What are the travel restrictions for IR-6 visa holders?

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The IR-6 visa is a type of immigrant visa that allows foreign spouses of U.S. citizens to enter the United States as lawful permanent residents. Once the foreign spouse obtains their IR-6 visa and becomes a lawful permanent resident, they have the right to travel outside of the United States. However, there are some travel restrictions that IR-6 visa holders should be aware of. In this article, we will discuss the travel restrictions for IR-6 visa holders.

Travel Restrictions During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are currently travel restrictions in place for foreign nationals entering the United States. These restrictions apply to IR-6 visa holders as well. As of the time of writing, foreign nationals who have been physically present in certain countries within the 14 days prior to their entry into the United States are restricted from entering the United States. The list of restricted countries is subject to change, so it is important for IR-6 visa holders to stay up to date on any travel restrictions that may apply to them.

Travel Restrictions Based on Green Card Status
IR-6 visa holders who have obtained their green card should be aware that there are certain travel restrictions that apply to green card holders. If an IR-6 visa holder leaves the United States for an extended period of time, they may be deemed to have abandoned their lawful permanent resident status.

To avoid losing their lawful permanent resident status, IR-6 visa holders should ensure that they do not stay outside of the United States for more than six months at a time. If an IR-6 visa holder needs to stay outside of the United States for more than six months, they should apply for a re-entry permit before leaving the United States. A re-entry permit allows a lawful permanent resident to remain outside of the United States for up to two years without losing their status.

If an IR-6 visa holder remains outside of the United States for more than a year without obtaining a re-entry permit, they may be subject to removal proceedings upon their return to the United States.

Travel Restrictions Based on Immigration Status
IR-6 visa holders who have not yet obtained their green card should also be aware of certain travel restrictions that apply to nonimmigrant visa holders. If an IR-6 visa holder travels outside of the United States while their green card application is pending, they may be deemed to have abandoned their application.

To avoid abandoning their green card application, IR-6 visa holders should not travel outside of the United States while their application is pending unless they have obtained a travel document from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The travel document, also known as an Advance Parole document, allows a nonimmigrant visa holder to re-enter the United States while their green card application is pending.

Conclusion
IR-6 visa holders should be aware of the travel restrictions that apply to them both during the COVID-19 pandemic and based on their immigration status. IR-6 visa holders who have obtained their green card should ensure that they do not stay outside of the United States for more than six months at a time without obtaining a re-entry permit. IR-6 visa holders who have not yet obtained their green card should not travel outside of the United States while their green card application is pending unless they have obtained a travel document from the USCIS. By following these rules, IR-6 visa holders can avoid jeopardizing their lawful permanent resident status and ensure that they can travel outside of the United States as needed.

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