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LPR's traveling outside the US - what to know before you go!

It’s time to take a trip, but will travel outside the US put your green card at risk? Even if you have left the US before, you may have gotten lucky in the past when immigration routinely turned a blind eye to different grounds of “inadmissibility.” Avoid confiscation of your green card, a possible deportation or a citizenship denial in the future. Get the legal advice you need before your trip.

 

Know your criminal history – Have you been arrested? Did you plead guilty to any crime at all? If so, which one? You should know this information to understand if immigration authorities will take your green card and put you into deferred inspection at the airport, or worse. Even if you have traveled outside the US in the past and come back in, things are different now. Your entire criminal record will be reviewed at the airport or any port of entry where you are fingerprinted. To avoid getting your green card confiscated or getting taken into immigration custody, get your entire criminal history and speak to an immigration lawyer who understands the consequences of criminal convictions before you go. If you have a violation, a misdemeanor or a felony, you may be at risk. Remember: any contact with the criminal justice system can put you at risk if you travel outside the US. Call my office for a consultation to know before you go! You may just find out that there is no risk at all and you can enjoy a worry-free holiday.

Too much time outside the US – An LPR must maintain her residence in the US. A full yearoutside the US may be considered an abandonment of LPR status. You will then have to show that you did not intend to give up your residence in the US and that your trip was for a temporary purpose. You may also be questioned by immigration authorities about your residency in the US if you are outside of the US for six months or more. Even if you were granted the reentry permit, you still need to show that you did not abandon your residency. Talk to an immigration lawyer if you plan on being away from the US for a long period of time.

 

The travel ban for six majority Muslim countries

The travel ban on citizens from Iran, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen partially applies now. This should not affect anyone who has a green card (is an LPR) and is from one of the six countries. According to the US Supreme Court, the travel ban does not apply to anyone with significant (bona fide) ties to the US (jobs, school, family and professional connections). An LPR from one of the six countries should be allowed to reenter the US despite the travel ban. As the travel ban takes effect, we will follow the situation closely. This post will be updated with any new information. My law office joins many in the US, who wish to welcome visitors, immigrants and refugees from wherever they come.

Remember that you should seek legal advice on your own immigration case before you travel outside the US or file any applications with USCIS. Please call my office for a consultation.

Know BEFORE you go!!

Elise McCaffrey