After you get the GC, can you visit as a tourist?

josh000

Registered Users (C)
#1
I am living in Canada at present. Assuming I get my GC in June, I would like to go for just a few days in mid july for a conference, before moving there permanantly in alte july.

Is that possible? Or will going in 'activate' something and make it harder to leave/come in a second time?
 

jayo2k

Registered Users (C)
#2
I am living in Canada at present. Assuming I get my GC in June, I would like to go for just a few days in mid july for a conference, before moving there permanantly in alte july.

Is that possible? Or will going in 'activate' something and make it harder to leave/come in a second time?
you will activate your GC when you go to usa but nothing prevent you to leave usa right after, just make sure you don't spend more than 6 months outside usa or else you'll lose your green card
 

raevsky

Registered Users (C)
#3
Where in Canada do you live?
Where in the US are you going to the conference? Are you flying to it? Are those few days all working days?
 

josh000

Registered Users (C)
#4
Where in Canada do you live?
Where in the US are you going to the conference? Are you flying to it? Are those few days all working days?
I live in Montreal and will go to NYC for a conference. I have not yet decided if I will keep my job at the time of the conference.
 

raevsky

Registered Users (C)
#5
So you will drive.
Then just drive as usual, at the immigration inspection tell them you are going to the conference. If they ask you tell them you have an immigrant visa, but this visit is a visitor's one, not a permanent move. If they do not admit you in visitor' status (possible but unlikely), they will admit you as a permanent resident, you do not need to prove an immigrant intent, it is assumed on default, it overwrites whet you tell them about the purpose of your visit. In that case you will have to open a bank account in the US and apply for social security card while in the US. That would be enough for a month or two in Canada afterwards.
 

josh000

Registered Users (C)
#6
you will activate your GC when you go to usa but nothing prevent you to leave usa right after, just make sure you don't spend more than 6 months outside usa or else you'll lose your green card
Are you sure of this? I remeber reading that once the green card has issued you have to be gone for a year, even then the process is not automatic if the gc holder states they do not want to give up their pr status.
 

josh000

Registered Users (C)
#7
So you will drive.
Then just drive as usual, at the immigration inspection tell them you are going to the conference. If they ask you tell them you have an immigrant visa, but this visit is a visitor's one, not a permanent move. If they do not admit you in visitor' status (possible but unlikely), they will admit you as a permanent resident, you do not need to prove an immigrant intent, it is assumed on default. In that case you will have to open a bank account in the US and apply for social security card while in the US. That would be enough for a month or two in Canada afterwards.
I won't drive as I don't have a license, so it will either be bus or rideshare...but yes, going by ground.

I already have a US bank account and I chose to be automatically registered for a social security number, which from what I thought would be mailed out?

Is it really possible to enter on the VWP/as a visitor despite having the immigrant visa?
 

dis66

Registered Users (C)
#8
I am sorry but maybe I am missing the point.
Why you don't wanna enter the US with your immigrant visa?
Once you do that, you will activate it, and then you can travel in and out like a normal GC holder.
 

josh000

Registered Users (C)
#9
Because that is what I was unsure of. Maybe I had to wait for the actual GC to arrive or something. Maybe I will be expected to do things that I couldn't do if I was only there for a few days.
 

cafeconleche

Registered Users (C)
#10
It is NOT possible to enter the US as a visitor once you have a Green Card. All the advice pointing to this is ludicrous, and requesting to enter the US as a visitor is dangerous.

Once you activate your permanent residence when you first enter the US, your immigrant visa will serve as your proof of status for a year. After you have activated it, you have every right to go back and forth between the US and your country of residence. If questioned at the border, you explain that you have not wrapped things up yet.

Remember to allow for extra time when you first enter the US with your immigrant visa. I recommend flying as opposed to taking the bus or rideshare, as if you're unlucky, there could be a delay, or you could just be subjected to extra processing. When you fly, you'll probably be processed at the Canadian airport itself. Good luck.
 

josh000

Registered Users (C)
#11
It is NOT possible to enter the US as a visitor once you have a Green Card. All the advice pointing to this is ludicrous, and requesting to enter the US as a visitor is dangerous.

Once you activate your permanent residence when you first enter the US, your immigrant visa will serve as your proof of status for a year. After you have activated it, you have every right to go back and forth between the US and your country of residence. If questioned at the border, you explain that you have not wrapped things up yet.

Remember to allow for extra time when you first enter the US with your immigrant visa. I recommend flying as opposed to taking the bus or rideshare, as if you're unlucky, there could be a delay, or you could just be subjected to extra processing. When you fly, you'll probably be processed at the Canadian airport itself. Good luck.
Hmm, thanks. Why do you say that it is a bad idea or dangerous though, and are you sure it is no problem to go back and forth? What are your obligations when first entering the US after getting the immigrant visa?

I would rather go by driving as it is only 5 hours and costs at the most $40, while the cheapest plane ticket is closer to $200.
 

raevsky

Registered Users (C)
#12
It is NOT possible to enter the US as a visitor once you have a Green Card. All the advice pointing to this is ludicrous, and requesting to enter the US as a visitor is dangerous.
Even ifyou have a GC, in certain cases you could be isseud a nonimmigrant visa, and you can use it.

9 FAM 42.22 N10 VISITOR VISA ISSUANCE NOT RELINQUISHMENT OF RESIDENT STATUS
(CT:VISA-1377; 11-24-2009)
a. An alien is not ineligible for classification as a returning resident alien solely because the alien was previously issued a visitor visa during a stay abroad as a matter of convenience when time did not permit the alien to obtain a returning resident visa. (See 9 FAM 41.31 N15.)
b. For example, a permanent resident alien is temporarily assigned abroad but employed by a U.S. corporation. The alien has been outside the United States for more than one year and thus may not return to the United States using the Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card. The alien has never relinquished permanent residence in the United States; has continued to pay U.S. income taxes; and perhaps even maintains a home in the United States. The fact that the alien was issued a nonimmigrant visa (NIV) for the purpose of making an urgent business trip would not reflect negatively on the retention of resident status.
c. The consular officer shall not require a visa applicant to relinquish the Form I-551, as a condition to immigrant or nonimmigrant visa (NIV) issuance.
However, immigrant visa (or status in this case) is not a GC. In this particular situation it should not be a real problem to enter US in a nonimmigrant status even though you have an immigrant visa.

Once you activate your permanent residence when you first enter the US, your immigrant visa will serve as your proof of status for a year. After you have activated it, you have every right to go back and forth between the US and your country of residence. If questioned at the border, you explain that you have not wrapped things up yet.
No, you actually need to at least beleive that your permanent place of living is US. But a few months delay to finish some business is OK.

Remember to allow for extra time when you first enter the US with your immigrant visa. I recommend flying as opposed to taking the bus or rideshare, as if you're unlucky, there could be a delay, or you could just be subjected to extra processing. When you fly, you'll probably be processed at the Canadian airport itself. Good luck
Flying from Montreal to NY does not make much sense.

Ideally the purpose of your visit correspondes to B-1 nonimmigrant status, that is why it is logical to ask for it at the border.
 

raevsky

Registered Users (C)
#13
Issuing you a nonimmigrant status at the border or admitting you as an immigrant could take time, and you might end up going by next bus though
 

dis66

Registered Users (C)
#15
Because that is what I was unsure of. Maybe I had to wait for the actual GC to arrive or something. Maybe I will be expected to do things that I couldn't do if I was only there for a few days.
you dont need to wait for your plastic card. Once endorsed at the POE with an admission stamp your visa has the same strength as a plastic card. So yes you can go back to Canada after a few days and you can use the same visa to reenter the USA. No worries.
 

ajk

Registered Users (C)
#16
Hi,

I tend to agree with the others who feel this is a bad idea.

Is it technically possible, maybe. Though the fact that you have expressed immigrant intent, but are asking to enter as a tourist IMO could raise questions, concerns

or complicate things. Immigration officials are never the nice guys, full of understanding and tolerance from my experience.

I really don't see the problem with simply activating you GC on the way in; though it could inconvenience other people if you are travelling in a group.

Once you have entered and activated your green card, they will send it to the US address you provided for this purpose. They will also stamp you passport with a

temporary GC. In this regard, you can leave the US as you like.

It's your choice whether a couple of bucks, or short delay at the POE is worth making sure this process goes right or not.

Like i said, this may technically possible, but it certainly isn't the kind of risk i would ever be taking, no matter how compelling the advice given on a forum.


AJK
 

Abbie

Registered Users (C)
#18
Hi,

I tend to agree with the others who feel this is a bad idea.

Is it technically possible, maybe. Though the fact that you have expressed immigrant intent, but are asking to enter as a tourist IMO could raise questions, concerns

or complicate things. Immigration officials are never the nice guys, full of understanding and tolerance from my experience.

I really don't see the problem with simply activating you GC on the way in; though it could inconvenience other people if you are travelling in a group.

Once you have entered and activated your green card, they will send it to the US address you provided for this purpose. They will also stamp you passport with a

temporary GC. In this regard, you can leave the US as you like.

It's your choice whether a couple of bucks, or short delay at the POE is worth making sure this process goes right or not.

Like i said, this may technically possible, but it certainly isn't the kind of risk i would ever be taking, no matter how compelling the advice given on a forum.


AJK
Totally agree with AJK. For the sake of a $150 is it worth all this debate, risk and nonsense? Get the bloody plane, activate your Green Card and you have Freedom ever after. What some of us wouldn't give for that! Do you really want the GC??? You can then come and go as you please. It only takes a few minutes to activate when you enter the country. Read through the forum, there are plenty of accounts of how easy the activation process is, and how you can leave the country after just a few days and return later.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

josh000

Registered Users (C)
#19
Totally agree with AJK. For the sake of a $150 is it worth all this debate, risk and nonsense? Get the bloody plane, activate your Green Card and you have freedon ever after. What some of us wouldn't give for that! Do you really want the GC??? You can then come and go as you please. It only takes a few minutes to activate when you enter the country. Read through the forum, there are plenty of accounts of how easy the activation process is, and how you can leave the country after just a few days and return later.

Chill. You seem to have misunderstood my question.

The question is about entering temporarily and if that would cause problems or not. That question has now been answered, in that I won't have a problem activating my GC then leaving for a short period after doing so.

The issue was never about going by plane or car. It simply doesn't make sense, financially or otherwise to fly from MYL to NYC. I will go by land and activate my immigrant visa that way. It certainly doesn't make sense to ask if I really want the GC when I am concerned about any negative consequences of entering temporarily after being awarded the GC.

Thankyou to all those who posted.


@BigJoe5 No, I don't have the visa yet, my interview is in June.
 

raevsky

Registered Users (C)
#20
I do not see any negative consequences entering temporarily before entering on an immigrant visa. However, I see some very serious negative consequences entering on an immigrant visa without telling the officer at the border about the true nature of your trip. That is why I would first ask for a nonimmigrant status, describing the true nature of your trip, and only when being denied (unlikely) an entry because of lack of non-immigrant intent would use an immigrant visa. You have to disclose the true nature of your trip to the immigration official, after all.
Let him decide whether your trip is of non-immigrant nature or of an immigrant nature. Use the status he determines appropriate. Provide him with full information he needs (and asks for) to make the right decision in order not to be blamed later in willfull misrepresentation of an immigraion officer.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top