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How restricted are EB-5 visa holders in terms of traveling abroad?

We recently received our EB-5 visa and we are now planning our first visit to the United States. Some text on the visa stamp reads “upon endorsement serves as temporary I-551 evidencing permanent residence for 1 year." We are planning to visit the U.S. for only three weeks. Then, we will return to Saudi Arabia to resume our jobs and have our kids attend school. Later, in June 2018, we plan to move to United States permanently. Is it ok to visit for only three weeks and return to Saudi without any Advance Parole process? Or would our Green Cards be processed without any issue? Please advise. Thanks!

Answers

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    Answered on

    A permanent resident of the United States (whether conditional or not) must maintain the intention to permanently reside in the United States. If you still have jobs and your kids have school abroad, you should obtain reentry permits that will allow you to remain outside the United States for up to two years (or until your condition expires, whichever is sooner). You must be physically present in the United States when you file the applications for reentry permits and you must attend an ASC biometrics appointment (digital fingerprint and photo) while in the United States. The ASC appointment takes place about three weeks or longer after you file, so you should take that into account when planning travel. Without a reentry permit, a lawful permanent resident should not remain outside the United States for more than 180 days on any single trip (and should maintain the intention to reside permanently here).

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    Answered on

    When you enter the United States under the I-551, you are a lawful permanent resident. You cannot depart the United States for extended periods of time or your status could be deemed abandoned. It is important that you discuss your situation with an experienced EB-5 Immigration Attorney before you travel.

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    Answered on

    Best to apply for a reentry permits before leaving the U.S.

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    Answered on

    Immigrating requires you to live and work in the U.S. Any absence of 6 months or longer breaks the continuity of your residence and impacts eligibility for citizenship should you apply for it later. Now we find even absences of 3 months are suspicious so you need to show you are taking steps to finish your affairs abroad. If you planning to spend more than 50% of the time abroad in the next 1-2 years, you need to file a reentry permit and get advance permission to be out.

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    Answered on

    If you have been issued your immigrant visa under the EB-5 Regional Center program and you are admitted to the United States and you have received your visa stamp with your temporary I-551 evidencing your Permanent Residency then, after three weeks, there would be no problem with your returning to Saudi Arabia to temporarily resume your jobs and have your children attend school. This is often necessary for people to wrap up their existing obligations. If at all possible, you and each family member should return to the United States within 6 months and, remember, when you do return you are not visiting, you are returning to your permanent home of residence. If you return in June of 2018, that may be okay even though the trip would be longer than 6 months, but you will have the burden of proof to show you did not intend to abandon your residency.

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    Answered on

    If you have permanent residence in the U.S., you are required to reside in the U.S. (EB-5 is not visitor visa.) If you are not quite ready to permanently reside in the U.S., you should obtain re-entry permits. In this way, you preserve your residency while you complete whatever you are doing abroad, prior to permanently settling in the U.S.

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    Answered on

    Once your passport is endorsed with proof of your permanent resident stamp upon entry on an Immigrant Visa, you can travel out of the U.S. Advance Parole is not relevant anymore, as you will be a resident. Remember: you are expected to be a permanent resident of the U.S. and, although technically you may stay out of the U.S. for up to 12 months while a resident, it is still possible that CBP may question whether you have a permanent residence outside the U.S. and in certain cases seek to have a judge adjudicate whether you have abandoned your U.S. residency.

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    Answered on

    Your green cards will be produced and mailed to the U.S. address you provided as your home address when you enter the U.S. on the EB-5 Immigrant visa stamp. When next you travel after the issuance of the Card, you should present that for entry. Also, to be on the safe side (especially if you will be staying abroad for more than 6 months at a time), after you enter the U.S., you and your family should file for a reentry permit declaring your lawful permanent resident intent in the U.S. while you will be spending extended time abroad. This will prevent hassles at immigration when returning.

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    Answered on

    There are no restrictions in entering the US and you can enter anytime. No advance parole is needed.

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    Answered on

    I would strongly recommend that, upon arrival in the USA, you apply for reentry permits and stay here a few weeks until you get called in for fingerprints, etc. The USCIS and CBP could argue that you never actually took up residence in the USA. Merely arriving here and then leaving does not establish residence. Another alternative would be to return to the consulate that issued your visas and ask them to extend the validity for a longer period.

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    Answered on

    A permanent resident can leave for up to six months. More than that, one would risk a loss of residency due to abandonment. You can apply for a reentry permit to avoid that. Talk to me once you get here and we can help.

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