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What should I do if I am charged an entry fee at the border as a conditional green card holder?

I am an EB-5 investor with a conditional green card. I was away from the U.S. for a few months as I studied abroad. When I tried to enter the U.S. border again, the CBP officer told me to apply for a re-entry permit and charged me a $585 entry fee to apply for visa/passport waiver. What is the next step? Can I travel abroad and come back to the U.S. for the biometrics when I get a notice from USCIS?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is not clear from the facts what happened. If you plan to be outside the U.S. for longer than one year, you must apply for a re-entry permit and continue to maintain ties to the U.S. You file for a re-entry permit with USCIS, not a CBP officer. You do not need a re-entry permit if you are outside the U.S. for a few months.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    The fee you paid at border is the basic U.S. entry waiver cost of $585. This is the fee that you must submit at the border in order to have your application accepted. The rule is the same for all conditional green card holders. Anyone away from the United States for more than 180 days needs to file for the re-entry permit.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have a conditional lawful permanent resident card, and you were only out of the U.S. for a few months, it should not have been necessary for you to apply for a U.S. re-entry permit or a visa waiver. Generally speaking, unless there are some special circumstances, if one has his conditional permanent resident card, you are free to travel abroad and return to the United States. However, you also indicated that you need to return to the U.S. for biometrics. As a conditional lawful permanent resident, that would not be necessary any longer. It appears to me that you may have actually left the U.S. without an advance parole and the CBP officer was generous in allowing your re-entry by allowing you to apply for a visa waiver, and thus the $585 filing fee.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If going to be abroad longer than 180 days as a conditional resident you need to be sure to file for a re-entry permit on U.S. soil and you will need to be fingerprinted.

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    Jon Eric Garde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you don't have documentation qualifying you to return and be admitted, but the USCIS records show you to be eligible, you file a waiver to waive the requirement that you carry evidence of eligibility for admission, such a visa in a passport. Alternatively, if you have such documentation, go back home and return to the U.S. with it.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It appeared that you arrived without your passport or proof of your visa: $585 would be the cost to waive those omissions. The cost of a re-entry permit is $660, for which you would definitely need to have biometrics. You may not have understood the officer's instructions.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is unlikely the officer charged you. That is the standard fee for a re-entry permit but it is not filed with a CBP officer.

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