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Asylee travel home

Discussion in 'Political Asylum in USA' started by rdmo, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. rdmo

    rdmo Registered Users (C)

    My thoughts on asylees traveling back to home country...

    After reading for many hours, searching the web, thread after thread on immigration forums, reading the Immigration laws of the United States of America, researching many, many sites that address issues of interests for US immigrants as well as directly related to asylees/refugees, this is what I think:


    1. You should not travel back home immediately after you receive your Permanent Resident status approval. Some people have compared it to getting divorced the next day after getting Green Card through marriage to US citizen, or quitting your job after getting employment based Green Card. It’s just commons sense. I would advise to wait for at least 6 months after you get your Green Card, and the more you wait, the better and the less likely you are to encounter ‘resistance’ at a port of entry when you get back to the US.
    2. The second consideration is that you do not travel for lengthy periods of time. Your stay back at your home country should be as short as possible; I would say a maximum of 2 weeks is safe enough to not raise any suspicion. If you have to stay longer, you’d better document the reasons why you did it, be it sick relatives or something that bears some sort of weight before an immigration officer.

    How did I get to this conclusion, you might ask. Well, like I said, I spent many hours researching this issue, on the web, book and even on the phone. Though I found many conflicting opinions, my objective understanding of the law is this.

    1. Remember that asylum/refugee status is based upon a ‘reasonable fear of persecution on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion’ (taken from USCIS website). What might have been extremely difficult conditions to live in a given country at a given point in the past, might have changed after a few years and the fear is no longer there, one might feel more secure to return to home country, but not to stay, just to visit relatives, etc.
    2. The laws strictly prohibit an asylee/refugee from returning home as they might jeopardize their status. This only applies to people that have asylee/refugee status and have not adjusted to permanent residents or citizens. One can remain as an asylee/refugee/ for many years without ever having to adjust to permanent resident status or become a citizen. The US does not require or ask you to adjust or become citizen, it’s you who decides if you actually want to take that step.
    3. If you become a permanent resident through asylum, you immediately acquire all the rights and responsibilities of any other permanent resident, be it through marriage, employment, investment, etc. ‘Some of you came as refugees or were given asylum status….. But now that you are Permanent Residents you all share the same status…..A Permanent Resident of the United States can travel freely outside of the US. A passport from the country of citizenship is normally all that is needed. To reenter the US a Permanent Resident normally needs to present the green card for readmission.’ (taken from USCIS website).
    4. An asylee does not need a Refugee Travel Document to leave and reenter the country. The RTD is only a measure put in place (in accordance with Article 28 of the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees) to facilitate travel for those whose country of origin will not issue a passport for whatever reason. If you are from a country with diplomatic representation in the US, and are able to get your national passport issued, you can do so, get the required visas stamped to travel outside the US and come back with no problem, just like any other permanent resident. You do not need a RTD. If you can’t get a passport from your country of origin, then the RTD comes into play and you would need to get one before traveling anywhere outside the US.
    5. You might/will be questioned as to what the purpose of your trip back home was, your length of stay, etc. This is normal procedure for Immigration officers, and they might even try to give you a hard time, and make annotations on your file. This will all come back when/if you apply for naturalization, it’s just a matter of documenting and reasonably explaining the purpose of your trip.
    6. Get it in your head: Once you are a permanent resident, you are not an asylee/refugee anymore. Such status is gone after you ADJUST. It will remain in your file how you became a PR, but you are not an asylee/refugee anymore, YOU ARE NOW A PERMANENT RESIDENT. If you were receiving benefits from the US government, from the UN or any other office for refugee/asylee resettlement, you will probably lose those benefits after you become a resident, because you are not considered an asylee anymore. Asylee/refugee is a temporary status.

    I hope this clarifies some of your thoughts on this issue. If you do decide to travel, always keep in mind the first two considerations cited above. Other than that, have a good trip!
  2. wantmygcnow

    wantmygcnow Volunteer Moderator

    This doesn't explain zilch! Good job in digging up information but nothing really matters. You can read all the laws you want but the matter of fact is that during your U.S Citizenship interview, the way you got your GC and where you have travelled after getting your GC will be asked for certain. Reason is because thats what Naturalization officers work with...to make sure you can become a citizen(enough time in country) and that you wil not jeapordize others.

    So my suggestion is, Travel home all you want but you may have to answer lots of questions eventually. Is it a fact that you will be asked ? No its not but lots of asylees are asked to fill I-602 when they weren't in the past.

    These rules/laws/statements/lawyers boasting crap/friends stores about going back home... etc will not work for you IF an offficer digs deeper if he intended to.
  3. cadel

    cadel Registered Users (C)

    Refugee and asylee sound similar but different.A refugee may go back to home country even if not yet Permanent resident.A refugee has to use a RTD to re-enter the US.But an asylee is not allowed to go back home.If there is no fundamental change in circumstances in your home country,you definitelly can't go back even you became a US PR or a US citizen.If you're really wanted in your country,you will be arrested when returning home even you became a US citizen.That's why americains-cubans or americains-chinese have problem to go back to their home countries.You can go home and your asulym status will be automatically terminated if the situation that allows you to gain asylum status gets better in your country.If the situation changes and you're holding a PR status,you can go home,but you will need to bring evidence to the the officer while re-entering the US or during your citizenship interview.But this is not safe since as you know,we have so many crazy officers in the uscis system and they may give you hard time if the officer you're facing is not understandable.I don't see why an Iraki asylee PR can't got back to Tikrit while Sadam is no longer in power or why an afghan asylee PR can't got back to torabora mountains while there is no longer Taliban in Kabul.
    Good luck to all of us.
    RD :Aug 22,2001
    Fingerprint :Jul 27,2004
    RFI :Jul 21,2005
    RFI received by uscis :08/09/2005
    Bio :Jul 25,2005
    Bio done :08/10/2005
    RFE(I-602'' False Document'',1 year presence,Travels) :Aug 30,2005
    RFE received by uscis :Sep 07, 2005
    Approved :Sep 15,2005
    GC received :Sep 20,2005(Backdated Sep 15,2004)
    Eligible for citizenship : June 16,2009.
  4. freemanmo

    freemanmo New Member

    this question seems to never have an answer. you can't 100% assure that you will be safe if you go back to your home country after you get greencard until you are naturalized. I'm a chinese,
    I'm curious that when China hosts Olympic in 2008, can we say that there is a fundamental or material change in China?
  5. sadasylee

    sadasylee Registered Users (C)

    How about this way?

    Go Home : US -> a third country such as Mexico or Canada -> home country
    Come Back : home country -> a third country -> US

    In the next 4 years toward my citizenship, I'd like to visit my home country only one time for 2-3 weeks. Will it be a problem when applying citizenship in the future?

    A big problem remaining:
    How can an asylee visit his home country? He is no longer allowed by both US and his home country to apply and hold a password issued by his home country. I don't think he can use a RTD to visit his home country.

    Thanks you for the valuable information!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2005
  6. wantmygcnow

    wantmygcnow Volunteer Moderator

    Sadasylee, I think you have waited an eternity to get your GC...Why do you want to risk it by going to your home country for 2-3 weeks? Ok If you have a solid reason,like a sick family member or anything like that..It is acceptable
    but make sure you create enough proof to show them if needs arise.
  7. caliSun

    caliSun Registered Users (C)

    There's some misunderstanding of Asylee and PR on this board. Once you become a PR, you shuld no longer be considered as an asylee. Living in US permenantly and travelling freely is your right and no one should doubt it.

    The only concern you should have is your own safty when you travel. The uscis officer should not raise any doubt when you apply citizenship just because you went back to your home country after you get your green card.

    For those who are ready for their citizenship, please share your experience if you have been interviewed. The real examples are the most valuable stuff on the board, it will help all of us.
  8. wantmygcnow

    wantmygcnow Volunteer Moderator

    Calisun, The only reason they put the codes on the Green card is to identify how you became a PR. USCIS has the full authority to 'take back' your green card if they think you obtained in fraud. Usually USCIS is in the lookout for fake marriage green cards, thats why when you marry a U.S Citzen, you get a conditional PR and then you get a full PR after 3 years after an interview.

    Its not as black and white as you say. USCIS maybe has thousands of cases of fraud GC each day...which ones they pursue is up to them.
  9. caliSun

    caliSun Registered Users (C)

    You are right, uscis has the right to take back the green card ONLY if your case is fraud when you apply asylum. Going back to your home country is NOT saying that your case is fraud. We are just too sensitive to this topic and forget we still have rights as a PR.
  10. cadel

    cadel Registered Users (C)

    My man sadasylee please don't take this risk.I don't want you to turn sadPR.Relax,work part time and pay low tax until we become ineligible for RTD(4 more years to go)
  11. Asylee13

    Asylee13 Registered Users (C)

    Well if you look at the definition of Asylee, it says a person who is "unable or unwilling to go back home because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution."
    I doesn't talk about VISITING home. Ofcourse you don't want to go back home, but visiting your family. Or may be i am trying to be too positive here.
    And for all the hypocrats, everyone in this forum wants to go and meet their family and see the place they grew up and spend many years of their life. Ofcourse,we don't want our childer to grow in that hostile environment.
    About visiting through third country, i don't understand how that works. How can you get visa to your home country from third country, if you are only visiting third country from US.
  12. jackdanie7

    jackdanie7 Registered Users (C)

    Nice work.
  13. jackdanie7

    jackdanie7 Registered Users (C)

    I don’t think he is disputing the fact that one may be required to provide an explanation if one chooses to do so. He is saying is that it is not an inadmissible offense, which I have to agree with as long as one doesn’t do so around his/her adjustment date.
  14. hampton8844

    hampton8844 Registered Users (C)

    A fundamental change means a regime change or a total change of governmental policies. Like Eastern Europe 1989.
  15. hampton8844

    hampton8844 Registered Users (C)

    I do have a real example. I just printed out from Infonet a BIA decision revoking the LPR status of someone who went home twice. I will scan and upload this document here when I have my vacation week in the middle of October. Stay tuned.

    Just as preliminary reply, asylum/refugee does not cease upon adjustment of status. The BIA decision itself states this clearly. In fact, as a LPR, the Asylum Office can still call you in for an asylum status termination interview.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2005
  16. caliSun

    caliSun Registered Users (C)

    Generally speaking, for each one has gained their PR status, there's a risk of your green card be revoked if your case is fraud. But that doesn't mean you can not do things you weren't able to before you get your green card.

    For employment based green card, you don't need to stick to one employer after your green card, but before that, you have to.

    For marrige green card, you can not divorce you spouse before you get you green card.

    The same logic here for asylum based green card. You can do lots things as far as it's legal. I know many people went back to visit their long time no see parents after they get green card. There's no single case troubled. The uscis office surely will ask your purpose of travel, but remember, that's a routine question for any PR traveled outside US, not just for Asylee green card.

    For those travel with RTD, of course you can not go back to your country, because you and anybody else still consider you are asylee/refugee.
  17. jjusa

    jjusa Registered Users (C)

    I woud love to see a copy of the BIA decision. My lawyer, a former head of AILA, warned me that this happens all the time. I want to see proof. :)

    Thank you in advance.
  18. comcast

    comcast Registered Users (C)

    well those people deserve deportation.
  19. guacho

    guacho Registered Users (C)

    CADEL>>>a US citizen being arrested for going back ???

    I think the paranoia of some guys here is beyond my comprehension.
    CADEL, once you are a US citizen you can go back as many times to your home country, as asylees and permanent residents we have the "benefit" to stay and travel abroad, but as an american citizen you have the "right" live here, travel and come back as many times as we want.
    it is true, we have to carry a "stigma" while we are in asylee and PR status, but after you apply for citizenship...you don't need to worry about that anymore.
    this is a fact.
  20. SAM33

    SAM33 Registered Users (C)

    I have been reading threads here for now more than a year, first thing everyone here has to understand that not all asylum cases are the same, each and everyone of us applied for asylum on completely different basis.
    "Fear of persecution"
    Going back home after getting GC depends, what was the nature of your asylum. Political asylum,Religious asylum etc.
    There are some where it does not make sense for you to go back, like political asylum. You will be arressted, the minute you land.
    Religious asylum, nobody will arrest you, but it will be difficult for you to live there for long time or on regular basis.
    There was someone who applied on basis of their sextuality, nobody will kill them,if they go and visit for short time, but it will be difficult for them to live there.
    I have known few, who made many trips back home, and they will say that your status change after getting GC, you are no more asylee, you become a permanant residence.
    I have a friend who is US Citizen for last 10 yrs, last 2 times when he came back to US, uscis sent him to the back room, and ask his purpose of visit abraod. So after 9/11 things have changed.
    17 yrs back my friend went back home right in front of me on EAD ( he was not a asylee).
    So things are getting hard now-a-days, but the fact is making trip back home without any good reason may get you in trouble in future, but if you have a good reason to prove, than situation may be different. Plan wisely.

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