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Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

Old Sep 19th 2009, 5:44 pm
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Default Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

HI everyone,
I am a USC, hubby has british passport. We applied for a greencard and went to US in April 08 to activate it.

When we entered the US we told the immigration guy that we were not settling in the US at that point as we still had to sell our house but that we intended moving as soon as we could.
He said to us that we had 2.5 years to settle.

We came back to the UK in April 08 and did not go to the US again until March 09. We had not sold our house. This time we had a hard time at immigration as the I Officer felt that we were messing with the US system. he told us that we should have applied for a re-entry permit which would have allowed us to retain residency etc.

While in the US we duly filed a I131 Re-entry permit form.

For various reasons (including problem with the US post man not delivering letters addressed to my husband to our US mailing address as he didn't recognise the name and general going round in circles with the USCIS team in Nebrasca) we have only just got his biometrics appointment date in Oct.

We have now sold our house but only intend to move to the US in Feb/March time next year.

I'd be grateful if you could let me know what he can expect at the biometrics appt. ie, is it literally just an appointment to collect fingerprints and verify identity or will they interview him about his application?

Also, Is it likely that he will get a hard time again when he enters the US for this appt.

He will be open about the fact we have now FINALLY sold our house and the personal reasons for staying until Feb. Do you think this will be a probem?

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
ALi
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Old Sep 19th 2009, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

I would bet my life that you'll have a hard time at the border.

The biometrics is a ten minute appointment - fingerprints and eye scan.

It may be that ultimately you might have to start the process over.

Please keep us posted - good luck with everything!
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Old Sep 19th 2009, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
I am a USC, hubby has british passport. We applied for a greencard and went to US in April 08 to activate it.
Just to use the right terminology, he applied for an Immigrant Visa (he got the green card at the POE when he entered using the IV).

When we entered the US we told the immigration guy that we were not settling in the US at that point as we still had to sell our house but that we intended moving as soon as we could.
He said to us that we had 2.5 years to settle.
Unfortunately this was WAY off the truth! You should have only been outside the USA for less than 6 months, in order to avoid any hassle at the POE upon return.

I'd be grateful if you could let me know what he can expect at the biometrics appt. ie, is it literally just an appointment to collect fingerprints and verify identity or will they interview him about his application?
It is literally a quick digital fingerprint and perhaps a photo. They won't ask anything about his case. The biometrics appointment probably takes about 15 minutes.

Also, Is it likely that he will get a hard time again when he enters the US for this appt.
Could very well be, yes. He should have at least a copy of the biometrics appointment with him to show at the POE.

He will be open about the fact we have now FINALLY sold our house and the personal reasons for staying until Feb. Do you think this will be a probem?
It might be, given the fact that you were supposed to have the re-entry permit by now. But, you never really know what's going to happen at the POE.

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Old Sep 19th 2009, 8:40 pm
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Default Re: Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
He said to us that we had 2.5 years to settle.
The US Supreme Court has upheld that you can *not* count on, as accurate, anything told to you by a government employee. However inadvertently, your husband has been walking a very fine line since April 08... and it could go either way at this point in time.

With any luck, this will serve as an object lesson to others reading who may find themselves in similar circumstances.

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Old Sep 19th 2009, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
HI everyone,
I am a USC, hubby has british passport. We applied for a greencard and went to US in April 08 to activate it.

When we entered the US we told the immigration guy that we were not settling in the US at that point as we still had to sell our house but that we intended moving as soon as we could.
He said to us that we had 2.5 years to settle.

We came back to the UK in April 08 and did not go to the US again until March 09. We had not sold our house. This time we had a hard time at immigration as the I Officer felt that we were messing with the US system. he told us that we should have applied for a re-entry permit which would have allowed us to retain residency etc.

While in the US we duly filed a I131 Re-entry permit form.

For various reasons (including problem with the US post man not delivering letters addressed to my husband to our US mailing address as he didn't recognise the name and general going round in circles with the USCIS team in Nebrasca) we have only just got his biometrics appointment date in Oct.

We have now sold our house but only intend to move to the US in Feb/March time next year.

I'd be grateful if you could let me know what he can expect at the biometrics appt. ie, is it literally just an appointment to collect fingerprints and verify identity or will they interview him about his application?

Also, Is it likely that he will get a hard time again when he enters the US for this appt.

He will be open about the fact we have now FINALLY sold our house and the personal reasons for staying until Feb. Do you think this will be a probem?

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
ALi
Hi:

First of all, as a general rule, people have been able to go in BEFORE the appointed date and the biometrics will be done. Just do not go first thing when they open.

Second, the biometrics appointment is what us legal types call "ministerial" -- once they confirm you identity, the do the fingerprints and photos. In and out. 8 minutes plus waiting time -- which is often nil.
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Old Sep 19th 2009, 11:15 pm
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Default Re: Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

Originally Posted by Folinskyinla View Post
Second, the biometrics appointment is what us legal types call "ministerial" -- once they confirm you identity, the do the fingerprints and photos. In and out. 8 minutes plus waiting time -- which is often nil.
Is this work contracted out to a third party?
The reason I ask is the wait times have never been a problem, the staff go out of their way to be polite, and after every appointment I've been to I was given a "how are we doing" type survey to complete. The experience has always been stress free and simple, in contrast to a visit to the Post Office or DMV.
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Old Sep 20th 2009, 3:29 am
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Default Re: Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
HI everyone,
I am a USC, hubby has british passport. We applied for a greencard and went to US in April 08 to activate it.

When we entered the US we told the immigration guy that we were not settling in the US at that point as we still had to sell our house but that we intended moving as soon as we could.
He said to us that we had 2.5 years to settle.

We came back to the UK in April 08 and did not go to the US again until March 09. We had not sold our house. This time we had a hard time at immigration as the I Officer felt that we were messing with the US system. he told us that we should have applied for a re-entry permit which would have allowed us to retain residency etc.

While in the US we duly filed a I131 Re-entry permit form.

For various reasons (including problem with the US post man not delivering letters addressed to my husband to our US mailing address as he didn't recognise the name and general going round in circles with the USCIS team in Nebrasca) we have only just got his biometrics appointment date in Oct.

We have now sold our house but only intend to move to the US in Feb/March time next year.
The green card is valid as an entry document up to 12 months from the last departure. You are cutting it fine with your plans.

But the onus is still on you to prove you have not abandoned your US residence.
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Old Sep 20th 2009, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

"Unfortunately this was WAY off the truth! You should have only been outside the USA for less than 6 months, in order to avoid any hassle at the POE upon return."

I know what you were thinking, but the 6 month thing doesn't apply here. If someone is out less than 6 months, they are generally not considered an applicant for admission and subject to grounds of inadmissibility with a few huge exceptions.

Per 101(13)(C) of the INA:

(C) An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States shall not be regarded as seeking an admission into the United States for purposes of the immigration laws unless the alien-


(i) has abandoned or relinquished that status,


(ii) has been absent from the United States for a continuous period in excess of 180 days,


(iii) has engaged in illegal activity after having departed the United States,


(iv) has departed from the United States while under legal process seeking removal of the alien from the United States, including removal proceedings under this Act and extradition proceedings,


(v) has committed an offense identified in section 212(a)(2), unless since such offense the alien has been granted relief under section 212(h) or 240A(a), or


(vi) is attempting to enter at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers or has not been admitted to the United States after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.


----

So being outside the US for less than 6 months does not insulate someone from being considered an applicant for admission if the border guards are concerned about abandonment.

To the OP: Travel with evidence that you're taking steps to establish residence ie: selling your foriegn residence, working with a US realtor, contacting US employers, and that you have a biometrics appointment.

They gave you bad advice on the 2.5 years and also the reentry permit. It is a myth that a reentry permit will insulate someone who has never moved in from being sent to a judge for suspected abandonment. The Reentry Permit is for being temporarily away from the established US residence, not to give someone extra time to move in.

If you bring the things I describe and aren't out over a year, you should be all set provided you move into the US ASAP and get established. If you can't do that you should consider relinquishing the LPR status.
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Old Sep 20th 2009, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

Originally Posted by thinbrit View Post
Is this work contracted out to a third party?
Certainly is in Portland because they recently offered me a job as an on call reserve for when people where sick or needed time off. Then they realized I had to be a US citizen. So far the only job I've been offered.

It was Northrup Grumman.
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Old Sep 20th 2009, 6:20 pm
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Default Re: Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

Originally Posted by thinbrit View Post
Is this work contracted out to a third party?
Good catch!

I was very impressed with my biometrics experience.
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Old Sep 21st 2009, 7:06 am
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Default Re: Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

Thanks for all your thoughts.

We will do what we can to prove our intentions and see how he gets on! Scary...
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 9:13 pm
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Default Re: Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

Update:
Hubby got lucky at immigration, got a kindly guy who wasn't too concerned about why he was not living in the US and let him in with no hassle.
Biometrics appt was done in 5 mins.
Have already had an update from USCIS (2 days after biometrics) to say a document is in the post...hopefully it's the permit!
Thanks to you all for your advice
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Old Oct 15th 2009, 9:19 pm
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Default Re: Re-entry permit and biometrics appt

Originally Posted by cruickies View Post
Update:
Hubby got lucky at immigration, got a kindly guy who wasn't too concerned about why he was not living in the US and let him in with no hassle.
Biometrics appt was done in 5 mins.
Have already had an update from USCIS (2 days after biometrics) to say a document is in the post...hopefully it's the permit!
Thanks to you all for your advice
Excellent!

Thanks for keeping us up to date
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