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Immigration Issues/studying and green card


Dear, Eileen
      My case is that i am a medical student in my 5th year in my country and i have got a green card last year. I came to the us and stayed only for 4 months and then left to complete my study, I get back last february and stayed only for 10 days and i am out again till this date. my questions are:
1-Is it ok to stay out of the states more than 6 months or you recommend that i get back before 6 months?, and if it would b a problem for me that i am not a permanently staying in the US yet?
2- If you know any thing about my chances to join and complete my studies in american university or medical school since i am in my last year?!
Thank you

Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Hello Sam,

Regarding being out of the US for more than 6 months, that is allowed as long as you can still show that you have not abandoned your residency in the US.  The USCIS will look at factors such as whether you are still maintaining a residence in the US, your financials, savings, a car, a pet, etc.

Being out of the US for more than 6 months may trigger a secondary inspection point interview at the port of entry.  So be prepared.  If the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) thinks there's a chance that you have "abandoned" your residency, they could begin proceedings to take away your residency.

Lastly, if you anticipate being out of the US for long lengths of time, you could apply for an get an Re-entry permit.  The application is made on the Form I-131 and be found at  (click under "immigration forms").

I don't know anything about being able to study in the US, I guess that's mainly between you and the new school.  Good luck in your last  year and in your forthcoming residency!

Eileen Chun-Fruto

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Eileen Chun-Fruto


I can answer any employment-based immigration question including questions about PERM labor certifications, H-1B skilled workers, L-1A multinational managers or executives and L-1B specialized knowledge, R-1 and I-360 religious workers, investor cases (E Treaty Trader and E Treaty Investors and EB-5 "million dollar investors") and O-1 extraordinary ability cases. I can also answer any questions regarding family-based immigration, such as adoptions, waiver cases, consular processing (using foreign consulates to enter as an immigrant), marriage and fiance/fiancee cases, 245(i) cases, VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act), battered spouses, and Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).


I have over 12 years of experience in business and family immigration. I was a former law clerk for the Executive Officer for Immigration Review (the immigration courts) in San Francisco and I current serve as the California Service Center's (CSC) liaison on behalf of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. I represent individuals and corporations alike, ranging from professionals in the high tech, science, liberal arts fields. I have a special niche in working with start-up companies and individuals with more complex immigration issues.

Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee on Immigration

J.D., University of California at Davis - King Hall School of Law (1997) B.A., University of California at Irvine, cum laude (1994)

Awards and Honors
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008: Selected to Southern California Rising Star - Super Lawyers List (an honor shared by no more than 2.5% of the attorneys practicing in the entire Southern California region) Faculty/Moderator on various AILA and LACBA continuing legal education seminars in the following topics: H-1B, O-1, religious workers, business immigration visas

Past/Present Clients
My typical business clients can range from a start-up company, established engineering and software research and development companies, manufacturing, trade and distribution companies, public and private schools, and religious organizations. Family clients include spouses, parent-child petitions, siblings, naturalization, and most especially, representation of abandoned and neglected children viewed as orphans under the immigration law. I have represented many clients who relied on special provisions of the immigration law to preserve or "grandfather" benefits to family members in limited (and complicated) circumstances, to avoid re-application fees and longer waiting times.

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