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US Immigrant Visa, Permanent Resident Card Question

Short-term and long-term visas, application requirements, waiting times, advantages and disadvantages of stay vs. resident visas, who needs an ARC, and why do people opt for permanent residency
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US Immigrant Visa, Permanent Resident Card Question

Postby Mother Theresa » 26 Oct 2005, 13:41

My wife applied several months ago for her immigrant visa for the US, which one uses to eventually get a Green Card. After submitting lots of documents at the AIT, she got a Permanent Resident Card and in her passport an immigrant visa. The Resident Card is good for 2 years, till Aug 2007.

But the immigrant visa is of shorter duration, becasue we were married less than 2 years when we applied for it. Therefore the immigrant visa expires in Jan 2006. We were told that upon arrival in the US they will renew it at customs if we provide proof of our marriage.

But we wonder if we must arrive in the US before that immigrant visa expires, or can we enter a month later on the Permanent Resident Card alone (and the expired visa).

Does anyone know?

Does one need a valid visa to enter the US if one has a Permanent Resident Card?
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Postby Sam Vimes » 27 Oct 2005, 10:42

Not really sure, but if the green card was issued in conjunction with that visa, I'd make sure to follow those terms scrupulously. I do know that it's easy to have one's permanent residence status taken away because of perceived "abandonment" of an intention to live in the US.

Also, it's important to understand that your wife has likely been granted "conditional" permanent residence. She won't get full-fledged permanent residence status until you both live in the US for the better part of two years, make an appication to remove conditions, and possibly go in for another interview at your local immigration office. Until then, the risk might be even greater that she could lose her green card.

And even a non-conditional permanent resident could lose her status if she stays outside the country for more than six months without a good reason--and it sounds as if you might be pushing that limit (if the clock started in August 2005).

All in all, I would think that it would be risky to deviate from the terms and conditions under which she was granted immigrant/PR status.

But I'm not a lawyer, and you probably should consult one to be sure.

Good luck!
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Re: US Immigrant Visa, Permanent Resident Card Question

Postby bobl » 27 Oct 2005, 11:17

Mother Theresa wrote:My wife applied several months ago for her immigrant visa for the US, which one uses to eventually get a Green Card. After submitting lots of documents at the AIT, she got a Permanent Resident Card and in her passport an immigrant visa. The Resident Card is good for 2 years, till Aug 2007.

But the immigrant visa is of shorter duration, becasue we were married less than 2 years when we applied for it. Therefore the immigrant visa expires in Jan 2006. We were told that upon arrival in the US they will renew it at customs if we provide proof of our marriage.

But we wonder if we must arrive in the US before that immigrant visa expires, or can we enter a month later on the Permanent Resident Card alone (and the expired visa).

Does anyone know?

Does one need a valid visa to enter the US if one has a Permanent Resident Card?


We were told that you have to visit the states at least once every 180 days, to maintain the validity of your visa. Therefore, our company recommends not to apply for it until 6 months are left on our contracts.

How about a visa run to Guam?
Or maybe it is just as expensive than to goto the states.

Also, I believe you must go to the states within 180 days of recieving the visa. Have you checked the AIT site?

I didn't apply for my wife because of that.
If you'r not planning on moving permantly back to the states, might be better to just keep a tourist visa.

My wifes is good for 5 years, 60 days-multiple entry.

Sorry, looks like they changed that.
http://uscis.gov/lpBin/lpext.dll/insert ... slb-act216

Period for filing petition.-


(A) 90-day period before second anniversary.-Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the petition under subsection (c)(1)(A) must be filed during the 90-day period before the second anniversary of the alien's obtaining the status of lawful admission for permanent residence.


(B) Date petitions for good cause.-Such a petition may be considered if filed after such date, but only if the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General good cause and extenuating circumstances for failure to file the petition during the period described in subparagraph (A).


(C) Filing of petitions during removal.-In the case of an alien who is the subject of removal hearings as a result of failure to file a petition on a timely basis in accordance with subparagraph (A), the Attorney General may stay such removal proceedings against an alien pending the filing of the petition under subparagraph (B).


Looks like you have to change the status no later than 90 days before 2 years have past since you got it.

I don't see the 180 day requirement listed anymore, which sure makes things alot easier. I might apply for my wife now since the new rules.
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