Q. My father is a permanent resident. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted him a reentry permit and he traveled back to the Dominican Republic, his place of birth. Now he wants to stay there. I am worried he will lose his permanent residence status. He is 69 years old, and though his two-year reentry permit will expire in August, he does not want to come back to the United States. He says he may visit us in New York, but he has no present plans to live in the United States. Some people have suggested he get a visitor’s visa. What’s your advice? - M.A.L., Manhattan
A. If your father does not return before his USCIS advanced parole document expires, his green card will not be valid for reentry. He has a couple of choices.
One possibility is to come back to the United States and apply for a new reentry permit before his current permit expires. He cannot apply for that permit from abroad. Even with the permit, if he continues to come to the United States only once every two years, at some point an immigration inspector may claim he abandoned his U.S. residence and try to deny him readmission.
That is why many older immigrants get U.S. citizenship before retiring abroad. That way they have a life-long right to come back to the United States.
If your father decides to stay abroad and he loses his green card status, he should try to get a visitor’s visa. That makes sense if he wants to spend time here only occasionally. Of course, unlike applications for permanent residence, a consular officer has great discretion whether to approve a visitor’s visa application, so I cannot guarantee that he will get one.
Permanent residence appeal
Q. My employer petitioned for me for permanent residence, but the USCIS denied the petition. My employer appealed. If we win the appeal, must I file a new adjustment of status application? My employer filed for me before April 30, 2001. I know that means that I qualify to interview here for permanent residence. I filed an adjustment of status application, but the USCIS denied it when it denied my employer’s petition.
A. Typically, when the USCIS denies a petition, it also denies an adjustment of status application based on that petition. If your employer wins the appeal, the agency should reconsider your adjustment of status application and grant you permanent residence without prompting by you or your employer.
Still, if you are fortunate enough to win your appeal, write to the USCIS asking for reconsideration. If the USCIS does not act on its own and your prompting does not work, you will have to file a new application and pay new fees.
Baby girl is a citizen
Q. How does our newborn affect my situation? I came here in H-1B professional temporary worker status. My wife accompanied me in H-4 status for the spouse of an H-1B. Last year, my employer advised me to start the green card application process. My wife just gave birth to a baby girl. Must I still apply for permanent residence through my employer?
- Mark, New York
A. Congratulations on the birth of your child. She is a U.S. citizen, but that won’t help you get permanent residence anytime soon. For you to qualify for permanent residence through a U.S. citizen child, the child must be at least age 21.
Allan Wernick is a lawyer and chair of the City University of New York Citizenship and Immigration Project. He is the author of “U.S. Immigration and Citizenship - Your Complete Guide, Revised 4th Edition.” Send questions and comments to Allan Wernick, Daily News, 450 West 33rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10001. Professor Wernick’s web site is www.allanwernick.com.
Allan Wernick’s Immigration column is reprinted from the Thursday, May 29 editions of the New York Daily News.