I am an asylee in the United States. I have a Green Card, and my primary passport which was issued by my country of origin. I am not allowed to go back to my home city and then return to the United States.

But, due to an emergency, I have to go there. So, I decided to use a third country to go to from the US, stay there for a while, and then go to my home city then.

Can I use the re-entry permit that gets stamped while departing the US, have my passport stamped in the third country instead of the re-entry permit? I would enter my home country with the passport, and return to the US by the same route, only by showing my re-entry permit and not the passport as if I have never been to my home country?

  • 32
    What do you mean by 'can I'? Clearly, you know the US wouldn't be happy with you returning home, since otherwise you wouldn't be going via a third country. So when you say 'can I' do you mean 'is this allowed under the rules' (obviously not) or 'will I get away with this' (no one can tell you)? NB, I don't mean any judgement by this comment, and I understand why an asylee would wish to temporary return home while still believing they are unsafe in their home country.
    – MJeffryes
    Jan 16, 2018 at 21:40
  • 50
    If I'm reading this correctly you believe that you may safely return to your home country. In this case the proper approach is to surrender your Green Card, renounce your refugee status, and return back home (or apply for a regular visa to the US).
    – JonathanReez
    Jan 17, 2018 at 1:56
  • 18
    @JonathanReez That's certain the course of action if you believe it safe to return home permanently. But it's not unheard of for someone to believe it is somewhat safe to travel home for a short period of time in the case of a grave emergency, but unsafe to stay for very long. Whether or not the US Government agrees with that assessment is another story, depending on the circumstances, which is why you'd want to talk through the risks with a lawyer before doing so. Jan 17, 2018 at 4:08
  • 15
    "as if I have never been to my home country" so the USA is granting you asylum and you are planning to fraud them? You should either not travel to you origin country or surrend your status. Jan 17, 2018 at 12:29
  • 7
    @Caterpillaraoz: Judgemental comments like that are not constructive. Asylum, safety, and risk are complicated topics that are nowhere near as simple as "frauding [sic] them". Jan 17, 2018 at 17:30

3 Answers 3


You should seek competent legal advice from someone with experience handling asylum cases, which may include local immigrant legal-aid organizations.

Even with permanent residency, traveling back home or even using the passport of the country you are claiming protection from can put your status at risk:

If your travel abroad suggests that you no longer need the protection of the U.S., your status as a refugee or asylee may be terminated. If you return to the country where you experienced past persecution or claim a fear of future persecution, you may be required, upon your return to the U.S., to explain your travel to that country to avoid losing your asylee or refugee status.

A person granted permanent residence based on a grant of asylum is still subject to the possible consequences of returning to the country of claimed persecution. An person's asylum status may be terminated even if the individual has already become a lawful permanent resident. In some limited circumstances, you may be able to return to the country you fear if your stay is of a short duration and you can demonstrate that your return to that particular country was due to compelling reasons.

Here's a useful blog post by an immigration lawyer who specializes in asylum matters: You Can Go Home Again (Sort of): Visiting Your Home Country After a Grant of Asylum. He writes on the ways such a trip could jeopardize your immigration status in the US, both now and if you later wish to apply for US citizenship and suggests collecting evidence about the nature of the emergency and consulting an attorney before you travel.

This trip puts your ability to return to and live in the US at risk. That's too important to rely on advice from strangers on the internet. Please get professional advice.

  • 33
    The general idea is that your asylum status is serious business. Any return trip home has to be even more serious business. Vacationing back home is out of the question. The main issue is that if you claim asylum status, but you are not actually under threat, then the US will determine this to be fraud and can even de-naturalize your citizenship.
    – Nelson
    Jan 17, 2018 at 8:50
  • 7
    For those wondering why someone would seek asylum, yet feel 'safe' to visit home: Without mentioning specific countries, a country can for example not allow freedom of religion and/or freedom of sexuality and thus not be safe to live in normally (one refugee mentioned he was officially allowed to be Christian, but he wasn't allowed to talk about it with anybody or meet up to worship together with others on risk of prison time). Such people can often visit their home countries whilst carefully watching themselves, but living there would likely end up with them or their family in prison. Jan 18, 2018 at 11:04
  • 3
    "Even with permanent residency, traveling back home or even using the passport of the country you are claiming protection from can put your status at risk:" Only if it suggests that you were not eligible to become a permanent resident, e.g. if you were not afraid of going back to your country before you became a permanent resident through asylum. If you are now not afraid to go back to your country only due to a change in circumstances that occurred after you became a permanent resident, then your permanent residency was obtained properly and is not at risk.
    – user102008
    Jan 18, 2018 at 15:49

Don't do anything stupid ,please excuse my language, but this is not a advice it is a warning!!!!! any one has AS6 on their US green card ,don't try to go back to your country ,you will eventually lose ur stastuslose ur status ,CBP might let you in airport , but you will get a letter later from immigration court order before an immigration judge ,first you lied to us government, this is very common in Chinese case ,they will claim asylum, and after they will spy for communist party not all the Chiese are same but there are a lot. I work at uscis filed office ,so my friendly warning is wait until u became us citizen. We recently deported a guy from china who went to back china via France turns out he claimed chirsitin on his asylum but he was not ,so not only he went back to his country he lied on his asylum status.


There is one thing that will doom you with any country's immigration office.


That means lying about your circumstances, or lying at all, or even being wrong when you should say "I don't know".

This is most extreme on matters of asylum. The entire point of an asylum claim is you are claiming that if sent back to your country, they will persecute you, so doing so would endanger your health and safety.

  • We are making the rather large concession of allowing you to settle, live, take our jobs, use our healthcare and services, and ultimately naturalize.

  • Further, refugee sources also tend to be terrorist hotbeds, so again we are making a leap of faith, relying on our trust of you and your acquaintances. Of course you know you are a good guy who is not going to do something terrible, but understand for us, it's a big leap of faith.

In the United States, the penalty for deception is a lifetime ban. It is probably the end of any asylum application. They'd even revoke any US citizenship issued based on deception.

Willful deception

It's one thing if a misunderstanding is arguable. You say "your friend is no Baathist" but it turns out he is, maybe you just didn't know.

It's a different kettle of fish when it's plain you have actively and willingly deceived. "Sneaking through a third country, and lying about it at re-entry" would be exactly that kind of active deception. On top of which it violates the terms of your asylum even if you were upfront about it. That would make your deportation an open and shut case.

What a wicked web we weave when we aim to deceive

You said your home country will persecute you. You're sneaking back there anyway. So apparently, that's not true after all.

Which then begs the question of what else you lied about. It even calls into question anyone else you've vouched for, and the good word of anyone who vouched for you.

Lots of people want America for the good life, that is understandable. But what if you're here for something more nefarious? Nothing personal, but the security services wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't look into those questions. Such an inquiry could involve your arrest, extended questioning, and even charging if the inquiry uncovered a crime.

There's another side effect. Suppose an allied intelligence service surveils you back in the old country using tech they can't reveal. They tell FBI and CBP "you really want to look into this guy. Can't tell you why." Well, that's not good for you, or your friends and family, is it? Now we're in the land of unintended consequences. They don't find any terror but find all the dumb stuff you find if you probe into the lives of random people. Jane is dealing cigarettes to minors, and she just turned 18. That kind of thing.

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