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Immigration Rules Apply to Everyone

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Mom got sick and stayed out too long. Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, Missouri, San Diego, California, and Washington, DC. People, listen up, a couple of things. Number one, my kids keep saying that I should ask you to subscribe to our YouTube channel at the beginning of the video, instead of at the end, so I'm doing that now.

But what I really want to get your attention with is this, the immigration rules apply to everybody the same. It doesn't matter if you're 80, it doesn't matter if you're 20, the rules are the same. There's no retirement rule or older person rule when it comes to maintaining your lawful permanent resident status. I was surprised this morning, when I was going over our YouTube comments, how many people think that there should be these special rules or that there are these special rules for senior citizens. There are no special rules for senior citizens. Just because you are of a certain age doesn't mean the rules no longer apply to you.

Every single week, and I mean this, every single week we hear from one person or another whose mom or dad, or they themselves, have stayed outside of the United States. And they think, "Well, mom's old, or dad's old, or I'm old, so it's all going to be forgiven." Wake up people. They don't want to let you in. They want to keep you out. So you can't just say to yourself, "Oh, grandma's got a green card and grandma hurt her hip, so grandma doesn't have to come back to the United States." That's not what happens. The rules apply to everybody. Now there are certain rules about when you can apply for citizenship and stuff, because you're older, but generally all the rules are the same. So you need to remember that.

And you might have a very good reason why you have to stay outside the United States. Totally okay. But from an immigration standpoint, those decisions have consequences. You've got to pay attention to this. You might be saying to yourself, "Jim, why are you talking like this? Why does your voice sound strange? Why are you all worked up?" The reason I'm all worked up is because people keep forgetting. People keep forgetting that the rules apply to grandma and grandpa just like they apply to you and me. So, you can't just say to yourself, "I'm going to get a pass," or "Some customs official's not going to kick grandma out, make her go back all the way to Pakistan." That's not true. It happens every day. People lose their green cards. They lose her lawful permanent resident status because they stay outside of the United States too long.

The thing that boggles my mind the most is they do this purposefully, and they do this without talking to an immigration lawyer. They do it, most importantly, without thinking about the immigration consequences of it. You can't do this. You fought too hard to get your green card. It's too much of a hassle to get lawful permanent residence in the United States. So why would you just throw that in the trash by not thinking through and not exploring your options? There are ways you can stay outside of the United States, even if you're a grandma, even if you're a grandpa. Senior citizens can say outside of the United States for up to two years, if they get a reentry permit, just like everybody else.

So, I'm going to stop talking like this. I know you're a right thinking kind of person. I know that you're watching these videos because you want to educate yourself. But do me a favor, if you know anybody who's old, and who thinks that because they're old they get to say outside of the United States for as long as they want, please wake them up. Please have them watch this video. While we're at it, tell them to subscribe to the channel. Ha, ha.

But yeah, so the rules are the same for everybody. Don't forget it. Spread the word. Love you lots. Jim Hacking, where you can reach us at [email protected]. You can call us at 314-961-8200. You can join us in our Facebook group. It's called Immigrant Home. We love grandmas and grandpas in Immigrant Home. We love them all over the place. Don't forget our YouTube channel. You can subscribe and get an update whenever we... Oh yeah, turn on the notifications too. My kids say, if you hit that bell, you'll get notifications when I upload a new video, which is every single day. Hopefully at 11:00, if my son, [Ismael 00:04:10], is doing his job and editing the videos properly. And then, don't forget, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon Central, you'll find me live in our YouTube channel, answering as many of your immigration law related questions as possible. Thanks a lot and have a great day.

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