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Turbota

Leaving the US after arriving on an IR-1 visa

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I want to start by saying that I am a US citizen living in the Philippines with my Filipina wife who has never been to the US before. We have been married for a little more than 2 years and I am here on a permanent residence visa (13a). Because we both live here and I am a permanent resident of the Philippines, I can use the Direct Consular Filing (DCF) through the US Embassy in Manila for my wifes IR-1 Immigration Visa to the US.

To be honest, I spent a boat-load of money on a new house here in an up-scale (for the Philippines) gated community. I really don't want to live forever back in the US. In fact, before I moved to the PI, I sold my house in the US.

Well, since we are married I believe it is only right to allow my wife the opportunity for US citizenship. I really don't want her stuck in the Philippines if I were to die way before her. I hope you can understand that. I know it will take her 3 years to get citizenship once we go to the US ... but it is my plan to move back to the Philippines after the 3 year period.

Here is a copy and paste I got somewhere of the rules as far as leaving the US after being admitted in on an immigrant visa.

"Traveling Outside of the United States:

The law requires that applicants for naturalization (US citizen) must have resided continuously in the United States for 3 years.

Applicants are also generally required to have been physically present in the United States for at least half of that 3 year period of time.

Applicants should not remain out of the country for more than 6 months at a time".

_________________________________________________

I read words like "Generally Required" and "Should Not".

When I was in the military, we only used words like "Are Required" and "Will Not". I guess words like that are just too "final and non-negotiable" for the folks in Immigration.

Anyway, does anyone here know of any IR-1 immigrant that has been kicked out of the US as long as they didn't stay out of the US for a day over that 6 month requirement? Is it the same requirement for everyone, or are the rules interpreted differently on a case by case basis (one person gets special treatment and the other gets kicked out because there "not serious" about living in the US)

I can follow these rules by having my wife and I leave the US for lets say only 5 months at a time. Then coming back to the US for the additional 7 months (making up the 1 year time period) ... And then doing the same thing for the other 2 years. That certainly follows there guidlines.

I would hope that these rules are "black and white" ... You stay out of the country for more than 6 months at a time and loose your Immigrant status, or you keep it as long as your not gone for more than 6 months at a time .. and remain in the US for a least 1/2 of that 3 year period of time.

Thank's for your input.

.

Edited by Turbota

Naturalization (3-year marriage rule)

07 / 08 / 14 .. ..N-400 Application Sent
07 / 21 / 14
.. ..Case Acceptance Letter Received

07 / 26 / 14 .. ..Biometrics Notification Letter Received

08 / 06 / 14 .. ..Biometrics Complete
09 / 09 / 14 .. . .Interview Notification Letter Received

10 / 14 / 14 .. ..Interview Complete .(requested additional documentation)
11 / 04 / 14
.. ..Supervisory Review of Case

11 / 28 / 14 .. . Oath Ceremony Letter Received

12 / 05 / 14 . . . Oath Ceremony Complete ... New US Citizen !

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If your on a LPR - the rules state that any trips outside the US over 1 year requires a re-entry permit (to avoid losing GC).

Going back and forth to "make" the time limit is not recommended - if CBP detects a pattern, then they could pull the GC, since your not really being an LPR...

All this is covered here:

Abandoning Permanent Resident Status

You may be found to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you:

  • Move to another country intending to live there permanently
  • Remain outside of the United States for more than 1 year without obtaining a reentry permit or returning resident visa. However, in determining whether your status has been abandoned, any length of absence from the United States may be considered, even if less than 1 year
  • Remain outside of the United States for more than 2 years after issuance of a reentry permit without obtaining a returning resident visa. However, in determining whether your status has been abandoned any length of absence from the United States may be considered, even if less than 1 year
  • Fail to file income tax returns while living outside of the United States for any period
  • Declare yourself a "nonimmigrant" on your tax returns

(From what you posted - you met the first point (sold US house, have house in the PI) - the gotchas are the determination of it's abandoned (absence).

The part your reading is to determine if you can become an USC. The rules change if your a member of the armed forces, working, etc... - each case has it's own set of rules.

Going back and forth as you plan could affect her becoming an USC in 3 years. (Continuous presence may be disrupted)

So you would have to be careful to respect the timing.

In my travels on the net, I've come across a few cases where GCs were forfeited (or where in the process of being so), and where USC wasn't granted because of not following the rules. (they seem to be sticklers for time)


My Advice is usually based on "Worst Case Scenario" and what is written in the rules/laws/instructions. That is the way I roll... -Protect your Status - file before your I-94 expires.

WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be. Read the Adjudicator's Field Manual from USCIS

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Thank's for the input sir.

I am retired US military and retired US Fed Civil Service. As a military pilot, you either follow the letter of the law or your in violation of same. The right to citizenship should follow the letter of the law too ... If you stay out of the US for more than 1 day past 6 months (while you are on that 3 year period of probation) ... you loose everything. Stay 1 day less than 6 months at a time, and you loose nothing. Basically following a black and white set of rules laid down by Immigrations. Your either in violation of immigration laws or your not.

I get the feeling there are no black and white (go no-go if you will) set of rules about any of this. It's all "perception" with the guy handling your particular immigration case.

Ron,


Naturalization (3-year marriage rule)

07 / 08 / 14 .. ..N-400 Application Sent
07 / 21 / 14
.. ..Case Acceptance Letter Received

07 / 26 / 14 .. ..Biometrics Notification Letter Received

08 / 06 / 14 .. ..Biometrics Complete
09 / 09 / 14 .. . .Interview Notification Letter Received

10 / 14 / 14 .. ..Interview Complete .(requested additional documentation)
11 / 04 / 14
.. ..Supervisory Review of Case

11 / 28 / 14 .. . Oath Ceremony Letter Received

12 / 05 / 14 . . . Oath Ceremony Complete ... New US Citizen !

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Thank's for the input sir.

I am retired US military and retired US Fed Civil Service. As a military pilot, you either follow the letter of the law or your in violation of same. The right to citizenship should follow the letter of the law too ... If you stay out of the US for more than 1 day past 6 months (while you are on that 3 year period of probation) ... you loose everything. Stay 1 day less than 6 months at a time, and you loose nothing. Basically following a black and white set of rules laid down by Immigrations. Your either in violation of immigration laws or your not.

I get the feeling there are no black and white (go no-go if you will) set of rules about any of this. It's all "perception" with the guy handling your particular immigration case.

Ron,

I think your confusing USC (becoming of) with LPR (status) - they are two different critters.

There are rules for the LPR state you have to maintain your LPR by following the LPR rules, one of them is not to abandon your LPR, outlined above.

The rules for becoming an USC consider continuous residence, physical presence, marriage to USC, and other requirements. (this is where going out of the US for periods of time becomes sticky)

So you have to maintain two different sets of rules, in order to keep LPR status and become an USC in the timeframe you wish. (read this for USC)

Like I said, they seem to be very strict on "timing".

For example, if you send in your Removal of conditions 91 days before your card expires, not 90, they will reject it, even if they get it after the 90 days. (goes by the date on the document.) - pretty uptight. (this happened to someone here)

Edited by Bobby+Umit

My Advice is usually based on "Worst Case Scenario" and what is written in the rules/laws/instructions. That is the way I roll... -Protect your Status - file before your I-94 expires.

WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be. Read the Adjudicator's Field Manual from USCIS

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Filed: Other Country: China
Timeline

You've got good information so far. In short, Citizenship eligibility is available after three years of permanent resident status. The general idea of "permanent resident" needs to be observed. There's no hard and fast minimums you can set up a schedule to meet. The N400 citizenship application DOES require one to list all trips outside the USA including the number of days. If you want to give your wife a chance at US Citizenship, plan on making the USA your primary residence for at least three years, including spending most of your time here.


Facts are cheap...knowing how to use them is precious...
Understanding the big picture is priceless. Anonymous

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