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Being out of the country for 6 months during I-751 filing

Ameristralian
12-02-10, 02:48 AM
My husband is applying for removal of conditions on his green card this month. We currently live in Australia, and will be here until June 2011. We are aware he will have to go back to the states for his biometrics and possible an interview, neither of which are we concerned about.

I know that you can only be out of the country for 6 months at a time on your green card. We currently have a travel document that will be expiring in March 2011. My question is when does the 6 months start when we have already been in Oz? Does it start from when his current green card expires and the temporary card takes over, from the time we get the temporary green card while the condition removal is being reviewed, or from the time he steps onto the plane to come back to Oz from his biometrics appointment? Will it be okay for his green card to expire in March, and us not return until June? Also, should he expect to have any problems coming back to Oz from his biometics appointment assuming he waits until he has the temp card that he needs if the appointment is after the expiration of his current card?

Raven
12-02-10, 08:48 AM
My husband is applying for removal of conditions on his green card this month. We currently live in Australia, and will be here until June 2011. We are aware he will have to go back to the states for his biometrics and possible an interview, neither of which are we concerned about.

I know that you can only be out of the country for 6 months at a time on your green card. We currently have a travel document that will be expiring in March 2011. My question is when does the 6 months start when we have already been in Oz? Does it start from when his current green card expires and the temporary card takes over, from the time we get the temporary green card while the condition removal is being reviewed, or from the time he steps onto the plane to come back to Oz from his biometrics appointment? Will it be okay for his green card to expire in March, and us not return until June? Also, should he expect to have any problems coming back to Oz from his biometics appointment assuming he waits until he has the temp card that he needs if the appointment is after the expiration of his current card?

You misunderstand some basic concepts. A PR most certainly can be out of the country for more than 6 months at a time. What a PR cannot do is take up permanent residence outside the USA, yet you say that you and your husband are now living in Australia.

You do not provide enough information to understand the situation, but it doesn't sound good if the travel document expires in March but your husband will not return until June. What kind of travel document is it? And what are your current and long range plans? You and your husband may need to be consulting with an immigration attorney who has experience with abandonment of status issues, as it's a very subjective area.

Also, what do you mean by "temp card". (Note that all green cards are temporary - they are only good for a period of 10 years.)

Noorah101
12-02-10, 02:10 PM
It's tricky to try to remove conditions while overseas. The I-751 needs to filed only within that 90-day window just prior to his 2-year card expiration. You need to have a stable US mailing address, and someone checking that mailbox to let you know of any receipts, RFEs, and biometrics appointment. He needs to be back in the USA before his 2-year card expires, and needs to stay in the USA long enough to get biometrics done and receive the 1-year extension letter so that he can continue to travel outside the USA.

You mention a travel document, I assume it's a re-entry permit? If so, that allows one to stay outside the USA for up to 2 years and helps with demonstrating that one does not intend to abandon PR status. However, the re-entry permit expires when the 2-year green card expires (even if the re-entry permit has a later validity date). So if he is outside the USA when his 2-year green card expires, he can no longer use that re-entry permit to travel back to the USA.

As others mentioned, he might have already been deemed to have abandoned his PR status simply by moving overseas. It's definitely a grey area, and a serious one at that.

Rene

Ameristralian
12-02-10, 02:40 PM
The temp card I was referring to is the extension letter allowing you to work and travel during the time the 10 yr green card is processing.

He hasn't abandoned PR status. We are on a working holiday in Australia...we still have a permanent American address with someone checking the mail, an American checking, savings, and credit card in both names in the states.

Yes, the travel document was the re-entry permit. Perhaps I provided too much information. I am really only interested in having my original questions answered. My question is when would the 6-month time begin? I am assuming it begins from the time he leaves the country from his biometrics appointment, but I am not sure.

Raven
12-02-10, 03:13 PM
The temp card I was referring to is the extension letter allowing you to work and travel during the time the 10 yr green card is processing.

He hasn't abandoned PR status. We are on a working holiday in Australia...we still have a permanent American address with someone checking the mail, an American checking, savings, and credit card in both names in the states.

Yes, the travel document was the re-entry permit. Perhaps I provided too much information.
No you provided too little information. Thanks for adding some pertinent information.

I am really only interested in having my original questions answered. My question is when would the 6-month time begin?
Your original question was answered - there is no "6-month time".

BTW - when the the USA open a consulate in Nashville? If there is one there it would be the only one in the USA, and busniness must be very slow. :yes:

Ameristralian
12-02-10, 04:12 PM
Thanks Raven, but you are incorrect. There is a 6 month time limit to be out of the country without a re-entry permit, so I will wait for other answers.

Noorah101
12-02-10, 04:23 PM
Thanks Raven, but you are incorrect. There is a 6 month time limit to be out of the country without a re-entry permit, so I will wait for other answers.

For what it's worth, I agree with Raven. There is no 6-month time limit. An alien can be outside the USA for more than 6 months without abandoning PR status.

If you want to believe there is a 6-month time limit, I would say the clock starts ticking at each exit of the USA.

Rene

Ameristralian
12-02-10, 04:28 PM
I choose to believe it because I have been personally told by the USCIS that in order to leave the country for a period of more than 6 months, my husband will need a re-entry permit. It has nothing to do with whether he is abandoning status, it has to do with the ability to get back into the country. I will call them with my question instead. It seems that it is a waste of time to post in such a forum where people think they are experts, but aren't.

Noorah101
12-02-10, 05:16 PM
OK, no problem. I suppose it won't do any good for us to tell you that you can't rely on USCIS' answers, either. Or any other government agency, for that matter. If you want a true legal answer, consult with an immigration attorney.

Rene

Noorah101
12-02-10, 05:21 PM
I guess your main question is when does the clock start ticking on counting 6 months out of the USA, right? The clock starts ticking as soon as he leaves the USA.

Rene

Raven
12-03-10, 10:10 AM
I choose to believe it because I have been personally told by the USCIS that in order to leave the country for a period of more than 6 months, my husband will need a re-entry permit. It has nothing to do with whether he is abandoning status, it has to do with the ability to get back into the country. I will call them with my question instead. It seems that it is a waste of time to post in such a forum where people think they are experts, but aren't.
Have you by any chance read the USCIS instructions for applying for a re-entry permit? The part where it's written "If you stay outside the United States for less than 1 year, you are not required to apply for a Reentry Permit. You may reenter the United States on your Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)."

Raven
12-03-10, 10:32 AM
I choose to believe it because I have been personally told by the USCIS that in order to leave the country for a period of more than 6 months, my husband will need a re-entry permit. It has nothing to do with whether he is abandoning status, it has to do with the ability to get back into the country. I will call them with my question instead. It seems that it is a waste of time to post in such a forum where people think they are experts, but aren't.
Have you by any chance read the USCIS instructions for applying for a re-entry permit? The part where it's written "If you stay outside the United States for less than 1 year, you are not required to apply for a Reentry Permit. You may reenter the United States on your Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)."

Or, have you read the USCIS 'How Do I' document How Do I ... Get a Reentry Permit, which frequently repeats that a Reentry Permit is required for reentry for absences of 1 year or more. (And where it also cautions, "Your U.S. permanent residence may be considered as abandoned for absences shorter than 1 year if you take up residence in another country."

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