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Can I travel outside the US while waiting for my green card?

Seattle, WA |

I am a Canadian citizen who will be in the US while waiting for processing of my Green Card (my daughter is my sponsor). I've heard that I should not travel outside the US and back again during this time. I've also heard that I could purchase a travel permit for $350 that would allow this travel. Please confirm?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

Yes you will need to get a travel permit (Form I-131). You will not have to purchase it if it is filed concurrently with your I-130/I-485 application. You or your daughter may want to work with an immigration attorney as immigration law can be quite complicated and small mistakse can sometimes lead to delays or denials. An attorney can help prevent these or deal with them if they do occur.

Andre Olivie, Esq.
Seattle Immigration Lawyer
206-724-1940

Asker

Posted

Thank you! From the date of GC application, how long until the travel permit is issued?

Andre R. Olivie

Andre R. Olivie

Posted

It takes about 3 months.

Andre R. Olivie

Andre R. Olivie

Posted

Also, I realize the irony with the typo in the word "mistakes" ! :-)

Asker

Posted

I noticed that too, how droll! I have one further question if you don't mind. Can my daughter travel outside the US while she is awaiting her naturalized citizen status? She will be applying for that next week, and we understand it can take 5-6 months. Thanks so much.

Posted

Anyone applying for travel documents likely will get them since USCIS only check whether the applicants meet the requirements stated on the form. USCIS does not check whether the applicants would be not admitted back into the US.

For some applicants of adjustment of status, traveling outside the US, even with travel documents, may result in not being admitted back into the US. For example, applicants who accumulated enough unlawful presence in the US are not admissible. Once those applicants leave the US, even with pending petitions for adjustment of status, the applicants would not be admitted back into the US.

You should review with your attorney whether you have any ground that would render you inadmissible. Some grounds, such as unlawful presence and working without authorization, are generally not held against immediate relatives of US citizens as long as the applicants do not leave the US before being granted legal permanent residency.