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What is a commuter status for GC holder?

Discussion in 'General I-485 and Related Issues' started by sg94ahpw, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. sg94ahpw

    sg94ahpw Registered Users (C)

    I was looking at the I-90 form "Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card" and the instructions. The instructions says:

    If you are a permanent resident, you must also file this application:

    • if you have been a lawful permanent resident in the U.S.
      and are now taking up Commuter status while actually
      residing outside the U.S.;

    I was wodering what this commuter status is, just curious....
  2. PrinceofJungle

    PrinceofJungle New Member

    Does it help u to understand?


    Status by Tradition

    Alien commuters enter the United Sates as special immigrants (INA 101(a)(27)) - a privilege that does not require actual residence in the United States if LPR status has not previously been surrendered or otherwise lost. INA 101(a)(20). The ability to live in a contiguous country and commute to work into the United States is available to both daily and seasonal commuters.

    Although there is no specific statutory authority for alien commuter status, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and predecessor agencies have traditionally permitted resident aliens who reside in contiguous countries to commute to work in the United States. (Note: Contiguous territory is any country sharing a common boundary with the United States; because the nations and territories of the Caribbean are considered "adjacent islands" their citizens are not eligible for commuter status.) In 1985, the last year for which the INS collected statistics, there were almost 50,000 alien commuters traveling between the United States and Mexico, and approximately 7,500 between the United Sates and Canada. With the recent publication of regulations authorizing the expansion of dedicated commuter lanes and other programs to speed border crossing by frequent, low risk travelers, alien commuter status is likely to become even more attractive. For details of these regulations, see the November 1, 1995 Immigration Law Report (ILR).

    The administrative practice underlying alien commuter status dates from 1927, when the Bureau of Immigration, then a division of the Department of Labor, ruled that commuters who became immigrants could cross the border without the usual residence restrictions. According to Vol. IV, No. 13 of Interpreter Releases (May 2, 1927), prior to this ruling, non U.S. citizens who habitually crossed the border could obtain identification cards that assured them easy entry and exit, and were not required to conform with quota or other immigration restrictions then in effect. After the Bureau of Immigration's 1927 policy took effect, such aliens seeking to enter the United Sates for purposes of employment had to do so as immigrants. Although native-born Canadians and Mexicans were not subject to quota limitations because they were natives of the Western Hemisphere, they were subject to literacy requirements - a burden which fell more heavily on Mexicans than Canadians. The new policy had an even greater impact on third country aliens resident in Canada or Mexico, generally of European birth, who were subject to quotas. Nearly fifty years later, the Supreme Court in Saxbe v. Bustos, 419 U.S. 65, 74, (1974), upheld the administrative grant of "alien commuter" status based on longstanding tradition and on Congressional acquiescence to the practice.

    read more


    A Permanent Resident Card, commonly known as a Green Card, is evidence of your status as a lawful permanent resident with a right to live and work permanently in the United States. It also is evidence of your registration in accordance with United States immigration laws. The Permanent Resident Card is also called USCIS Form I-551.

    Every alien in the United States shall be issued a certificate of alien registration or an alien registration receipt card in such form and manner and at such time as shall be prescribed under regulations. Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him. Any alien who fails to comply with these provisions shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

    You will need to replace your permanent resident card if:
    Your previous card was lost, stolen, mutilated, or destroyed;
    Your card was issued to you before you were 14 and you have reached your 14th birthday;
    You have been a commuter and are now taking up actual residence in the United States;
    You have been a permanent resident residing in the United States and are now taking up commuter status;
    Your status has been automatically converted to permanent resident status, this includes Special Agricultural Worker applicants who are converting to permanent resident status;
    You have a previous version of the alien registration card (e.g., USCIS Form AR-3, Form AR-103, or Form I-151 - all no longer valid to prove your immigration status) and must replace it with the current permanent resident card (Form I-551);
    Your card contains incorrect data;
    Your name or other biographic information on the card has been legally changed since you last received your card; or,
    You never received the previous card that was issued to you by USCIS.
    Conditional Residents can use the USCIS Form I-90 to apply for a Permanent Resident Card replacement if :
    Your previous card was lost, stolen, mutilated, or destroyed
    To replace a card that is incorrect or was never received due to USCIS errors
    Your name or other biographic information has changed since your old card was issued. You need a new card that is updated and shows these changes.
    The USCIS requires that all permanent residents holding the old form I-151, Alien Registration Receipt Card, which was issued before 1979, must apply in person as soon as possible for a new card, Form I-551, Alien Registration Receipt Card, to evidence satisfactory proof of permanent resident status and eligibility to work in the U.S.

    Although the old Form I-151 was no longer considered valid since March 20, 1996, the USCIS allows those who may not have received notice to file the new Form and submit an application for the replacement of the Green Card with the USCIS or to file for U.S. citizenship.

    Unlike the old card, which did not have an expiration date, the newer Form I-551 has an expiration date and is required to be renewed every ten years. This will enable the USCIS to improve the card with additional features like photographs, which are regularly updated. This also makes it less susceptible to fraud.

    You will not lose your permanent resident status if you have not yet applied for a replacement Green Card, nor will you be penalized if you have not yet applied for the new card. However, lawful permanent residents are required by law to carry evidence of their status, and expired I-151s no longer meet this requirement.

    Yes, there is a simple alternative to Green Card replacement for those who qualify -- apply for citizenship. As a US citizen there is no need for a greencard. Legal permanent residents who naturalize join a diverse family of 280 million proud citizens. They are able to participate fully in the American democratic system of self-government, which includes the right to vote and to hold elected office. They never worry again about the need for a greencard.
  3. sg94ahpw

    sg94ahpw Registered Users (C)


    So this is more for people commuting in contiguous countries. I wish they has this status for everyone.

    I am thinking of taking an assigment in Europe for 3-4 years. But the GC makes it very complicated.

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