Reentry For Green Card Holder Outside the U.S. For 2 Years
- Applicants: Ms. Wu
- Country/Region: Taiwan, China
- Case type: I-131, Applying For Re-entry as a Lawful Permanent Resident
- Out of the country for more than 2 years
- Did not apply for travel
- The client was dealing with extreme medical stress, and stress on her infant daughter
- Proving she maintained ties in the U.S.
The immigration process can be necessarily rigid with rules and regulations that stipulate exacting timeframes for things like traveling to other countries. We understand these rules and we understand that we must try to adhere to them. However, life tends to take exact timeframes and toss them straight out of the window. There will be plenty of times even the most rule-following person just can’t meet the requirements of our system through no fault of their own, and Ms. Wu’s situation was one of these times. Ms. Wu is a legal permanent resident of the United States and she has a happy life here. Getting that far in the immigration process can be difficult, and thus people who obtain legal permanent residence work hard to maintain that status. However, unfortunately, Ms. Chen had that status threatened through no fault of her own.
Ms. Wu was pregnant and it was discovered that her unborn daughter had a serious condition that would require nearly immediate emergency surgery. However, due to healthcare costs, Ms. Wu could not afford to have this surgery within the United States, so she immediately set off for Taiwan to save her daughter’s life. It would be an easy decision for anyone to make. However, if a legal permanent resident is to travel away from the United States for long periods, they risk being found to have abandoned their permanent resident status. Usually, this comes into play if a legal permanent resident is gone from the United States for more than a year, but sometimes it can come into play for travel of less than a year. The U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services has a form for long travel occasions for legal permanent residents, but those forms are intended for people who know well ahead of time that they are going to leave the country and know when they are going to be back. A medical situation, by its very nature, has an unknown time length. Complications can turn days into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years. And with the emergency nature of the trip, Ms. Wu could not fill out any forms before having to schedule her immediate departure from the United States. She knew she’d be risking her legal permanent resident status, but with the life of her daughter in the balance, the choice was no choice at all. Because of the extensive, life saving medical attention her daughter required after surgery and birth, Ms. Wu was forced to stay in Taiwan for more than two years. She simply could not come back to the United States because her daughter could not make the trip, and on-going medical costs in the U.S. would have made their life untenable. This was when she sought out Tsang & Associates.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
When she came to us for assistance with her case, we felt very strongly that we would be able to resolve her case successfully. It was clear to us that her case was one where she had done what she had to do, that her status had been threatened through no real fault of her own, and that we could show that she had not abandoned or intended to abandon her status. Caseworkers use several factors to determine whether or not a person should be found to have abandoned their status, including whether a person has maintained family ties, maintained employment in the United States, or filed taxes during their trip abroad.
“We were able to provide her a lot of documentation to prove she intended to come back. Her husband still ran a business here. She still had insurance here. They still had a home here. Her husband’s family was all here. Her family was still here. She had strong ties to the U.S.” – Cathy Hsu, Account Manager
Using this knowledge, we were able to prepare for her a suite of documentation to prove that she had strong ties to the United States. She had maintained a residence here and had filed taxes here despite not being here. She had strong family ties, including a husband that had continued to run a business here. She had even kept up her U.S. medical insurance despite paying for medical costs outside of the country. USCIS wants to be sure that the legal permanent resident always intended to continue living in the United States, and it was clear from the documentation that we were able to provide that Ms. Wu always intended to come back when she could.
Because the team here is so thorough, and we know how the system operates, we were able to make her process for reentry relatively painless, and we helped make her case rather straightforward. USCIS granted her re-entry into the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident without issue. Ms. Wu was allowed to come back to her home with her baby daughter, safe, and unworried about their legal status. She was able to rejoin her husband and their family was once again whole.
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