You Can Go Home Again (Sort of): Visiting Your Home Country After a Grant of Asylum

by Jason Dzubow on January 6, 2016

“If I am granted asylum, can I return to my home country?” I hear this question a lot.

The skeptic would argue that no legitimate asylum seeker should ever return home. Indeed, they might argue, asylum is reserved for people who cannot return due to the danger of persecution, and anyone willing to go back did not need asylum in the first place. I think this is wrong.

Your mother's bunt cake is probably not a compelling reason to return home (tempting though it may be).

Your mother’s bunt cake is probably not a compelling reason to return home (tempting though it may be).

Many of my clients face long-term threats in their countries. For instance, I have clients from Afghanistan who have been threatened by the Taliban. These clients could return briefly to Afghanistan and remain relatively safe. However, to live there for any length of time would be extremely dangerous. Even where the threat comes from the government itself, clients can sometimes safely visit home for short periods of time. I’ve had Ethiopian clients who were wanted by their government, but who were able to return for a few weeks before the government realized that they were in the country. Ethiopia—like many developing countries—is not as adept at tracking people as the United States, and so it is possible to keep a low profile and avoid trouble, at least for a time.

And of course, there are valid reasons to return home. Most of my clients have left family members behind. Others have businesses or properties. Still others are political activists who wish to return home to promote democracy and human rights. There are all sorts of reasons people want to go to their home countries—when balanced against the danger, some reasons are better than others (and some people are more willing than others to take risks).

But what are the legal implications of a return trip for people with asylum? And does the calculus change if the person has a green card or is a U.S. citizen?

For an asylee (a person granted asylum), the U.S. government can terminate asylum status if it determines that the person has “voluntarily availed himself or herself of the protection of the country of nationality or last habitual residence by returning to such country.” This means that asylum can be terminated if the person placed herself under the protection of her home government by returning to her country (or even by using the passport from her home country to travel to a third country). USCIS can also terminate asylum status if it determines that the person is no longer a refugee (for example, if country conditions have changed and it is now safe to return home) or if it determines that asylum was obtained fraudulently (there are other reasons for terminating asylum, as well). A return trip to the home country could trigger one (or more) of these bases for termination.

Even with a green card, USCIS can terminate asylum for the reasons listed above.

If you don’t run into trouble when you return to the U.S. from your trip, you could have problems at the time you file for your citizenship. When you complete the naturalization form (the N-400), you need to list all the countries you visited, and so the government will know whether you went home (and if you omit your travels from the form, you run the risk that the government will know about them from its own sources).

For U.S. citizens who originally obtained their status based on asylum, the risk of a return trip is much less—but it is not zero. If the return trip causes the U.S. government to believe that asylum was obtained fraudulently, it could institute de-naturalization proceedings. I have heard of the U.S. government de-naturalizing citizens based on fraud, so it can happen, but all the case I know about involved aggravating factors, like criminal convictions or human rights abuses. Nevertheless, if USCIS knows about a fraud, it certainly could take action.

So how do you protect yourself if you have to travel back to your home country?

First, it is worthwhile to consult an attorney before you go. Don’t go unless there is a very important reason for the trip. Also, keep the trip as short as possible. The less time you are in your country, the better. In addition, you should collect and save evidence about the return trip. If you went to visit a sick relative, get a letter from the doctor. If you returned home for only a short time, keep evidence about the length of your trip—passport stamps and plane tickets, for example. If you hid in your house and never went out, get some letters from family members who can attest to this. In other words, try to obtain evidence that you did not re-avail yourself of the protection of your home government and that you had a compelling reason to return home. That way, if USCIS ever asks for such evidence, you will be ready.

The safest course of action is to never return home after a grant of asylum. However, in life, this is not always possible. If you do have to go back, you should consult a lawyer and take steps to minimize the likelihood that your trip will impact your immigration status in the U.S.

{ 111 comments… read them below or add one }

khan December 17, 2017 at 1:33 am

Hey jason
I have conditional GC and i went to my home country but my question is that how long i able to stay outside from US.i heard on condional GC i cant stay longer more than 6 months is that true ? Or what should i do after 6 months to go back to US ? And suggestions please…

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Jason Dzubow December 17, 2017 at 7:49 am

Sorry, I can only give advice about asylum here. In most cases, a person with a GC (conditional or regular) should not stay out of the US for more than 6 months, but it depends on the case, and I do not your specifics, so I cannot say. Take care, Jason

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Charles December 15, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Hi, I am in the United States on a visa and I file for asylum in the USA. But I have 2 court cases in my home country, 1 is a traffic court, I was driving in a car with no insurance and the other court is for distruction of property. Do you think this can affect my asylum filing?

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Jason Dzubow December 17, 2017 at 7:23 am

You may need to reveal these in your asylum case, but otherwise, I think a ticket probably would not affect anything. As to the destruction of property, it would depend on how serious or whether that charge is accurate. Take care, Jason

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Suhil Ben omran December 15, 2017 at 5:25 pm

Hello
My name suhil…
Good day to you … I had been in America’s between 2014 and 2015, I have made the request of asylum and after 100 days I applied for work permit,but I get rejection for not completed duration

After that I return to my country Libya after the stability of the situation .. now the situation became worst and I have a girl carry US citizenship ..I wonder if I could return to America and apply to work permit. Please help me with that.

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Jason Dzubow December 15, 2017 at 5:41 pm

I do not understand your situation. If you want to come back, you probably need a visa. You might also have a deportation order. You can find out by calling 800-898-7180 and entering your alien number. If your name is in the system, you can push 3 and it will tell you if you have a deport order. If you do, talk to a lawyer about trying to return here. If you are saying that you are married to a US citizen, maybe she can petition to bring you here, but that may not work if you have been ordered deported. Basically, if you want to come back, you should talk to a lawyer in the US, and explain the specific situation to the lawyer, and then maybe you can get some more specific advice. Take care, Jason

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Sheri December 13, 2017 at 2:22 am

Hey jason,
My mom cam here and got asylum. Then she applied for me and my two brothers and we are all greencard holders now. I went in december 2017 and stayed for one month in pakistan. Then i went in feburary 2017 to get married and stayed just for a week. I safely made my trip back to usa. I will be citizen in september 2019. I submitted papers for spouse visa. Can i go back to see my husband for christmas? Or i should wait. Also i am planing to go back for wedding reception in december 2018.
I heard if i go back to see my husband it will make my case for spouse visa stronger. But i am an asylee so i dont know what to do since i already went two times. Please guide me

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Jason Dzubow December 13, 2017 at 7:36 am

Normally, a dependent has less trouble if they return to the home country than the main applicant, but it may depend on the case. For example, if your mother said your whole family was being persecuted, and you return to Pakistan, it seems like your mother is not telling the truth; on the other hand, if only your mother faces persecution and there is no problem for the family, then return trips should be less of a problem. Different lawyers give different advice on this, but to me, it really depends on the case. You may want to talk to a lawyer about your specific information so you can protect yourself as much as possible. Take care, Jason

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Sheri December 13, 2017 at 7:53 am

Thanks for your reply but i Really need help. My mom said that family was persecuted. I already went two times this year now i am scared to go because of returning back to home. If i tell them that im going to see my husband for christmas will this be a good reason or i should have something else to tell them. May be i dont go now but have to go for wedding reception in december 2018. I think i should wait for now. What you suggest. I dont have a lawyer.

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Jason Dzubow December 13, 2017 at 6:34 pm

I think if you are worried about it, you should talk to a lawyer to go over the specifics. Really, that is the best I can tell you. Take care, Jason

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simran December 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm

hello Jason,
My husband is living in USA and is granted an asylum in june 2017 and will be getting his green card exactly after a year… He applied for me and my kids and we have given interview on 6th dec 2017 in pakistan.. They said it is approved but will inform after 3 weeks.. now im very confused as i dont want to leave soon because my mother is too old and is sick, no one is there to look after her so i want to spend a little more time with her… Can u please tell me how much time will the embassy take to reply and when will we get our passports? Can I stay for a month or 2 after receiving passports? I really wish it gets delayed after seeing my mother’s condition…

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Jason Dzubow December 12, 2017 at 6:49 pm

I think you will be ok. Even if it is approved quickly, you have a window of time to leave – you do not need to leave immediately. Check your visa, which should have a validity and an expiration date. As long as you come to the US while your visa is valid, you will be fine, and you should have several months on the visa. Take care, Jason

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rose n December 10, 2017 at 11:15 am

HELLO JASON,
I HAVE BEEN GRANTED ASYLUM IN CHINA LAST MONTH. CAN I RESETTLE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY LIKE CANADA TO CONTINUE MY EDUCATION?.HOW DO I APPLY FOR MY VISA? DO I NEED THE UN IN CHINA TO REFERRED TO THE CANDIAN EMBASSY OR I NEED TO APPLY BY MYSELF?

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Jason Dzubow December 11, 2017 at 7:31 am

I do not know about Canada – Maybe talk to the embassy. Under US law, if you received asylum in China and are permanently resettled there, you would not be able to get asylum in the US. It may be different in other countries. Take care, Jason

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Alex December 9, 2017 at 6:56 pm

Hi, my sister in law enter u.s. by applying for asylum. However, she left a few months after back to Mexico. Now 3 yrs later, immigration court sent her a court date in 2018. How can she withdraw her asylum or terminate her application, she’s now in Mexico.

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Jason Dzubow December 10, 2017 at 8:05 am

This is not easy. Once, I saw a case like this where the person sent a lawyer to court with proof that they had left the US. In that case, the Judge granted Voluntary Departure (which avoiding a deportation order). I think this is not the normal practice, and I do not know if a Judge would do it today, but maybe. You can talk to a lawyer for her to see if maybe you could try this or something else. Otherwise, the Judge will order her deported, which will make it harder to return to the US in the future. Take care, Jason

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Zahid December 7, 2017 at 1:33 am

Dear sir.
I need some information about my case i am in usa i apply for asylum but i am missing my family and kids can i apply for tourist visa for them please give me some information how can i apply for my family which is the best way to bring them here.
Thanks in advance for your reply.

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Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:26 am

They can apply for a tourist visa, but given that you have filed for asylum, the embassy will likely think that they will also seek asylum and deny the case. If they can make a strong case to show why they will return home, maybe they can get a visa, but this is quite difficult. Another idea is to get Advance Parole and visit them in a third country. I wrote about this on September 11, 2017 – maybe that would help. Take care, Jason

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Alicia December 6, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Hey Jason
I want ask you a quick question you know me and my family are asylum but now after five years we all became a US citizen exapt my mom when I checked it her status from online it side her cases is in line for interview but it’s been 2 year now and I been call us Citizenship office but they don’t respond it so can you please help us what she can do to get know her Citzentip states??

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Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:21 am

You can also contact the USCIS Ombudsman office – a link is at right, and sometimes they can help with such cases. If not, she may need to try a mandamus lawsuit. Talk to a lawyer about that, but try the Ombudsman first. Take care, Jason

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Felix December 6, 2017 at 7:46 pm

Hello Jason,
Well done for all the great work you do. I filed form I-485 a year ago and this week I got a letter from USCIS asking me to file and send in form I-693 which I am gonna send in. Does that mean I may not be called in for an interview for my green card application? Or USCIS will still call me in for an interview after sending in my form I-693? What’s the next step after form I-693?
Thanks a lot waiting for your advice. Looking forward to your reply.
Felix

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Ihab December 6, 2017 at 10:23 pm

Hi jason after 20years in the us living with granted asylum i had a very bad deprition and i was mentaly sick i went back to sudan to face the person who rapped me when i was back home in jail and i want come back to the usa were all my family live and i left the us without my refuge travel document plz help me

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Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:20 am

I am not sure how you will return – if you have documentation of your status here, maybe you can ask the US embassy for help. Otherwise, maybe you want to talk to a lawyer in the US to go over some specific ideas – for example, if you have relatives in the US, maybe they can sponsor you to return, or if you have evidence of your mental health issues, maybe you can try to return using humanitarian parole, but it depends on the case, so talk to a lawyer. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow December 8, 2017 at 7:16 am

It depends on the basis for the I-485. If you were a principal asylee, you will probably not have an interview. Take care, Jason

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Javier Riveiro December 4, 2017 at 3:16 am

Hey there Jason,
I’m Javier, I’ve won asylum in 2013 and got my green card about 5 months ago, I’m from Guatemala I was planing to go back to a near country of my native country is there any problem if I travel like that? Meaning from USA to let’s say El Salvador then drive to Guatemala and do the same thing in order to come back here? Is that possible, thanks in advance.

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Jason Dzubow December 4, 2017 at 6:47 pm

If you go to Guatemala, it could potentially affect your status in the US. If you go there and the US government never learns about that, I suppose there would be no effect, but I think it is dangerous to risk it. If you go, and then you lie about going, and the US government learns that you lied, you will have severe consequences. If possible, have your family meet you in a third country, or maybe wait until you are a US citizen. If you must go, make sure you can explain why you went, keep the trip short, and don’t lie about it – that is probably the safest approach, but you can talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your case and think of ways to protect yourself. Take care, Jason

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Olivia December 1, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Hey Jason! You have been so helpful to others so I thought I would jump on board. My family received asylum quite some time ago (approx. 10 yrs+ or so), my dad is the titular asylum holder so he’s AS6, my mom is AS7 and I’m AS8. I just received my GC and I have no desire to return to my home country, but my mother wants to visit her mother since she hasn’t seen her in a very long time. Her mother and brother have a plethora of health issues and have been in and out of hospitals so it would be possible for her to obtain medical documents. My question is, would it be best for her to get her GC first as well? Is the risk as significant to her being that she is AS7? She has mentioned wanting to go for a month or so, would that be a high risk as well?

Thank you for your time!

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Jason Dzubow December 1, 2017 at 6:28 pm

I think there is a risk for anyone who returns to the home country if they got status here based on asylum. The risk is generally less for dependents, but it may depend on the case. It would be better to have a green card, but that does not guarantee protection. If she can meet her family in a third country, that is best. If she needs to go to the home country, it may help to have evidence available about the reason for the travel. Often, the problem does not arise when the person returns to the US, but instead, the problem occurs when the person applies for citizenship, but again, you never know. Especially now-a-days, things are less predictable. Take care, Jason

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Rashid November 30, 2017 at 10:30 am

Hi am Rashid , I just arrived in Netherlands buh I don’t want to live here and I don’t want to go back to my home country for fear of my life because of my sexual orientation.. my point of entry in Europe was France and I got atourist visa which will be will expire in December this year though I want to come to the United States and seek asylum there , please help and advice how do I go about it

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Jason Dzubow November 30, 2017 at 6:36 pm

You have to be present in the US to seek asylum here, but if the embassy thinks you will stay here permanent, they will most likely not issue a visa. If you are physically present in the US and fear return, you can file for asylum. Take care, Jason

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Mushtaq November 29, 2017 at 1:54 pm

Hi Jason. I got green card this month based on asylum from Pakistan. I was employed in nonprofit as an executive in Pakistan for 7 Yrs. same nonprofit has offered me a good job here. and they are ready to sponsor me for Green card as “Multinational Manager”. My question is can i change green card category now and shift it to multinational manager? if not then do i’ve to go through entire employer sponsored green card process again? i would prefer to change in order to avoid strings attached with asylum based green card ? Thanks in advance

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Jason Dzubow November 29, 2017 at 6:50 pm

I do not think you can do that, but you could talk to a lawyer to investigate. My guess is that even if you did it, it would not help much, since you still received asylum from Pakistan – if the US government thinks that case was fake, it will create problems for you regardless of how you got a GC. And in any case, in 3 years and 9 months (assuming that your GC was back-dated one year), you can apply to be a US citizen nd then you will be able to travel much more freely. Take care, Jason

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ali November 28, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Hello Jason,

I have granted an asylee seven years ago. recently, I have become a US citizen and now I am carrying US Passport. I am planning of going back to Iraq to visit my family for a short period of time . Can I use my Iraqi passport to enter Iraq ? since things got way better than before.

also will I have any issue coming back to the states ?

would you recommend using

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Elena November 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Hi Jason, my name is Elena. My husband Vadim has applied for political asylum and won the case in 2009,however he didn’t applied for actual green card, he just lived like that with allien number. When we met I told him that this 5 years for citizenship will not count until he will receive the green card. That was silly from his side, to leave all those years with no papers. But last year he finally received his 10 year GK. Now we married, our families are back in Moldova ( I am DV lottery winner so no problem with me) We need to see our families, is it a risk for him now to visit Moldova? and one more thing- his Moldavian passport is expired. He may make Moldavian passport in the embassy here, but is it a big risk for him? USA is our second home, but we cannot live here for years not seeing our old parents.
Thank you so much!

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2017 at 5:00 pm

I do think he faces potential problems if he gets a passport and if he goes to Moldova. It would be better to use a Refugee Travel Document and meet your families in a third country. If he does go to Moldova, he should be prepared to explain his trip and why his original case was not fraudulent, so make sure he still has a copy of his old case, in the event that he needs it. Take care, Jason

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Elena November 29, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Thank you very much for your respond, Jason!!!

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chris bhatty November 28, 2017 at 1:46 pm

MY UNCLE FILED ASYLUM PETITION IN USA IN 2015 AND GOT STAY PERMANENTLY UNTIL FIRST HEARING.
BUT DUE TO HIS BROTHER SICKNESS AND ANOTHER BROTHER DEATH HE WENT BACK TO HIS COUNTRY AND STAYED UNDERGROUND DUE TO FEAR OF DEATH BY HIS ENEMIES IN ONE CITY BUT HE GOT PROTECTION TEMPORARY BY HIS COUSINS AND RELATIVES LIVING MANY PLACES WITH HIS FAMILY OF TWO YOUNG GIRLS .NOW RECENTLY HE MOVED TO ANOTHER CITY FAR AWAY FROM HIS CITY BUT HE WAS ATTACKED BY HIS ENEMIES POLICE REFUSED TO GIVE HIM PROTECTION.CAN HE COME BACK TO USA ON STILL B1 VISA VALID.TO GET PROTECTION IN USA HE HAS ONLY USA VALID VISA NO OTHER COUNTRY IS ACCEPTING HIM AS ASYLEE.THANKS

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Jason Dzubow November 28, 2017 at 4:58 pm

I suspect that if he returns here, he will be detained at the airport and he will have to ask for asylum there. He will also have to process his entire case while detained. He should be prepared for that (make sure all evidence he needs has been gathered and can be accessed by someone who will help him). If he is lucky, he may pass through the airport, but I doubt it. Take care, Jason

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Amina November 26, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Hi Jason I’m currently living in us . I ve granted asylum years ago now I became a us citizen a month ago. I’m 5 month pregnant I really want to go to stay with my families coz I’ve 15 month old baby’s with me and the second one will be due in may 2008 . I really need help with these Babies and plan to get help from my families in ethiopia. I read that I ve to go to us embassy in Ethiopia to travel with the new born before I came back . My question is will they find out and ask me why I return to ethiopia? Is it too risky for me and my family ? Btw my fiancé will be in ethiopia during delivery he is a us citizen and his case is not related to asylum he won a DV lottery. Can he get the document for the new born ? Or do I ve to go in the embassy,?please help us

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow November 26, 2017 at 8:50 pm

I think it is unlikely you would have a problem, but it is theoretically possible – if the US government thinks that your original asylum case was a fraud. As for registering the child at the embassy, I do not know a lot about that, but if you check the US embassy website, it probably tells you about that, and whether both parents need to appear, or what info the embassy needs. Take care, Jason

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kaleab November 25, 2017 at 7:20 am

hellow jason this is kaleab and i am about to ask you about something i can’t figure it out and it is going like this,i am actually on asylum case in US and the thing is, Am i able to work in a travel agencies as a travel agent because i have work authorization and abel to work here?,which means i can travel outside for work.Thank you

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Jason Dzubow November 26, 2017 at 8:15 pm

If they will hire you, you can work anywhere you want (though maybe you need a license to be a travel agent, I do not know). As for travel, if you want to leave the US while your asylum case is pending, you normally need Advance Parole. I wrote about that on September 11, 2017. Take care, Jason

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Remmy November 23, 2017 at 6:58 am

Hello Jason,

I want to know if an Asylum dependant can travel back to his country and re-enter USA without any issue.
Thank you

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 8:20 am

Maybe, but there is no way to know. In the past, this was easier, but now, things are much more difficult and the US government seems always to be looking for excuses to cause problems for immigrants. I would recommend against such travel, but if the person goes, they should be prepared to explain why they can travel safely, when their relative needed asylum. I do think there is a real risk of trouble, and so such travel should only be done if it is really necessary. Take care, Jason

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Alemayehu November 22, 2017 at 2:49 am

Hey Jason I have a question that me and my family are a refugee but we all are a US citizen now. so we can go back home Ethiopia as visit our family?? Is there any problem when we back to USA or if we go to Ethiopia??

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Jason Dzubow November 22, 2017 at 7:21 am

It is most-likely fine, and many people do that with no problem. However, if it causes the US government to think your original asylum case was false, they could still try to denaturalize you. This is very difficult for them to do, and so I have only heard about it in cases of war criminals and other very bad people, but it is a legal possibility. Take care, Jason

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Miranda November 11, 2017 at 6:57 pm

Hello Jason,
My brother in law,his 8 month pregnant wife and 6 year old child entered the US on a tourist visa.They are Albanian nationals and my brother in law worked in the police force and because of his work he was threatened and was put a bomb twice in a short time.They have decided to claim political asylum in the US.He has newspaper articles and videos of the incidents whrn reported by the local TVs.His wife gave birth to a baby soon after they entered the US.What are the chances of them being granted political asylum?
Thank you in advance!

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Jason Dzubow November 12, 2017 at 11:36 am

He should talk to a lawyer, as a case like this does not fit neatly into the asylum scheme. Where a police officer faces danger for his job, asylum is not always granted. He needs to fit his asylum case into a protected category under the law. Also, police officers sometimes face additional obstacles, if the US government believes they violated human rights in their job. A lawyer should be able to go over these points and help him with the case. Take care, Jason

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Ayesha November 10, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Hello, I have a question..
Me and my husband filed asylum case in US 6 months ago due to threats in our home country and after finger prints we didnt get any response. I also got pregnant and I will deliver my baby in June 2018. I have to go to home country after delivery for 15 days atleast due to serious issues. Can I return US after 15 days or they will terminate my asylum case? Just want to go for 15 days.. Please help!

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Jason Dzubow November 12, 2017 at 8:29 am

If you return to the home country, you certainly take a risk that you will not be able to come back to the US. The risk may be less if you are a dependent and not the principal asylum applicant (if your husband is the main applicant), but certainly, you may face that risk. If you travel outside the US, you need Advance Parole to return back here. I wrote about that on September 11, 2017 – maybe that would help. Take care, Jason

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ishan November 10, 2017 at 8:38 am

Hi Jason as always your guidance Is light for us in these dark times. Two weeks ago my Mother passed away and I could not see her. I have applied for RTD recently but not sure when I’ll get it. I already told you and you already know Kuwait does not accept RTD. My question is can I get my CP and go to Kuwait . I lost my Mom I do not want to lose my father before seeing him will my Mom’s death will be enough reason to tell officers why I used my CP. I’ve the gc .
Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow November 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm

I am sorry for your loss. I think it is unlikely you would lose your status if you travel with your passport, especially under these circumstances. But whether the US government will give you trouble for using the passport, I do not know. Hopefully not. Make sure to keep evidence about everything, so if the US government tries to question your original asylum claim (because you traveled on the passport), you will have evidence to demonstrate why you traveled. Take care, Jason

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EDWARD M MURIITHI November 8, 2017 at 11:21 am

Hi,came to the USA through asylum and i have been a green card holder since september 2012.i am hoping to visit back home in april 2018. what documents would i require?

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Jason Dzubow November 9, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Since you have had the GC for 5 years, you are probably eligible for US citizenship. You would make your life a lot easier if you got citizenship first, before you travel back home. If you go home with a GC, the US government could try to take it away if you visit your home country. I provide some suggestions above for how to avoid that, but the best way is to get your US citizenship before you go. Take care, Jason

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Mahamat November 6, 2017 at 11:14 pm

Hi Jason , I was granted asylum on 10/22/2013 and got my GC on 03/22/2014 when should I do apply for citizenship ? Thank you ….

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Jason Dzubow November 8, 2017 at 7:38 am

If you look on the GC, it says “Lawful Permanent Resident since” some date (it will be one year before you got the card). If you take that date, add 4 years and 9 months (really 5 years, but you can submit the application 90 days early), you can apply for citizenship at that time. Take care, Jason

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rose n November 3, 2017 at 4:21 am

Hello, Jason please i need your help. i applied for asylum in china but before going for it ,i had applied for scholarship program in Canada. i really don’t know if it would possible to travel to continue my studies in Canada . I have been granted the scholarship already. my families are will to sponsor me.would there be any problem if wanna leave?

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Jason Dzubow November 3, 2017 at 6:24 am

You can cancel your asylum case and leave, or you can apply for Advance Parole to try to leave for awhile and then return later to the US (though AP is not really designed to allow you to leave the US for a long period of time). I wore about AP on September 11, 2017 – maybe that post would help you. Take care, Jason

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charles November 2, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Please I am happy that my wife asylums case is approved last month can I visit her now my wife asylum case as been approved now she applied a a refugee passport to visit Nigeria to church she is from south Africa I know she can’t visit her country anymore but she can visit her husband country which is Nigeria my question is can the husband visit her now and she Is working in the USA

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Jason Dzubow November 2, 2017 at 5:52 pm

If you want to visit her in the US, you need a visa to come here. If she won asylum and you are legally married, she can file a petition for you to come here permanently. That is form I-730, available at http://www.uscis.gov, and she has to file within 2 years of winning asylum. Take care, Jason

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Jeff November 1, 2017 at 3:28 am

HI,
I filed for asylum in 2012. In 2017 I received a Green Card.
Can I travel back to the country I fled or claimed a fear of future persecution ? However, the the circumstances changed in my country I fled from. I was activist of the party that was against the politics and former president (2011-2013). Now my country has a different president and different congress. So, basically now I have no threat going back to my country. Is USA going to cake my Green Card from me ?
I live here in USA with my wife that has the GC through the asylum status just like me. We have a child that was born a few months ago. We both have jobs and go to school. We want to build our life in the USA. However, I want to visit my parents and relatives back home. I have no threat either, because everything has changed, including president.
What am i suppose to do ?
Can i go home and visit my parents ?

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Jason Dzubow November 1, 2017 at 6:32 am

I think if you go back, you take a risk that it will create problems for your stats in the US. It would be better to meet your family in a third country, if that is possible. If you do go back, you should be prepared, if necessary, to explain why you went back and have evidence to support that (including evidence from your original asylum case). It is more likely the problem for you would arise when you apply for citizenship than when you arrive at the airport. You may want to talk to a lawyer to think about the best ways to protect yourself. Take care, Jason

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Marian October 31, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Hello Jason,
My father applied for asylum in 2014, and he just won the status yesterday. That means that my mother and I should be able to apply for greencard too, as I‘m under 21. Im albanian and currently I study in Germany. Both my parents are in US, but i cant go there to visit them, because I need a visa. This is the reason that, when I have holidays, I go in Albania zo meet my people. I have planned to go in Albania for christmas, but I dont know if i should go or not, because I will apply for greencard too, and maybe my return home can be bad for my greencard ans for my fathers asylum case. Can you please give me an adcice?
Thank you in advance

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Your travel to Albania would not normally block you from getting your asylum status as a dependent of your father’s case (he has to file a form I-730, available at http://www.uscis.gov, for you and one for your mother to bring you both to the US – he has to file within 2 years of being granted asylum). Once you have asylum, it may be more of a problem to return to Albania, though it can be possible – I suggest you talk to a lawyer about that when the time comes, so you understand what to do to protect yourself. Take care, Jason

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Luckman October 28, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Hello Jason, I got B1/B2 visa, but my wife and children are currently in the USA seeking asylum, my visa still valid till 2019, my inquiry, am presently living in Uganda, would their asylum case affect my admissible into the USA? I visit the USA this year and spent two weeks before I return home.

Thanks as you review my case.

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2017 at 6:01 am

Their case could affect you. You already have the visa, so that is good, but it is possible that you would be rejected upon arrival and told to leave the US immediately (or seek asylum yourself and likely end up detained). If you have evidence that you plan to return at the end of your visit, that might help (such as proof of employment or other close family members still in your country). Take care, Jason

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dapo October 28, 2017 at 7:33 am

hi jason i plan to visit my family who just filled for asylum in the us last month.no receipt issued no date given for interview.i travelled to the us in april this year and rerurned 14 days after
my question is will the poe officer be aware of my familys asylum status in the us.will they asked me about my family at the point of entry.if yes what do i say

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Jason Dzubow October 29, 2017 at 1:37 pm

They might – if it is a close family member who filed for asylum, it may be more likely as an asylum applicant lists parents, siblings, spouse, and children on the form. Other family members may not be listed, and so the US government may not make the connection. I think it is best to assume that they know, and be prepared to answer questions about whether you will follow the requirements of your visa and leave the US when you are required to. Take care, Jason

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ishan October 27, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Thank you for replying Jason, my passport is expired and secondly if I go to Kuwait with my passport, after returning will they detain me and will a lawyer could help me in that situation. If you would be my lawyer how much you could interfere Jason?
Thank you.

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muhammad October 27, 2017 at 1:53 am

hi i have been granted asylum in US and i got my green card in 2015 i want to visit my home country Pakistan for 2 weeks is there going to be any problem if i return to US at the airport?

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Jason Dzubow October 27, 2017 at 6:35 am

It could be – Especially these days, you need to be careful about returning to the home country. It is more likely that USCIS would question you about the trip when you apply for citizenship, but it is possible that you would have trouble at the airport. Take care, Jason

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Lukman October 28, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Salam Muhammad, please I will like to ask some questions from you, I will appreciate it if I can have your email, to send you private email.

Jazakha Lahu Ahirah.

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ishan October 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Thank you for your guidance all the time Jayson. I recently received my GC after waiting more than year. I Wana visit my family in Kuwait and to take my father to one of the hospitals there for treatment. Kuwait does not accept RTD. I was told if I renew and use my country’s passport I’ll be in deep trouble returning. I’m so stressed as he is not feeling well , I can not go back to my Country and we can not afford any other country. Will treatment of my father and the fact that Kuwait does not accept RTD will not be enough evidence to show port of entry agents reason I used my country’s Passport?
Please guide me,I’m crying while writing this to you. People in my shoes know what I am going through.

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Jason Dzubow October 26, 2017 at 5:50 pm

We have had clients travel with their passport and not have any trouble. I would have the RTD anyway, as it will help you re-enter the US (but you can travel only with the GC and your passport). It is possible that using your passport will cause trouble for you, so you should have evidence about why you are using it – evidence of father’s illness, that Kuwait does not accept RTD, and – if you do not fear your home government but instead fear terrorists in your country – evidence that you won your asylum case because the government could not protect you (as opposed to fear of harm by the government itself, since you are using a government passport). If you have that, you will most likely be alright. There is no guarantee, but it seems to me that the likelihood of a problem is not high. Keep in mind that you might return safely but later have trouble when you apply for citizenship – so keep all the evidence mentioned above in case you are ever questioned about why you traveled on your passport. Take care, Jason

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Sekanyo Shafique October 26, 2017 at 1:26 pm

I am a Ugandan national currently studying and leaving in Egypt. I graduated recently (in may) so my legal residence will expire in December. I am however worried about the political situation in Uganda and am in fear about what might happen if I go back to Uganda. My parents are strong human rights activists and supporters of the opposition party FDC in Uganda. I lost my mum in may 2015 and my dad has lost his property and wealth over the years, he lost his job and has been detained without any charges several times. I want to connect to any other country as an asylum seeker as my dad has advised me. I don’t know where to begin and December is like tomorrow. I wish someone can help me.

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Jason Dzubow October 26, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Maybe you don’t want to, but you might be eligible for asylum in Egypt. If you are physically present in the US, you can file for asylum here, and that rule is the same for most developed nations. Good luck, Jason

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hugo October 25, 2017 at 10:15 am

Hi,
I’m under the process for political asylum, i already got my work permit and SSN, but haven’t got granted the asylum yet, i got a offered a really good job outside the US and it’s not the country that I am running away from, what can i do to cancel my asylum petition and would affect my chances to coming to the us to visit family in the future??

thank you!!

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Jason Dzubow October 25, 2017 at 5:44 pm

You can contact the asylum office and ask them about canceling the case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. The fact that you filed for asylum may make it more difficult to get a US visa in the future, but it is still possible. You will just have to convince the embassy that you do not plan to stay permanently in the US if you return. Take care, Jason

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Damith October 23, 2017 at 10:17 am

Hi
I’m currently in the US with asylum status is I want to rewoke My asylum status and return to my home country will I be
Allowed to return to the US in the future as my family
Now reside here?

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Jason Dzubow October 23, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Whether you can return, depends on many factors, but if you plan to leave, it is best to cancel the asylum case (otherwise, you will ultimately end up with a deportation order which will make it more difficult to return to the US). To close the case, contact your asylum office and let them know you plan to leave. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Shraddha October 17, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Hello Jason, I had filed for political asylum in 2011 which further went to the court and is still pending. In November of 2015 I got married to my husband and obtained my green card last month through marriage. I recently sent a letter to the uscis to close my case. Can I travel to my home country or a third country with my green card? If yes, do I need any kind of travel documents?
Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow October 18, 2017 at 6:16 am

Until your court case is terminated, you cannot travel. I do think you take a risk if you travel to your home country while you have a GC – even though it was not based on asylum, you had an asylum case. Even traveling on your home-country passport and using the GC to re-enter the US is not a great idea. You can get a Re-Entry Permit (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov), but I do not know what, if any, countries will accept that in lieu of a passport. You might want to talk to a lawyer to think about ways to minimize the risk of travel, and in truth, I might be a bit over-cautious about traveling on your passport – especially if the harm you feared was not from your government, but was from a group or person in your country. Take care, Jason

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ANAND October 16, 2017 at 5:47 am

Hello JASON DZUBOW, thanks for your helping tendency.
I’m from south Indian State I’m linguistic minority in that state, although I have no threat for my life, here we are facing language bigotry. Our constitution clearly says that every one one equal in this country (India) however some politicians hurting our feelings like their language is superior than ours and we should occupy higher posts not you, we can take this to court however we afraid harm will come to us. Although most part of Indian not this problem only some states we have this problem due to linguistic fanatics. I cannot go other part of country to live because I don’t know major language of the our country (Hindi).
I learned that we can apply for asylum if our basic rights are infringed, I’m mentally affected due to the fear of my future and my off springs’, I don’t get marriage because I don’t want my kids face same humiliation as I’m facing now. I think this is sort of infringe to basic human rights. Is there is any chance to I get asylum status in any liberal countries like US,CANADA, EUROPE, NZ etc if submit sufficient evidence of my problems ? Please help me in this regards.Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 6:18 am

I can only speak about the US. To win a case, you generally need to show that you face “persecution,” which usually – but not always – means physical harm. You also need to show that you cannot relocate safely within your country. I do not know that what you describe is a situation where you face persecution, and the fact that you do not speak Hindi may not be enough to prove that you cannot relocate safely, so I am not sure how strong your case is. However, you may want to talk to a lawyer in the country you intend to go to, as laws may be different in different places and more importantly, a lawyer can get all the facts from you and better evaluate your eligibility. Take care, Jason

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ANAND October 17, 2017 at 8:01 am

Thank you Sir. God Bless you. (If he/she/it is real)

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Dudu October 12, 2017 at 9:29 am

Hi Jason,
I’m a Togolese living in China and about to be granted asylee. Would like to know if one day I have to exit China for any reason, can I return there easily? Thanks.

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Jason Dzubow October 12, 2017 at 5:42 pm

I am in the US and I have no idea about Chinese law. You would have to ask a lawyer there. Take care, Jason

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Bill November 21, 2017 at 3:53 pm

Hi Dudu,
Did you find out how to exit from China? I am in same situation right now.

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Fadi October 10, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Hi Jason,

Can a former asylee who now as a green card travel to a third country with their national passport? Would there be any issues when that person applies for naturalization?
And what about a person with derivative asylum status who travel to their country of origin, would DHS try to revoke their status?
Thank you for all you do!

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Jason Dzubow October 11, 2017 at 6:34 am

It is better to use the Refugee Travel Document. We have had many clients use their passports because the third country would not accept an RTD. They have been fine so far, but under Trump, USCIS is becoming much more strict and looking for reasons to cause delay/harm to asylees. If you cannot travel with an RTD, try to get evidence proving that, and be prepared to explain why you used your passport. As for derivatives, I think it depends on the case, but if the derivative does not face harm in the home country and that is evident from the asylum case, there should not be a problem to travel there. However, given the way USCIS is acting towards all asylees, I would be very careful about this and talk to a lawyer before traveling, especially since there are proposals floating around that would cause problems for such a derivative if they become law (I plan to do a post this week about this issue). Take care, Jason

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grace October 10, 2017 at 8:34 am

Hi Jason, I have been granted asylum 2 years ago now, i applied for the green card, and havent yet received an interview or an approval and it is outside processing time. so I had a travel document that just expired. I have an emergency trip to china in a month and I havent yet got my greencard. is there any other document that USCis gives to travel abroa if the green card is pending and the travel document has expired? I wanted to apply for a travel document but its takes 3 months to receive it and my flight is in a month. is there a way to rush travel socument or green card processing time since its been a year now since i have applied? thank you in advance for the help.

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Jason Dzubow October 11, 2017 at 6:25 am

You can file to replace the Refugee Travel Document, send a copy of your plane tickets and info about the emergency, and ask them to expedite. I doubt this would be processed in a month. Another option is to file for Advance Parole based on the pending I-485 (if you did this, you would need to travel on your passport and use the AP to re-enter the US). I wrote about AP on September 11, 2017. You can also make an Info Pass appointment at http://www.uscis.gov and go to your local USCIS office to ask about expediting the AP on an emergency basis. Given your time frame, I recommend you make the Info Pass appointment and go there immediately, even if you cannot get an appointment or the appointment is scheduled too far in the future. You will have to tell them that it is an emergency and ask to speak to an officer. It is difficult to get anything from USCIS on such a quick timeline, but you can try. Good luck, Jason

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Layth October 9, 2017 at 2:14 am

Hi Jason,
I’m a permanent resident in USA via asylum. I’m from Iraq and I went to Erbil city which is the capital of Kurdistan region located north of Iraq . This region has autonomy goverment and they did a referendum to become independent from Iraq. I went there to see my mother after a major surgery to her neck and I stayed there for 5 weeks. When I returned back to US the officer of CBP asked me many questions about my visit and told me that Im not allowed to enter US again Because I visited Iraq . I told him this is an autonomy part and I have compelling reasons and show him the report of my mother’s surgery but he said it’s still Iraq and you can’t go there. Anyhow they inspected my bags and mobile phone and after 4 hours of investigation they allowed me to enter USA and they didn’t revoked my green card. My question is does that gonna affect my residency? And does it will affect naturalization?

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Jason Dzubow October 9, 2017 at 6:56 am

You should make sure you have evidence about your mother’s surgery so you can present it to USCIS if they ask about this. I doubt it will have any effect on the green card, but if you apply for naturalization, the issue will come up, so you should be prepared to explain the travel. It would also come up if you return to Iraq (regardless of whether Iraqi Kurdistan has voted for independence, it is not recognized by the US and is still considered part of Iraq). Finally, I suppose it could also come up even if you do nothing else, so it would be a good idea to have the evidence about your trip, just in case. In the end, my guess is that you will be fine, but you definitely want to have evidence of her medical condition. Take care, Jason

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Layth October 9, 2017 at 9:54 am

Dear Jason,
Thank you for replying. I didn’t understand what you mean by ( I suppose it could also come up even if you do nothing else). You mean that they maybe contact me this month or next month regarding my travel?. I have requested a report of my mother’s condition from the hospital and I showed it to the CBP officer and I still have it.

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Jason Dzubow October 10, 2017 at 6:03 am

It is possible that USCIS will affirmatively look into your case, even if you do not apply for any other immigration benefits. I have not seen them do that, but they have the authority to do that. I just doubt they will – normally, these issues arise when people apply to naturalize or maybe for some other immigration benefit. Take care, Jason

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Andrs October 11, 2017 at 5:08 pm

Layth

What state? is this Chicago?I have same experince with travel documemt.

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Layth October 12, 2017 at 2:08 am

No Los Angeles airport (LAX)

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Jawad October 8, 2017 at 7:56 am

Hi Jason. I’m Iranian I was born in Iran . And we left our country in 2007. We lived in Pakistan 7 years , and finally we moved to Australia as a refugee . My question is , is it possible to get my Iranian passport in Australia ? And am I allowed to travel in Iran to go back home for a holiday for a short term ?

Regards,
Jawad

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Jason Dzubow October 9, 2017 at 6:36 am

I have no idea about this – I am in the US. Maybe you can talk to a lawyer in Australia for help. Take care, Jason

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Zarina October 6, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Hi Jason,
I was granted an asylum in 2011, I filed for my son in 2013, so he got his approval in 2015. Meanwhile I married the US citizen, and received my green card through marriage. But in 2016 my son entered US via v92 visa. Because of my husbands work we live in the Netherlands (about to return to US probably end of this – beginning of next year), and 13 yo couldn’t stay alone, he had to return to home country (Russia). But we applied and received travel document. His travel document is about to expire in February and I want to apply for new one.
Was is possible for my son to get back to home country? Can we expect troubles on the customs border?
Kind regards

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Jason Dzubow October 8, 2017 at 7:52 am

Living overseas with a green card is tricky, and so you might want to talk to a lawyer to give you a “check up” and go over all the legal issues in your case. In general, dependents should not have trouble gong to their home country, but it may depend on he case and it is probably worth a consultation with a lawyer to make sure you all are safe. Take care, Jason

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Zarina October 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Hi Jason,
Thank you for your time and answer.
I will definitely reach out to you for consultation in couple of weeks.
Kind regards,
Zarina

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suzan October 4, 2017 at 12:04 pm

hi i’m suzan i’m asylum 2016 cases and i have a problem that my us visa is expired
and i need to go my home country to see my dad because he is so tired he will make a great surgery i hope to go and see him before he go to the hospital i’m egyption he will make it in november 2 /2017
i need any solve to this problem
thanks

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suzan October 4, 2017 at 12:22 pm

it’s november 20/2017

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Jason Dzubow October 5, 2017 at 6:14 am

If your asylum case is granted, you can travel using a Refugee Travel Document (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov), but if you do not have that yet, I doubt you can get it before November – you can ask USCIS to expedite and maybe they can help. However, if you travel to your home country, you risk losing your asylum status. If your asylum case is stilt pending, you can try to get Advance Parole to travel. I wrote about that on September 11, 2017, but again, returning to your home country may very well result in your asylum case being denied. Take care, Jason

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Afshan Ahmed October 5, 2017 at 9:32 am

Hi Jason I have the same issue my assylum case is approved but still I am allien not recieved my interview date. I have 2 questions
1) can I go to a 3rd country like Qatar as I am Pakistani to meet my mother as she is not getting US visa due to my case and she is vvvery old. Can I return back as per the new rules of Trump.
1) can my mother gets a US visa so that I can meet her,she applied tgrice but was rejected and tge reason is my visit viza then aaylum case. Please let me know how can she geys visa
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow October 5, 2017 at 5:42 pm

If your asylum case is approved, you can get a Refugee Travel Document (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov) and then you can go to a third country. If your asylum case is pending, you need Advance Parole – I wrote about that on September 11, 2017. If you have the appropriate travel document, you should be able to return to the US. As for your mother, she can try again. It sounds like it will be denied, but maybe if she can demonstrate with evidence that she will leave the US at the end of her visit, they will give her a visa. Take care, Jason

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Afshan Ahmed October 5, 2017 at 9:24 pm

Thanks a lot Jason your positive reply gives me a bright hope yo meet my mom. I wish my husband will also be convinced . Thanks

Zargar October 3, 2017 at 9:34 pm

Hi jason I would like to know about my problem please I have uk travel documents and rufugee stutts 5 year I want to visit to Pakistan and I am from Afghanistan but I was born in Pakistan I told to home office like this. now the home office say u cannot travel to this both country so I have my mother in Pakistan I want see her if u know about this please let me know

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Jason Dzubow October 4, 2017 at 6:35 am

I do not know about UK law – I am in the US. You need to ask a lawyer in the UK. Take care, Jason

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