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US I-131 form, sending from outside USA to a family member to take it to post-office...

Chicago, IL |
Filed under: Immigration Green cards

Dear Sir/Madam, I have a question regarding filing of I-131 form to re-enter USA. I'm currently abroad for post-graduate studies and unable to be physically present to go to US post office and send the papers of to USCIS. I have GC which expired December 2012. Can I send my paperwork to a family friend in the usa, to simply go to the post-office and drop it off for me with in the US, and then I will only need to travel for biometrics. I am registered at the same home address as the friend, so the address that will be marked on the envelope will be my US address. Because whats the actual purpose of being in the usa and simply going to post-office to drop it off your self, its all signed and typed by you.

Thank you.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. It is best to follow the instructions that accompany the form.

    The answer provided here is general in nature and does not take into account other factors that may need to be reviewed for a more precise answer. You should consult with an immigration attorney before taking any action. The answer here is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. DO NOT DO IT. You must be in the US to file. See "Who may file" part 1A:

    FORMER IMMIGRATION LAW PROFESSOR -- LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

  3. You must be physically present in the United States when you file for a re-entry permit. You will be required to go to a biometrics appointment in the United States on a scheduled appointment date.

    I strongly recommend an appointment or teleconference with a competent and experienced immigration attorney to discuss your options.

    This is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

  4. Doing this will put you at risk of a finding of fraud either now or in the future as essentially you are saying you are within the US, when your passport stamps and your record at the border will show that you are not.

    more fundamentally how you should proceed depends on if you are planning to apply for citizenship or want to preserve residency for your green card only.

    if you want citizenship, do not stay out of the country for over a year continuously.

    Dhenu Savla, Esq
    SwagatUSA, LLC

  5. As others have said, you should not file the I-131 while you are physically outside the U.S. Also of concern is whether you have adequately maintained your permanent intent in order to keep your permanent resident status. I would strongly recommend talking to an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible and certainly before filing any paperwork or attempting to enter the U.S.

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