Re-entry on temporary immigrant visa (I-551, employment based)


I recently got approved of immigrant visa i.e green card (employment based) through consular processing with a 6 month validity which expires in Feb last week of 2018. Unfortunately I still need some more time (may be 2-3 months at max) to settle my stuff (back in India) such as property disposal, kids' education etc. So in order to receive my GC without taking any chance, I am planning to enter USA with my immigrant visa and get stamped for I-551 which in turn gives me a temporary GC valid for an year post my entrance date. Then, I will stay back for a few weeks and get back to India on temporary I-551 to settle my scores and get back to USA permanently on the same and settle.

Is it OK, if I enter (before my current immigrant visa expires) US for 2-3 weeks but not work for my employer in this short visit as I have to go back to India for 2-3 months and then re-enter (before my current immigrant visa expires) US with temporary I-551. Or would it be risky? Would I be needing any extra documents such as my pay slips from my current job in Inda to do so?

Thanks and please suggest,


Registered Users (C)
Should be fine to do this. A normal situation for people moving to the US permanently :)

What about the rest of the family? Are they moving with you? When will they activate their status?
Thank you very much, cafeconleche! My family didn't appear for visa yet. Once I move to US and settle, they will join me.

I am glad to know that mine is a normal situation.

How long does it usually take to get my physical GC by mail to my given address? Depending on that I will decide to stay in US and wait or return to India to complete my chores.

I will inform my employer that, I will only be staying for few weeks in USA and may not be work for them for during that short period. Then come back to India, finish my work in a couple of months and then re-enter USA permanently and work for the since then. Would that be questioned by CBP when I reenter US on my temporary I551. Would they be asking any payslips or something from my employer who sponsored my GC for that brief period during my first trip?

thanks again.


Well-Known Member
I don’t understand why you think you can’t work for your current employer during the period after you enter on your immigrant visa?

You’ll have no problem re-entering the US on a temporary I551. People occasionally report coming across airline personnel who don’t understand the endorsed visa and want to refuse boarding so be sure you can explain properly what it is, and ask for a supervisor if you need to.
Hello SusieQQQ,

Thanks for your response. Point noted on endorsed visa.

I got my immigrant (employment based) visa through consular processing. I was working in India for past few years for a different employer. Now that my priority dates became current, my employer (back in US few years ago) sent required papers to get me the immigrant visa which will be valid until next month (Feb 2018). So I need to enter USA before my visa expires to get it stamped and get a temporary immigrant visa which will be valid for one year from the date I enter in US in Feb 2018. As I am not able to wrap up with my current requirements in India, I want to enter US in Feb 2018 and get it stamped. And stay there for a couple of weeks then come back to India and complete my formalities in a couple of months. Then I want to immigrate to US permanently and start working for employer in US who sponsored my GC. So my question is, when I am entering second time into US,
1. Would I be questioned that why did I return to India in such a short period?
2. Would they question me why I didn't work during those 2 weeks of my stay in US? (As mine is employment based visa)
3. Would they ask any other extra documents on my reentry?
4. Usually, how long will it take to receive the physical GC after I get temporary I-551 stamped? (Based on that I can plan on whether staying in US waiting for physical GC or if it takes longer I would rather come back to India and wrap up my stuff)



Well-Known Member
People do that kind of thing on a DV visa all the time, which is my personal experience. I don’t kmow whether it would be looked at differently for an employment based green card, which from what you’ve said is a much longer process and presumably gives more time to sort things out... still, I can’t see an absence of that length of time being a problem.

The plastic green card usually takes 1-2 months to arrive, assuming the immigrant fee has been paid.