Long time absence - what will happen at the airport?

howdy_howdy

Volunteer Moderator
It was probably the airline - this was in Karachi (travelling via PIA I believe). I don't think their cards were expired, but since they haven't been to America for the past 2 year, I guess they did not let them get thru.

In the past, this has happened to another one of my husband's relatives but she was going thru medical treatment during her stay so she was allowed to enter (but they didn't let her get on the plane as well).

I guess Pakistan is getting strict about enforcing this.

It's ridiculous that the airline is doing the job of IO at the port of departure.

In all circumstances, only the IO makes the decision if the person is allowed in to the US or not, whether the reason for long absence is genuine or bogus.
 

GotPR?

Registered Users (C)
So, besides entry issue, she filed tax return to the US since 2004, right ?
Here's my background: My mom and I got our green card in 2003. I was a dependent of my mom then. We activated the GC / entered the US in September 2003. I stayed to work since then, but my mom left US to continue working. She re-entered the US in Feb 2004, stayed for one month, left again, and never came back.

Now she's retired and is ready to come back. Yea... I know, it's a big booboo, it's just a matter of luck whether she gets caught or not. She will not seek help from her local US consulate, and she came up with this "ingenious" idea of LYING :eek: to the immigration officer at the port-of-entry, telling him/her that she was only out for 2 weeks if asked. She is under the impression that the officers will be easier on mid-age women, and she has friends who have done this lying business before without getting into troubles.

Disclaimer: I strongly disagree with lying to anyone, especially to officers, but moms are moms, they never listen, and I'm just saying what happened, not to encourage anyone here to try.

Anyway, so she's getting ready to fly here in several months. I'd like to know what would happen to her and her green card if she gets caught at the airport.
1) Do they take away her GC and deport her immediately?
2) Do they take away her GC but let her in, so that she gets a chance to fight back.
3) What rights do those officers have? Can they put her to jail immediately for lying?

More importantly, since I got my GC because I was a dependent of my mom, will my GC get revoked also?

Thanks in advance.
 

cutipie721

Registered Users (C)
I remember you guys! But I was so busy at settling down my mom and I didn't have time to update this thread until today. In other words, she's in!! She has been here for 2 weeks now.

The officer did NOT ask her how long she's been away for. The whole time was like casual chit-chatting - How are you doing? How were things outside? What did you do? Was it fun? *laughter*... So theoretically she did not lie, since no one asked.

I swear my mom's age and petite figure has something to do with this.

FYR, she entered at Detroit. Flew straight in, not sneaked in.

Disclaimer: use my experience at your own risk. If you get caught, don't curse me :)

Maybe I can provide information on her citizenship application later on, which is going to be sometime next year... I just hope that my application will not be affected by her case.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
Her trying for citizenship in less than 5 years from now is inviting trouble. They dig up into their database and scrutinize travel habits very deeply (they don't have time to do that level of scrutiny at the port of entry).
 

TheRealCanadian

Volunteer Moderator
Maybe I can provide information on her citizenship application later on, which is going to be sometime next year... I just hope that my application will not be affected by her case.

Yours won't, but she needs to be really careful. The N400 requires her to list all trips outside of the US, with dates of departure and arrival back in the US. If she tells the truth, she's going to have not only her N400 denied, but also her PR revoked. If she lies, then for the rest of her life she is subject to having her citizenship stripped away and being deported, just like one of those 90-year-olds you hear about who was a concentration camp guard.

Parts 6 and 7 of the N-400 should be rather interesting.
 

compiler

Registered Users (C)
If she provides the truth, for example, ever traveled outside for 2 years, what will the consequence be, denial of the application for the citizenship, revoking the LPR or what else? Do you know it?
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
At a minimum, citizenship will be denied for failing to meet the physical presence and continuous residence requirements during the 5-year period prior to applying. Revocation of the green card is also possible.

Maybe revocation would be less likely if she spends the next 5 years inside the US first before applying, but this is a tricky situation and she should seek some legal opinions and facts (the facts including the specific regulations regarding abandonment of permanent residence, and how much power does the USCIS have for revoking it 5+ years after the extended absence). An additional advantage in waiting 5 years is that by then you might be a citizen, and if they revoke her card on the basis of the extended absence (which is a lot better than revoking it for lying), you as a citizen can re-file for her and get her a new card in about a year (of course, no guarantee of success given the prior revocation).
 

cutipie721

Registered Users (C)
You know, I really have no interests in giving her helpful advices anymore. She's still raving about her entry experiences to every single person she talks to, giving advices to people by saying just relax and stay calm and make sure you chat with the officer... And like I expected she thought my original worrying was a waste of time and energy.

She can do whatever she wants with her citizenship application, who am I to worry. (As you can tell I'm pretty pissed at her)

So that's it for now. We are reaching the 5-year mark next September, and will be filing the application in around March. Who knows, maybe she won't file for citizenship at all because she may not want to study for the test. Afterall, she's not worried about her GC anymore.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
I'd still give her the advice, but let her do with it what she wants. If anything goes wrong, at least she won't be able to say you didn't warn her. Remember if her GC is revoked she will find it very difficult to obtain a visitor's visa (but if it is voluntarily surrendered getting a visitor's visa is not a big problem, because voluntarily surrendering it is strong evidence of nonimmigrant intent).
 
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Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
They do sometimes revoke people's green card when their citizenship application is rejected. It is not a totally different thing. They don't have time to proactively hunt down everybody for immigration violations, but when you apply for citizenship they do spend the time to dig up dirt from your past.
 

compiler

Registered Users (C)
Do you mean ever left the country for more than one year without I-131 filed has violated the immigration law and if this violation is dug out, the GC will be revoked?
 

Triple Citizen

Registered Users (C)
Compiler,
Every N-400 applicant's entire immigration history may be checked up in order to make a decision. If something comes up that may be basis for the revocation of the applicant's PR status itself, then action may be taken by USCIS.
 

compiler

Registered Users (C)
What is the subject? Is “ever left the country for more than one year without I-131 filed” violated the immigration law?
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
It is a violation of the terms for maintaining the green card, which include the requirement to maintain ties of residence to the US. Being outside the US for over one year without an I-131 creates a very strong presumption of abandoning that residence, and it is very difficult to overcome that presumption unless one can show that there were circumstances beyond one's control that extended the trip beyond a year.

See http://www.americanlaw.com/maintlpr.html, which actually cites sections of the law and court cases.
 
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bahadur007

Registered Users (C)
It is a violation of the terms for maintaining the green card, which include the requirement to maintain ties of residence to the US. Being outside the US for over one year without an I-131 creates a very strong presumption of abandoning that residence, and it is very difficult to overcome that presumption unless one can show that there were circumstances beyond one's control that extended the trip beyond a year.

See http://www.americanlaw.com/maintlpr.html, which actually cites sections of the law and court cases.

The following is with regards to cutipie721's mother.

Consider that every permanent resident who is absent from the US for longer than six months is considered an "applicant for admission" rather than a "returning resident" by the CBP officer at the POE, regardless of whether the permanent resident has an I-131 or not. The CBP officer is supposed to evaluate if permanent residence has been abandoned and take appropriate action if so. Once the permanent resident is (re)admitted into the US, there is no longer any need to proof that permanent residence was not abandoned, after all, that's why the permanent resident was an "applicant for admission" at the POE in the first place. In other words, any suspicion that permanent residence was abandoned is "tested" at the POE by the CBP officer. The CBP officer has fairly broad discretionary powers in this regard that can work both ways: possession of an I-131 does not guarantee admission and individuals are sometimes admitted without an I-131 even after an absence of more than one year.

However, it would be a grave mistake to lie about any absence when applying for citizenship since any absence of longer than six months would have interrupted the continuous residence requirement. It would be prudent to wait and accumulate the required residence requirements before applying.
 
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cutipie721

Registered Users (C)
Remember I said in my first post that my mom has a friend who has passed through the POE after years without living here? She got her citizenship without any problem.

O well, I tried.
 
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