I have a tourist visa. My U.S. born son will petition my permanent residence. Can I keep entering and leaving the U.S. while my application is pending. What is the most convenient for me in this particular case, without jeopardizing the legal process.


On the matter of traveling to the U.S., please be aware that while you can travel freely in and out of the U.S. after an immigrant visa has been filed on your behalf, and even while visa applications are pending, there is a risk that you could be denied entry into the U.S. if a custom border protection inspector concludes that your intention is to immigrate permanently to the United States; commonly referred to as Immigrant Intent.  U.S. Department of State through the Foreign Affairs Manual gives unfettered discretion to its consular officers through the wide discretionary power in adjustment of status adjudications.  

Visitors seeking temporary admission must satisfy the border inspector that they have a residence abroad that they have no intention of abandoning. Typically, it will be sufficient to state you are coming for a temporary visit, provided you have a clear itinerary, return plane tickets, personal possessions that are consistent with the stated purpose and duration of your visit, and sufficient available cash to sustain yourselves during your visit. However, it would be within a custom border protection inspector’s rights to conclude from the mere fact that an immigrant petition has been filed and approved, that you have expressed an intent to abandon your residence abroad and do not qualify as a visitor.

If you are questioned about whether you have ever filed an immigrant petition, expressed an intent to immigrate, etc., you must truthfully disclose the fact. At the same time, however, you should be prepared to emphasize that you understand that you cannot come to the U.S. to remain permanently until you have applied for and received an immigrant visa and that it is your intention to secure such a visa at a consulate abroad in connection with a future entry, not this particular entry.  I do not recommend broaching the subject of your quest for permanent residence with a custom border protection inspector unless the border inspector poses a question that calls for a disclosure. To minimize the likelihood of problems, be sure there is nothing about your stated purpose, your itinerary or your personal effects that is other than clearly indicative of a temporary visit of a routine nature.


Comments are closed.