his or her refugee or asylum status at the time of departure from the United States;
(B) The alien did not engage in any activities while outside the United States that would be inconsistent with continued refugee or asylum status; and
(C) The alien has been outside the United States for less than 1 year since his or her last departure.
(c) Ineligibility -
(1) Prior document still valid. An application for a reentry permit or refugee travel document will be denied if the applicant was previously issued a reentry permit or refugee travel document which is still valid, unless it was returned to USCIS or it is demonstrated that it was lost.
(2) Extended absences. A reentry permit issued to a person who, since becoming a permanent resident or during the last five years, whichever is less, has been outside the United States for more than four years in the aggregate, shall be limited to a validity of one year, except that a permit with a validity of two years may be issued to:
(i) A permanent resident described in 8 CFR 211.1(a)(6) or (a)(7);
(ii) A permanent resident employed by a public international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute, and his or her permanent resident spouse and children; or
(iii) A permanent resident who is a professional athlete who regularly competes in the United States and worldwide.
(3) Permanent resident entitled to nonimmigrant diplomatic or treaty status. A permanent resident entitled to nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(A), (E), or (G) of the Act because of occupational status may only be issued a reentry permit if the applicant executes and submits with the application, or has previously executed and submitted, a written waiver as required by 8 CFR part 247.
(d) Effect of travel before a decision is made. Departure from the United States before a decision is made on an application for a reentry permit or refugee travel document will not affect the application.
(e) Processing. USCIS may approve or deny a request for a reentry permit or refugee travel document as an exercise of discretion. If it approves the application, USCIS will issue an appropriate document.
(f) Effect on proceedings. Issuance of a reentry permit or refugee travel document to a person in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings shall not affect those proceedings.