• Special Immigrants • Returning Lawful Residents of United States


A returning resident, designated in the statute as a special immigrant,’ is granted a number of benefits under the immigration laws. In addition to exemption from the numerical 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 prerequisites: a lawful admission for permanent residence, and a temporary visit abroad.

The statute defines law admission for permanent residence 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 returning within a short, fixed time when he left.

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez