Legal Question in Immigration Law in California

My son is a Canadian Citizen from time to time he comes in here for a visit and go back to school and got a job. He did not abandon the green card still active it just so happen the border patrol found out that he was staying in Canada for long not from the US when he went for a tour in Florida and Cancun Mexico. The immigration told to give back his card and appeal to to a judge to reconsider his green card to be renewed which is almost time for application for a US Citizenship this year. It just happen this year.

Asked on 8/06/09, 7:40 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Ellaine Loreto Law Offices of Ellaine Loreto

This information is still a little difficult to understand. Are you in the orange county area? It'd be better to take a look at his documents given to him by the border patrol, to see the exact reason why they took it away from him. If you are, please call us to set an appointment for a free consultation.

If you can fax the paperwork to our office at 714 288 0577,we can examine it and see if there's a remedy.

Thank you.

Note: The above response is provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice, nor to create an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established through payment of consideration.

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Answered on 8/06/09, 7:44 pm
Luba Smal Smal Immigration Law Office

If your son is a Canadian citizen who has a Green card, but only visits the USA ocassionally -- then, it's possible that he is not eligible to apply for US citizenship. He has to meet all Naturalization requirements, not merely having a Green Card for 5 years.

Has he been absent from the USA for the periods longer than 1 year? 6 months? Has he paid/reported his taxes in USA? has he registered with the Selective Service? etc.

Yes, it could be considered that he had abandoned the permanent residency in the USA.

You need to take the paperwork to a qualified immigration attorney who can advise you on your legal options.

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Answered on 8/06/09, 7:51 pm
Andrew Harrell W. Andrew Harrell, Attorney at Law

The deciding factor in whether or not someone has abandoned permanent residency is their intent to remain in the U.S. An inference of abandonment may be made if the visa holder is absent for more than 6 months, if there is a lack of indicia of U.S. domicile, etc. Since the card was taken from your son at a port of entry or pre-flight inspection facility, the decision likely was based on mere absence from the U.S. At this point, whether or not he was on the brink of qualifying for citizenship is irrelevant. All that matters is reinstating the visa. You should have a lawyer contact the port/pre-flight inspection facility for an explanation.

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Answered on 8/06/09, 8:07 pm
Alice Yardum-Hunter Alice M. Yardum-Hunter, a Law Corp.

I would contact the Customs and Border Protection Port Director where he entered and get copies of the conversation he had with the officers when the green card was taken. This information can be obtained. With it, you will know in detail what can and cannot be done. If he doesn't come often, then it might not be a big deal to not have the green card and he could just visit. But if you want to go for getting the green card returned, there might be a possibility of doing that, again, on a closer look. I work a lot with the Port of Los Angeles in my role as Liaison for the LA County Bar Association, though ports function similarly elsewhere.

I would be happy to help you out if you contact me offline. Check me out at, phone at 818 609 1953 or email me at [email protected] Until then, please don't rely on this as legal advice.

Alice M. Yardum-Hunter, Attorney at Law, Certified Specialist, Immigration & Nationality Law, State Bar of CA, Bd. of Legal Specialization

A “Super Lawyer” 2004 – 2009, Los Angeles Magazine

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Answered on 8/06/09, 8:19 pm

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