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Hi VJers,

Here is the situation. My wife's son, who holds a conditional green card, has been continuing his university education in Russia and learning English and comes home to us on his semester break and in the summer. On his recent arrival for semester break, the custom's officer told him that they would confiscate his green card the next time he enters the USA. My stepson's English is not great, and the custom's officer didn't give an explanation, but I can only conclude that this is because he is spending more time outside of the country than inside. The officer did tell my stepson that he needed to go to the immigration office regarding this. I assume the reason would be to apply for a re-entry permit, although he has never been away more than 6 months. I see that the re-entry permit requires biometrics. He is here for just 10 days. He may be able to do a walk-in biometric, but I am not sure that is possible before he has even applied for the permit (or is in the computer system as having applied). Any ideas on what this is about or what might be done? He is currently 3.5 years into his university educations in Russia, has 10 more months of rent due on his apartment there, and most of his stuff is there, etc . . . . I understand that one of the choices is for him to abandon his education and apartment, and not return to Russia. Are there any other choices? Maybe others have experienced this custom's issue.

Much thanks to all who respond,

Sincerely,

Tom

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I'm sorry, but it seems the Immigration Officer was correct, clearly he is spending more time in Russia than in the US, even if he is not away more than 6 consecutive months.

You might have some difficult decisions to make, one of them is for him to run the risk of having his green card taken away.

good luck


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You need to look for Post by Gary and Alla. They have been through a son going to school in Russia, and would be a good source of information for you.

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Going to school is permissible, as he is not living there but going to school. Many members do this as it is more cost effective, but as I understand it you do need to do a few things. Hopefully you can find some post from Gary and Alla or Gary finds this thread to help you out.


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Met Playing Everquest in 2005
Engaged 9-15-2006
K-1 & 4 K-2'S
Filed 05-09-07
Interview 03-12-08
Visa received 04-21-08
Entry 05-06-08
Married 06-21-08
AOS X5
Filed 07-08-08
Cards Received01-22-09
Roc X5
Filed 10-17-10
Cards Received02-22-11
Citizenship
Filed 10-17-11
Interview 01-12-12
Oath 06-29-12

Citizenship for older 2 boys

Filed 03/08/2014

NOA/fee waiver 03/19/2014

Biometrics 04/15/14

Interview 05/29/14

In line for Oath 06/20/14

Oath 09/19/2014 We are all done! All USC no more USCIS

 

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He needs the re-entry permit. There is no way around it. If he has obtained this before he started staying out for school, he would not be having this issue... he may have to stay long enough to do his bio, for the rentry permit. He can pick up the permit at the consular in Russia. He must apply and do bio here stateside.

Alla and Gary can't change the rules nor procedures.

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He needs the re-entry permit. There is no way around it. If he has obtained this before he started staying out for school, he would not be having this issue... he may have to stay long enough to do his bio, for the rentry permit. He can pick up the permit at the consular in Russia. He must apply and do bio here stateside.

Alla and Gary can't change the rules nor procedures.

At my stepson's green card interview, we explained our plans for my stepson to finish his degree abroad and were told by the interviewer that it would be fine as long as he didn't stay out of the country for 6 months, so we saw no reason to get a re-entry permit, and he has never been gone 6 months. But I am afraid you are right about the situation. And in reading online, it seems that the re-entry permit is not even a guarantee, although they say it is unusual for someone with a re-entry permit to be denied entry. And, as I understand it, the re-entry permit allows multiple re-entries. I can't imagine having to apply for a re-entry permit every time he is coming to the USA.

I think that tomorrow I will call customs at our airport here is Detroit, and see if we can get a meeting with someone and talk to them about unflagging my stepson so he can re-enter one more time for his biometrics. Maybe they will have some sympathy for our situation as it is not so strange for an American to go to a university in another country, especially one that they have already been going to before they received their green card. I guess the worst case is he misses a semester of school, loses his tuition money, and I pay rent on an apartment that he won't need until the fall.

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At my stepson's green card interview, we explained our plans for my stepson to finish his degree abroad and were told by the interviewer that it would be fine as long as he didn't stay out of the country for 6 months, so we saw no reason to get a re-entry permit, and he has never been gone 6 months. But I am afraid you are right about the situation. And in reading online, it seems that the re-entry permit is not even a guarantee, although they say it is unusual for someone with a re-entry permit to be denied entry. And, as I understand it, the re-entry permit allows multiple re-entries. I can't imagine having to apply for a re-entry permit every time he is coming to the USA.

I think that tomorrow I will call customs at our airport here is Detroit, and see if we can get a meeting with someone and talk to them about unflagging my stepson so he can re-enter one more time for his biometrics. Maybe they will have some sympathy for our situation as it is not so strange for an American to go to a university in another country, especially one that they have already been going to before they received their green card. I guess the worst case is he misses a semester of school, loses his tuition money, and I pay rent on an apartment that he won't need until the fall.

Why would he have to miss a whole semester, file the paperwork today, within 2 weeks receive letter for bio appt, do an early walk in, them leave country and pick up reentry permit in Russia. You are making it more complicated tahn it really is.

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Why would he have to miss a whole semester, file the paperwork today, within 2 weeks receive letter for bio appt, do an early walk in, them leave country and pick up reentry permit in Russia. You are making it more complicated tahn it really is.

Any thoughts reqarding whether I should describe the current custom's problem on the re-entry permit application, or should I simply act as if

there is no problem and that we are simply applying because my stepson is continuing his university education abroad? Normally, one applies for

a re-entry permit if they will be gone over a year. This would not be the situation for a student attending school overseas. Could they deny

the request if they think it is unnecessary simply for a student? Or would mentioning the custom's problem be a possible reason to deny the permit

since they may think he should have gotten one earlier before the problem hit?

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Hi VJers,

Here is the situation. My wife's son, who holds a conditional green card, has been continuing his university education in Russia and learning English and comes home to us on his semester break and in the summer. On his recent arrival for semester break, the custom's officer told him that they would confiscate his green card the next time he enters the USA. My stepson's English is not great, and the custom's officer didn't give an explanation, but I can only conclude that this is because he is spending more time outside of the country than inside. The officer did tell my stepson that he needed to go to the immigration office regarding this. I assume the reason would be to apply for a re-entry permit, although he has never been away more than 6 months. I see that the re-entry permit requires biometrics. He is here for just 10 days. He may be able to do a walk-in biometric, but I am not sure that is possible before he has even applied for the permit (or is in the computer system as having applied). Any ideas on what this is about or what might be done? He is currently 3.5 years into his university educations in Russia, has 10 more months of rent due on his apartment there, and most of his stuff is there, etc . . . . I understand that one of the choices is for him to abandon his education and apartment, and not return to Russia. Are there any other choices? Maybe others have experienced this custom's issue.

Much thanks to all who respond,

Sincerely,

Tom

Make an infopass appointment and ask them about an emergency AP (reentry permit) They can do one and send it overseas if needed so he can leave soon.

Sergey speaks excellent English, almost without an accent, so he has no trouble communicationg with CBP officers. Could be an issue? They need to understand from HIM why he is out of the country, maybe he cannot get that across to them? That said, this is something that needs planning and preparation, like anything else for an LPR. Each time Sergey returned he had the following documentation with him to show he had maintained his US residency.

1. Vermont Drivers License

2. Recent bank statements from Vermont bank, showing activity (it is how we sent him money)

3. Most recent tax return with w-2. (Sergey always had a summer/winter break job)

4. SSS (draft) registration card. A registration card is optional...get him one!

5. Registration at his Russian school AS A USA RESIDENT showing his address in Vermont as his HOME ADDRESS...translated. This is VERY important. He cannot be going to school there claiming to be a resident of another country. YES it means we paid foreign student tuition. It was still cheaper than an education here and a better institutuion. Since he is Ukrainian, not Russian, we would have paid foreign student tuition anyway. This always concerns me when LPRs attend school in their HOME country as often they are claiming to be residents of that country to get free or very low price tuition. Claiming to be a resident of another country will cause you to lose US residency. You should not only NOT claim to be a resident of another country but document that you ARE claiming to be a US resident while overseas. This is one of those things where you need to not only comply, but go out of your way to PROVE you are complying.

6. US issued credit card

7. US issued debit card (he got both of these from his credit union here)

8. Updated USCIS notices (if any) showing progress of his status, such as his receipt for application of Removal of Conditions

9. Copy of an AR-11 from 2010 showing he reported his change of address when we moved

He kept this all in a folder. Before he returned each time I made sure it was all updated, he printed 3 new bank statements online, I emailed him a recent tax return if needed (I was doing his returns for him online) and either skyped or called him a week before and made sure he had everything. Hand over this folder WITH his passport and green card when he arrives at POE. Sergey NEVER had a question asked, except stuff like what school he went to and if they had sports teams and other BS. He did this for four years of his 5 year Master's program (first year was before he became a US resident)

The trick to this is maintaining US residency. You have to show you are doing all you can to maintain US residency. It also means that he spends as much time in the US as possible, which means when he had winter break he returned here the day after his last class and returned the day before his first class. He didn't like that. So what? If he has a 2 month summer break, he is back in the US for 2 months. His winter break was about a month and was later than our universities take, usually all of January. He was back for a month and even worked during that time. (he has a job as a night stocker at the grocery store down the street and they are always short handed. They keep him as an "employee" on the books and he just works when he is here, they never object to another guy working at night and they pay him an extra $2 per hour to work nights)

Any thoughts reqarding whether I should describe the current custom's problem on the re-entry permit application, or should I simply act as if

there is no problem and that we are simply applying because my stepson is continuing his university education abroad? Normally, one applies for

a re-entry permit if they will be gone over a year. This would not be the situation for a student attending school overseas. Could they deny

the request if they think it is unnecessary simply for a student? Or would mentioning the custom's problem be a possible reason to deny the permit

since they may think he should have gotten one earlier before the problem hit?

Make an infopass and discuss it with USCIS, they can advise and do emergency AP if needed and will advise you what to answer on the forms


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Any thoughts reqarding whether I should describe the current custom's problem on the re-entry permit application, or should I simply act as if

there is no problem and that we are simply applying because my stepson is continuing his university education abroad? Normally, one applies for

a re-entry permit if they will be gone over a year. This would not be the situation for a student attending school overseas. Could they deny

the request if they think it is unnecessary simply for a student? Or would mentioning the custom's problem be a possible reason to deny the permit

since they may think he should have gotten one earlier before the problem hit?

Your stepson's green card has been tagged, it seems unlikely that an immigration officer will change that based in your good words.

A reentry permit is not just for being outside the US for a year. The basic rule is that any significant time outside the US is considered in the abandonment of a green card. The CBP officer looks at the entire travel history. The reentry permit is appropriate for anyone who is concerned about spending time outside the US.

There's no reason to deny the reentry permit. This is a non issue. Don't freak yourself out by making it an issue. I've never heard if a reentry permit being denied when the applicant attends the biometrics meeting. The chief reason for a denial would be to miss the biometric appointment.

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I'm sorry, but it seems the Immigration Officer was correct, clearly he is spending more time in Russia than in the US, even if he is not away more than 6 consecutive months.

You might have some difficult decisions to make, one of them is for him to run the risk of having his green card taken away.

good luck

CBP officer is uninformed, not correct. It is entirely possible for an LPR to attend school outside the US. Unfortuantely uninformed people cause a lot of trouble and the LPR needs to be armed against that.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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FYI: state issued ID will also work in lieu of a drivers license AND Sergey carried a copy of his SS card also, forgot that one.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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He needs the re-entry permit. There is no way around it. If he has obtained this before he started staying out for school, he would not be having this issue... he may have to stay long enough to do his bio, for the rentry permit. He can pick up the permit at the consular in Russia. He must apply and do bio here stateside.

Alla and Gary can't change the rules nor procedures.

Sergey never needed one. However, I advise the OP to get one NOT because it will change any rules but because his son has likely been flagged by an uninformed person and needs to be protected.

No rules need changing, the current rules allow what he is doing. It is simply a matter of being able to inform uninformed people that you ARE following the rules and preparing accordingly.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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