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staying outside USA more than a year during (border closed)

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  • staying outside USA more than a year during (border closed)

    my mother is outside the US for 15 months( more than a year)
    and the reason is the borders are closed in the country she is in ,
    so there's flights to get out of it (go to usa)
    but no flights back ! (can't let the kids alone for a long time)
    so she couldn't come to break the 12 months
    now should she just book a flight and come to usa
    or there something she must do in the embassy before ? !

  • #2
    Please keep us posted on your updates. My mother will also be more than 12months out of the country in Jan. As soon as the regular flights resume I would like to bring her to US. The clarification I am seeking out is .. can she just buy a plane ticket and come to US or does she need to apply for reentry permit ?


    • #3
      waterwh .- I am afraid that your mother may have already lost the green card status. For GC holders who want to live over 12 months outside US, they need to apply Form I-131 in advance from within US. Now I understand that Covid situation was unpredictable but flights to US from most countries have been operating since few months now. So the legal argument is that your mom should have already traveled.

      USCIS doesn't consider "Can't leave kids alone" or "Your home country not allowing incoming flights from US" as valid reasons to not follow immigration rules for maintaining Green card status. You may need to consult an immigration attorney for your mom's situation who will be in a better position to guide you legally.

      Last edited by Donald_Trump; 01-04-2021, 05:50 PM.


      • #4
        waterwh and @AnxiousMom: from my family's experience, your mother can potentially just risk it and travel to the States without a re-entry permit or a returning resident visa. My parents were in a similar situation and travelled to the United States after being out of the country for 14 months. The CBP officer at the port of entry didn't ask any questions. The other option (and the one that your local embassy/consulate would recommend) is to apply for a Returning Resident Visa once the consulate reopens. The important point here is that your mother should be able to prove to the CBP officer that the delay in returning to the US was beyond her control and not something that was intended.


        • #5
          I’m in same situation. My Dad’s 12 months will be on Jan 15,2021 and not sure what to do. Flights are open but no vaccines in Pakistan yet and he is 74 yrs old. Can’t take any chances. What are my options?