1. How to return to the USA after abandoning LPR
My mother who has an active green card, but an expired travel document is trying to return to the USA. 1) After completing form I-407, where does she mail or email it to? 2) Should she expect a response or proof that she filed I-407 before being allowed to travel to the USA? 3) After completing I-193, where does she mail or email it to? 4) Should she expect a response or proof that she filed I-193 before being allowed to travel to the USA? 5) If by completing form I-193, she will be allowed to travel to the US without a visa or travel document, what kind of documentation does she need to present at the airport in Saudi Arabia and the custom petrol checkpoint in the USA to be permitted to fly and enter the USA? 6) Where does filling form DS117 fit into all this? 7) Does she apply for form I-131 for a new travel document at any point here? 8) What is the best way to work with an immigration lawyer in this case.
Mr. Lee answers,
If your mother has an “active” green card which is not expired and has not been out of the US on this trip one year or more, she would be able to return on the basis of the green card by presenting it to the air carrier and to U.S. Customs and border (CBP) inspection officers. If the green card is not expired, but your mother has been out of the US for one year or more and a reentry permit is expired, she may be able to present the green card to the air carrier and U.S. Customs and border inspection officers along with explanations and proof as to why she did not reenter the US within one year of leaving. If CBP wishes to admit her with a waiver, it can allow her to fill out and pay for an I-193 application for waiver of passport and/or visa. An alternative for your mother is to apply to the consulate or embassy for a special immigrant visa (DS-117) if she is able to prove that she had a good emergency reason for not being able to return to the US within the one-year validity date of the green card or the time on a reentry permit. On the other hand, if she is abandoning the green card now, she would send in the I-407 form to the Williston, Vermont, address on the instruction to the form, and then could possibly apply for and obtain a visitor’s visa from the American consulate or embassy. With reference to an I-131, a reentry permit cannot be applied for by an individual outside the U.S.
2. How can my immigrant wife petition her sons to come to USA with us?
My wife came here from Philippines on K1 visa in January 2020. We were married in February 2020. She currently has her two-year green card. She does not work. I, as her husband, work to support her by my own choice. She has three adult sons in Philippines, ages 19, 20, and 26. Can she file form I-130 to petition them to come to USA even though she does not have a job? Is it to our advantage to file the petition(s) before her 20-year-old son turns age 21? I will sign a sponsor letter if necessary
Mr. Lee answers,
Currently an application by your wife for her three children in the Philippines would take approximately 10 years to complete if they were born in the Philippines and remain unmarried during these years. The law, however, does allow a stepfather who marries the mother of the children before they turn 18 to apply for the eligible children and that would shorten the period of time. You state that you were married in February 2020, and that would be over two years ago. You also state that two of the children are 19 and 20. If you married your wife before those children turned the age of 18, you could petition for them now as your immediate relatives, and possibly immigrate them in approximately one year. If the circumstance applies, you would have to petition before the 20-year-old child turns the age of 21. Unfortunately, the 26-year-old cannot benefit under the above and would have to wait approximately 10 years through your wife’s petition unless he has other ways to immigrate. Financial support documents are not required at the beginning, but at the time that the children begin to get ready for their interviews at the American Embassy.
3. My father is a principal on a qualifying labor certification application that was submitted before 4/30/2001 does this help adult unmarried daughter.
My father is a principal on a qualifying labor certification application that was submitted before April 30,2001. His I-485 has been recommended for approval as of Apr 29, 2022. My question is regarding one of his children. She (my sister) is currently an unmarried adult (over the age of 21), when the labor certification was approved she was unmarried and under 21 years of age. My question is whether she is eligible to apply as an “accompany” or “follow to join” the principal beneficiary (parent). My sister does have a US Citizen daughter who will be turning 21 in a couple of years and a US Citizen sibling. Does any of this help her in any way to petition an immigrant visa? Any and all answers are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Mr. Lee answers,
As your father was the principal on a labor certification with merit filed prior to 4/30/01, your sister who was under the age of 21 at the time is grandfathered for purposes of §245(i) if she entered the US by December 21, 2000. That means that she is not barred from adjusting status through any means that she can gain immigration from even if she entered the US without inspection or took up unauthorized employment or overstayed her visa status. For purposes of accompanying or following to join your father on his case, she would be too old by this time. You say that your sister has a US citizen daughter who will be turning 21 in a couple of years –that petition would likely be the quickest way for her to immigrate. Usually, an immediate relative petition like this would take approximately one year to complete. A sibling petition begun today on the other hand could take approximately 15 years to gain permanent residence.
4. Should I apply for my green card or my citizenship after legal name change?
I recently completed a legal name change. I am green card holder eligible for citizenship. My question really is do I need to correct my name on my green card before applying for citizenship or can I just apply for my citizenship?
Mr. Lee answers,
You do not have to correct your name on the green card before applying for your US citizenship. I note that USCIS does requires individuals to have green cards with at least six months validity on them when applying for citizenship. That is usually the only time that individuals must apply for new green cards when applying for citizenship. As you already have a legal name change, you can enclose a photocopy of the court document changing your name in your naturalization application. To lessen confusion in any day-to-day situation, you can carry a copy of your name change document with you along with your green card or a copy of it.