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Is there a new greencard rule for entering country after being out for a bit?

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  • Is there a new greencard rule for entering country after being out for a bit?

    My mother came to the US in 1975 with a legal permanent resident green card. In the past ten years she's been living back in her country but visiting the US about once a year. She never became a a US citizen.

    In her most recent visit some customs agent questioned her on why she had been out of the US for more than 6 months. And actually wrote in her passport, "out of US for more than 6 months."

    Has anyone heard of this kind of thing happening before? Is this appropriate? Is there a new law or something? I certainly haven't heard of one.

    My mother has never been in any kind of immigration or legal proceeding for that matter. So there is no reason, that I can think of, to have done that.

    I'm just wondering if this was just some bored US Customs worker who woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day or what?

    Can anyone shed some light and/or advice?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    My mother came to the US in 1975 with a legal permanent resident green card. In the past ten years she's been living back in her country but visiting the US about once a year. She never became a a US citizen.

    In her most recent visit some customs agent questioned her on why she had been out of the US for more than 6 months. And actually wrote in her passport, "out of US for more than 6 months."

    Has anyone heard of this kind of thing happening before? Is this appropriate? Is there a new law or something? I certainly haven't heard of one.

    My mother has never been in any kind of immigration or legal proceeding for that matter. So there is no reason, that I can think of, to have done that.

    I'm just wondering if this was just some bored US Customs worker who woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day or what?

    Can anyone shed some light and/or advice?

    Thank you!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey PhBooth,

      Take a look at this site:

      http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Are_there_different_rules_for...permanent_green_card

      Does your mom maintain a residence in the U.S.? If employed, is she paying taxes to the U.S.? There are guidelines for maintaining permanent residence here. With all due respect, I don't think she is meeting them based on what I read at the above referenced web site.

      Comment


      • #4
        Your mom or you should have known that by now.

        If you are a greencard holder and U leave the U.S. for more than one year.You automatically lose your residency,unless U applied and notified immigration for the intention while leaving the country.

        If someone leaves the country for more than 6 months but not a year,might or will face question from costoms on the border...

        Your mom needs to be carefull and decide where she wants to maintain...

        PS: in most countries,if you are a legal resident but not a citizen and leave the country for more than one year U lose your residency for that country,unless u notify them about your years of absence...Miliitary,School, etc...

        But if a resident just leaves for fun basically to leave and come...after a year...U will lose it and will be sent home.

        You can google stuff like that..but this is something U are being told before U get the greencard.
        So it always wonders me,why people wonder and ask question about it,when its mention and told at first

        Comment


        • #5
          We're aware of the one year rule and she's never been out for more than a year. When she has gone for more than a year she's taken out a permit. Like I said, I thought she was following the law.

          In fact, I know people who have been out of the country for over 5 years without a permit and they've come back with no problems.

          It seems to me it is a subjective call.

          Thanks for your replies, I appreciate it.

          Comment


          • #6
            What you call "one year rule" is just one of numerous conditions of maintaining the US residency. In your first post, you write that she's "... been visiting the US about once a year." Well, there is your problem - she is actually residing abroad and just visiting in the US. In order to maintain her status "just visiting the US" about once a year is not enough. I thought that ProudUSC and HBKHBK have explained it in detail.

            When you write about people who have been abroad for over 5 years and came back without a problem, that's because they've: a. lied about the length of their absence from the US; or b. they received an advanced permission to return to the unrelinquished domicile in the US (see form I-191).

            Actually, there is nothing subjective about determining whether the resident is maintaining a residence in the US. Either you live here or don't. If you are visiting once a year, you are not a US resident. Your mom was lucky this time.

            Comment


            • #7
              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by PhBooth:
              Has anyone heard of this kind of thing happening before? Is this appropriate? Is there a new law or something? I certainly haven't heard of one.? </div></BLOCKQUOTE> I have in my passport a few notations like that. One says: out of USA 3 and 1/2 weeks.
              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by PhBooth: I'm just wondering if this was just some bored US Customs worker who woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day or what? </div></BLOCKQUOTE> No, they are just getting better in enforcing the spirit of the law.

              It is not only about being outside the USA less than a year (1 year rule). The whole picture counts. Honestly, can you say your mother lives in the USA?

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks aneri, I appreciate your objective answers.

                Just as an aside. Apparently laying down roots doesn't play that much of a role in all of this anymore despite USCIS's pronouncements about keeping families together. My mother was a law abiding contributor to this society for over 20 years and she raised 4 children, who are also law abiding contributing american citizens. Now I'm not being a whiner or thinking that this is some kind of unfair treatment, I myself have dealt with government incompetence at all levels and I quite understand it. All I'm saying is that there is a group or groups of people (who did not or could not become citizens) could get some a specialized status as a function of their having laid down roots in this country (I'm not talking citizenship or some elevated status thing.) Unfortunately the country is moving towards being a closed society.

                Comment


                • #9
                  actualy, there was a proposal for some kind of "half green card" for parents in situation similar to your mother's.
                  That would allow parents who have children in the USA to visit more often and stay longer than now if they use tourist visas. At the same time, they can stay outside the USA as long as they want, but still have no problem to go to the USA whenever they want.

                  Compared to most developed countries, when it comes to family immigration, USA "allows" a lot.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sorry to disagree with the statement that the US is "moving towards being a closed society," because historically, we are one of the most welcoming and accommodating countries on this part of the globe.

                    There are two sides in every immigration regulation: to protect the country's interest and to that of the alien.

                    You see, a permanent resident has to satisfy regulatory presence on US soil for two qualifying conditions: a) to not abandon residency, and b) for naturalization purposes.

                    To look at and comply with the regulations that fit the permanent resident's life pattern is the more reasonable thing to do, rather than looking at ways on how the regulations "should fit" the alien's desires. Big difference, I tell you.

                    Lots and lots of people are doing everything, even dying, to attain the stage of the process that your mother already has. It's just a question of meeting the terms and conditions of her status that's incumbent upon her now. And they're relatively so easy.

                    My question is that why has she not applied for naturalization since for sure after 20 years she's already long eligible? Being so, the question of domicile whether here or anywhere else should not be any issue at all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good question.

                      Its all in the name, Permanent Resident rather gives it away.

                      Sounds like she has been lucky, very lucky.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh yes I agree, the US is open compared to other countries but it's becoming less open. To wit, it used to be that the Green Card never expired, when my mother got it "permanent" meant permanent. Now all green cards expire every ten years.

                        Anyway, becoming a citizen is the obvious answer but she could not become one because her literacy level is low and she could just never quite get there to pass the test.

                        In any event, I thank all for the input.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm just thinking, green card expiration and required regulatory stay on US soil are two different matters. Everything happens for a reason. Putting expiry dates on green cards serves as a check and balance amid the ever-changing immigration situations in the US, say, between the 70's and today.

                          But this is being done without causing undue burden on permanent resident aliens. At least, I don't know of anything of such degree. Except of course those who are "hiding" something in the course of their permanent residency. (I said this generally, without any specific reference to your mother's situation).

                          As far as your mother's "literacy level" is concerned, have you ever considered filing Form N-648 along with Form N-400?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey Thanks I'll check out those forms and see what they offer.

                            I don't know about a ten year renewal is an undue burden but I know that eventually the price for renewal will get very high.

                            Thank You!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just checked out the form. My mom is not mentally or physically impaired so that won't do.

                              Thank anyway.

                              Comment

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