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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 101010
Experience:  Private practice in several areas, including immigration
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I have a 10 year card. I have been studying at a university

Customer Question

I have a 10 year green card. I have been studying at a university in Thailand in English since due to my English I was not able to get into a good university here in the US. I come home every summer (studying at U of California Berkeley this summer). When I entered US officer told me that I should get a I-131 since I leave for about 9 months and have done so for several years (now completed my 2nd year at university). I have to go back in August to start my 3rd year. I doesn't look like I have time to get I-131. What should I do?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about your situation. As a lawful permanent resident (i.e. greencard holder), you are expected to reside in the USA. If you leave USA for 6 or more months, USCIS/ICE can assume that you have abandoned your greencard and can have it VOIDED right then and there at the entry point, and not let you in. You would lose your LPR status.

Yes, you can bring a packet showing ties to the USA (permanent residence, bank account, etc), but this is subjective and there is no guarantee that USCIS/ICE will see it as proof enough that you have not abandoned your residence. In the end, this is THEIR decision to make.

You are telling me that you have come home every summer, which means you spend 9 months abroad and 3 months in the USA every year. You are lucky that you have not lost your LPR status already and only received a warning!

The I-131 takes about 90 to 160 days to get processed. There is no formal expediting process. If you do not have time to wait, it is suggested to at least file it and then make an appointment with INFOPASS (here) to explain the situation to a USCIS officer, who may expedite it via informal channels, and (in rare cases) can even grant an I-131 then and there.

Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I need to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I don't think this lawyer practices in this area. He did not tell me that I have a right to a hearing and ONLY a judge can take away my LPR status by issuing a removal order. He gave me less information than what can be found on the internet!

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