Emergency Travel Overseas
January 22, 2020
Injuries, serious illnesses, or the death of an immediate family member may create the need for individuals to leave the country as quickly as possible. This is referred to as emergency travel overseas. Certain documents are required to leave and return to the U.S., and those who are not U.S. citizens or non-citizen U.S. nationals will have to undergo immigration review when seeking re-admission into the country.
Even those who have green cards will be subjected to review. If it is determined that the individual is inadmissible, they may not be permitted to enter the U.S., even if they were admitted in the past. If it is possible to wait three weeks before traveling, an appointment can be made at a passport agency to apply for an expedited passport. Otherwise, emergency passport services may be available.
In general, anyone seeking an emergency passport must have the same documents they need for overseas travel, specifically a valid and unexpired travel document. This could be a U.S. visa, passport, or green card, and may vary depending on one’s immigration status. It is essential to have the proper documents before departing; otherwise, it may affect one’s ability to return to the country. It can also negatively impact one’s application for immigration benefits.
Applicants that need to travel overseas within 72 hours and do not have valid travel documentation must complete the passport form and have proof of a life-or-death emergency, such as a signed letter from a physician or a death certificate. They must also prove that they will be traveling internationally with supporting documents, such as a certificate of citizenship, consular report of birth abroad, or a certificate of naturalization.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration and Services (USCIS) also offers expedited services for applications or petitions for immigration benefits, as long as the applicant has the receipt from when they applied. Every request is considered on a case-by-case basis and requires documentation. The USCIS may accept the request if they made a mistake with the application, the applicant is experiencing severe financial loss, or if there are urgent humanitarian reasons.
A Word of Caution
Anyone that is in the process of applying for a green card and leaves the U.S. without the right documentation may not be admitted back into the country. Those who were admitted as non-immigrants and applied for extension of their non-immigrant stay or are in the process of changing their non-immigrant status may forfeit their application. As mentioned earlier, it is essential to have the appropriate paperwork before departing the country.
Vineland Immigration Attorneys at the MC Law Group, LLC Help Clients with Emergency Travel Concerns
If you are faced with emergency travel but do not have valid travel documentation, the Vineland immigration attorneys at the MC Law Group, LLC can help. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 215-496-0690. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide.