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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5

    Question I-94 Taken at Green Card Interview; Can We Travel

    Hi my wife and I have planned a vacation in a foreign country and we are supposed to leave two weeks. She has an H1B visa and we have a pending I-485. According to the USCIS, having an H visa and a pending I-485 permits foreign travel. But, today we had our GC interview. The interview went very well and it looks like we will be receiving a GC in 4-6 weeks. The immigration officer took my wife's I-94. Now that my wife is missing the I-94 (because the immigration officer took it and put it in my wife's file) will she be able to leave the US?

    Please respond quickly, this is driving us crazy as we thought we had everything under control!

    Thanks

    -Grant

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: I-94 Taken at Green Card Interview; Can We Travel

    If you want to play it as safe as possible, your wife can file an I-102 for a replacement I-94 and, if it doesn't arrive on time, submit it after-the-fact.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5

    Unhappy Re: I-94 Taken at Green Card Interview; Can We Travel

    Thanks for your response.

    I called USCIS. It turns out that the GC has been approved, which is great. However, according to the person with whom I spoke, we should not leave the country without either the GC or documents proving that my wife is a GC holder. Her H1-B is apparently not valid once the GC has been administered. So, we have to go back to the immigration office (a three hour drive) to meet again and ask for some kind of documentation proving that a GC has been approved for her. If they won't give us some kind of proof, then we won't be able to go on our honeymoon! It turns out that the only time frame in which we cannot travel is the time frame between having GC status approved and receiving the actual GC.


    -Grant

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Jacksonvillle, Fl
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: I-94 Taken at Green Card Interview; Can We Travel

    Hello there,

    Yes the information you received from the US immigration officer is correct. It is best to wait until you get the actual green card in your hand before traveling internationally. You can also get a stamp in your passport (assuming your passports are not expired and valid for at least 6 months or more preferably) that states I-551 proof of green card status, but now with travel issues happening everywhere even for US citizens, I myself would wait for the actual green card to come in the mail unless it is an emergency.
    You will most likely be allowed to re-enter the US (assuming no criminal issues) with the stamp in your passports, but you may also get a lot of hassle upon re-entry.

    I forgot to mention that in order to get your passports stamped, you must first make an online infopass appointment.

    USCIS does not let you enter their building without an appointment. Bring all relevant documents with you, especially your passports and 2 passport-style pictures each just in case the officer makes an official I-94 card for you instead of just stamping your passport with the I-551 stamp. Bring all other documents with you that you received from USCIS as well as birth certificates if available for ID purposes only (just in case you get a picky or lazy officer who does not want to do the stamping and needs an excuse not to). Follow all other instructions as indicated by the immigration officer you spoke with, as I have not included the full instructions.

    Also it is completey normal practice that the Immigration Officer takes the I-94 during the green card interview.

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