If you are a permanent resident waiting for your priority date to be reached, you may be wondering if you are able to travel outside of the United States. The answer is yes! However, there are a few things to keep in mind before booking your next trip.
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Introduction: Why You Might Travel Before Your Priority Date
If you are a green card holder, you may be wondering if you can travel before your priority date. The answer is, it depends. If you are a conditional permanent resident, you cannot travel outside the United States for more than six months at a time. If you are a permanent resident, you can travel outside the United States for up to one year without losing your residency, as long as you do not establish residency in another country.
There are many reasons why you might want to travel before your priority date. For example, you may want to visit family or friends in another country, or you may want to take a long vacation. If you do decide to travel before your priority date, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, while you can travel outside the United States for up to one year without losing your residency, this does not mean that you will be able to come back into the United States after one year. If your priority date has not yet been reached, you will not be able to get a new visa to enter the United States. You will need to wait until your priority date is reached before traveling again.
Second, even if your priority date has been reached, if you have been out of the United States for more than one year, you will need to get a new visa before returning. This is true even if you have not established residency in another country. Therefore, it is important to keep track of how long you have been out of the country so that you can get a new visa when necessary.
Third, if at any time during your travels your green card is lost or stolen, it is important to notify the nearest US Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible so that they can issue a replacement card. Without a valid green card, you will not be able to return to the United States.
Traveling before your priority date can be an exciting experience, but it is important to remember that there are some restrictions and guidelines that must be followed in order to maintain your residency status in the United States.
The Risks of Traveling Before Your Priority Date
If you are the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition or application and have not yet received your green card, you may be tempted to travel outside the United States before your priority date is current. While you are legally allowed to do this, it is generally not recommended as there are a number of risks involved.
First and foremost, if you leave the United States before your priority date is current, you will automatically abandon your application or petition. This means that all the progress you have made toward obtaining a green card will be lost and you will have to start from scratch. In addition, if you try to re-enter the United States without a valid visa, you will likely be denied entry and may even be placed in removal proceedings.
even if you are able to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad, there is no guarantee that your green card application or petition will be approved. In fact, USCIS may view your decision to leave the country as an indication that you do not intend to live here permanently, which could jeopardize your chances of obtaining a green card.
Given all of these risks, it is generally advisable to wait until your priority date is current before traveling outside the United States. If you must travel before then, it is recommended that you obtain advance parole from USCIS before leaving. Advance parole allows you to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad without having to obtain a new visa.
How to Minimize the Risks of Traveling Before Your Priority Date
If you are a Permanent Resident of the United States (Green Card holder), you may travel outside of the US and re-enter using your Green Card. However, if your Green Card will expire within 6 months of your return trip, it is recommended that you renew your Green Card before traveling.
If you are planning to travel outside of the United States and your Green Card will expire in less than 6 months, there are some risks associated with traveling before renewing your Green Card. For example, if USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) sees that your Green Card has expired, they may question your status as a Permanent Resident and could potentially refuse to allow you back into the country.
To minimize the risks associated with traveling on an expired Green Card, we recommend that you take the following steps:
-Apply to renew your Green Card as soon as possible (do not wait until it expires)
-Carry a copy of your expired Green Card AND a copy of the receipt notice for your pending renewal application when you travel
-Carry any other supporting documentation that proves your status as a Permanent Resident such as tax returns or utility bills
-If possible, schedule a “LCA Check” appointment at a US Embassy or Consulate in the country you are visiting. At this appointment, an officer will review all of your documentation and confirm that you are still a Permanent Resident
What to Do If You Must Travel Before Your Priority Date
If you are the holder of a green card, you may travel in and out of the United States as you please. However, if your priority date is not yet current, there is a risk you may not be allowed to reenter the country if you travel outside of the United States. If you must travel before your priority date, there are a few steps you can take to minimize your risk and increase your chances of being allowed to return to the United States.
First, it is important to check the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin to determine if your priority date is current. If your priority date is not yet current, do not despair – it simply means that you will need to take a few extra steps in order to be allowed to return to the United States after traveling abroad.
If your priority date is not current, you will need to obtain what is known as an “advance parole document” before leaving the United States. This document grants you permission to reenter the United States and is typically valid for one year. You can apply for an advance parole document by filing Form I-131 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Be sure to file Form I-131 well in advance of your planned travel date – it can take several months for USCIS to process your application.
Once you have obtained an advance parole document, be sure to keep it with you when traveling – do not pack it in your checked luggage! It is also important to keep in mind that an advance parole document does not guarantee that you will be allowed to reenter the United States – immigration officials at the port of entry will make the final determination as to whether or not you will be allowed into the country.
While having an advance parole document does not guarantee that you will be allowed back into the United States, taking this step will increase your chances of being able reenter after traveling abroad
How to Prepare for Your Trip
If you want to travel outside the United States before your priority date, you need to take some specific steps to prepare for your trip.
First, you should consult with an immigration attorney to discuss your plans and make sure that traveling will not adversely affect your green card application.
Once you have consulted with an attorney, you need to obtain a Returning Resident Visa (SB-1). This visa allows you to return to the United States after a period of time outside the country.
To apply for a Returning Resident Visa, you must first file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. Once you have filed this form, you will need to submit several supporting documents, including:
-Your green card
-A letter from your employer explaining why you need to travel outside the United States
-Proof of ties to the United States, such as a lease or mortgage payment, utility bills, or bank statements
-A detailed itinerary of your trip
-Evidence of your intent to return to the United States, such as round-trip tickets or a letter from your employer confirming your job status upon return
After you have gathered all of the required documentation, you can submit your application at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad. You will need to schedule an appointment for an interview as part of the application process.
If you are approved for a Returning Resident Visa, be sure to keep all of your documentation with you when you travel. You will need to present this documentation if asked by a Customs and Border Protection officer upon returning to the United States.
What to Do When You Arrive at Your Destination
If you are traveling before your green card priority date, there are a few things you need to do upon arrival at your destination. First, you need to check with the local U.S. embassy or consulate to make sure that your priority date is still current. If it is not, you will need to return to the United States as soon as possible. You also need to make sure that you have all of the necessary documentation with you, including your green card and passport. Finally, you should register with the local police department so that they are aware of your presence in the country.
What to Do If You Are Questioned by Immigration Officials
If you are questioned by immigration officials about your whereabouts or your travel plans, it is important to stay calm and be polite. You should also be prepared to provide proof of your legal status in the United States, such as a green card or other valid travel documents. If you are asked to present your passport, you should do so calmly and without hesitation. If you are asked to step aside for additional questioning, you should do so willingly. It is important to remember that you have rights under the U.S. Constitution, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney, but it is also important to cooperate with authorities if you want to avoid being detained or deported.
What to Do If You Are Denied Entry
If you are denied entry to the United States, you will be given a form called a Notice to Appear. This form will list the charges against you and will give you a date to appear in front of an immigration judge. You will also be given a list of free or low-cost legal services. You have the right to speak to an attorney before your hearing, and it is strongly recommended that you do so.
What to Do If You Are Granted Entry
After you are granted entry, you will be given a packet of informational material and a stamp in your passport showing the date that you are allowed to stay in the United States. The date on your stamp is called your “admission date.” It is very important to know what your admission date is because it becomes the start of your lawful permanent resident status (commonly referred to as a “green card holder”). You are allowed to stay in the United States until the expiration date on your green card, which is 10 years from the date you were granted entry.
If you want to travel outside of the United States before your priority date on your green card, you will need to obtain a reentry permit from the USCIS. This permit will allow you to leave and return to the United States during the time that your green card is being processed. You can apply for a reentry permit by filing Form I-131 with the USCIS.