Wife entered US on Immigrant Visa Nov 22. Wants to travel back to India before Green Card is in hand


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1. I am a GC holder. Wife entered US on Nov 22 on IMMIGRANT VISA. Her physical Green card is "in Processing" and not in our hands as of Dec 22

2. She wants to travel back for work purposes in Jan 23 and will reenter US in 5 months

3. After that she wants to go back again in about 2-3 weeks and reenter again for the 2nd time in <=6 months


1. Can she travel back without GC

2. If yes, do we need to apply for I-131 (AP) now? Or can we do it after she re-enters US the first time in @ 5 months

3. What do we need to maintain resident status given above?


- Yogesh



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1. Yes. She immediately became a US permanent resident (i.e. green card holder) the moment she entered the US with her immigrant visa. The fact that she hasn't received the plastic card doesn't change that. Upon entry, her immigrant visa automatically turned into an I-551 (equivalent to a plastic green card, which is also an I-551) until 1 year after her entry. So she can use this immigrant-visa-turned-I-551 for any purpose that she can use a plastic green card for, including work and re-entry to the US, until 1 year after her initial entry.

2. Advance Parole is only for people who are not permanent residents. She is a permanent resident, and cannot get Advance Parole. You may be thinking of a Re-entry Permit, which is for permanent residents to return to the US after an absence of more than 1 year. She does not need a Re-entry Permit for an absence of 5 months.

3. What constitutes evidence of maintaining residence is subjective. But generally, she should make sure to file US tax returns every year, reporting her worldwide income. She should maintain access to a home in the US. She can get a driver's license, library card, etc. at her home address in the US. She should preferably have family who are staying in the US. She should have plans for when her presence abroad will end. But for an absence of less than 6 months, abandonment of residence isn't really an issue, unless she repeats such absences often.

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