• Special Immigrants • Returning Lawful Residents of United States

By December 22, 2016 No Comments

A returning resident, designated in the statute as a spe
cial immigrant,’ is granted a number of benefits under the
immigration laws. In addition to exemption from the nu
merical restrictions, he is relieved from some documentary
requirements and may in some instances obtain a waiver
of substantive disqualifications which ordinarily would
inhibit his entry. But he is nevertheless an immigrant, and
can be barred upon his return if he is excludable under the
immigration laws. Even a reentry permit does not guaran
tee his return if he is found inadmissible when he seeks
to reenter.

Under the statutory specification the special immigrant
status granted to returning residents has two prerequi
sites: a lawful admission for permanent residence, and a
temporary visit abroad.

The statute defines law admission for permanent resi
dence as “the status of having been lawfully accorded the
privilege of residing permanently in the United States as
an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws,
such status not having changed.”

The second facet of the statutory requirement is that
the absence abroad must be temporary. The criterion is
whether the alien intended to abandon his residence in the
United States,3 or whether he had an intention of return
ing within a short, fixed time when he left.

Francisco Hernandez

Author Francisco Hernandez

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