Q.978  Illegal immigrant in USA since 1994 wants to return to India voluntarily

Question: Sir , I am an illegal immigrant living in U.S. Since 1998 , through my years of service have saved very modest amount which I intend to take back with me but am finding it very difficult to open bank account in india whose red tape is insane I have my unexpired Indian passport issued by the Indian embassy in N.Y. but don't have visa or 1 94 on it as I lost it more than 15 years ago I also have my election commission card issued during T Seshan time in 1994 and my LLB degree etc What steps. can I take to go back as I don't see any process of getting legal with so many political gridlock beyond my control Am 49 years old and would sincerely appreciate your help or guiding me in the right direction to help solve this dilemma Thankfully Sanjay Pande Answer: I can just give you general information and strongly urge you to speak to an immigration lawyer in the United States to get professional advice.

Illegal immigrant returning to India voluntarily

Since your status in the United States is of an illegal immigrant, as per US law if you were apprehended by law enforcement, you would be deported out of the country and restricted from returning to the United States for about ten years. If on the other hand you select to leave voluntarily you may avoid the ten year ban, provided you do not have any criminal proceedings against you while you have been in the United States. Generally when illegal immigrants are detected at the point of departure leaving the country, their information is recorded into a database so as to check that the person leaving has not been involved in any criminal activity etc. There is no formal procedure I am aware of to leave USA by those who may have overstayed their visa. As long as you have a valid passport and ticket and assuming you are not on the US ‘do not fly’ list, the chances are you should be able to leave USA if you are going back to your home country. Since you have a valid Indian passport you do not need an Indian visa. 

Problems on arrival in India

Assuming that when you left India there were no criminal or other legal matters pending against you, on return to India with a valid Indian passport you may not have any issues other than perhaps some standard additional questioning by immigration/customs such as duration of stay abroad, purpose of visit etc. Either way they will have to let you in as you are an Indian citizen!

Arriving Passenger information sent to India before arrival of aircraft

The ‘Advance Passenger Information System’ (APIS) came into effect in India in October 2005. This required pilots of all international aircrafts flying to India to transmit a list of the passengers on board their flight within 15 minutes of their flight taking off. As of January 24, 2008 this procedure was changed and now instead of the pilots the country representative or station manager of an airline scheduled to land in India is required to submit APIS data within 15 minutes of taking off of the aircraft from the port of embarkation outside India. Under APIS information such as the name, date of birth, nationality, sex, passport number, country issuing passport, country of permanent residence, visa number & date and place of issue is the type of information sent to the Indian immigration authorities prior to an aircraft’s arrival in India. In the event a person is on the watch list of the Indian authorities, such persons may be subject to investigation on arrival in India by the concerned Indian authorities.

Bank Account in India – Take money from USA to India

To open a bank account in India while you are in USA is possible but they will require proof of your residential status in USA as one of the documents for opening Non-Resident bank account in India. You cannot open a resident bank account in India while staying in the United States. Taking you money back with you to India whether you have a bank account in India or not should not be a problem as there is no restriction on the amount of money you can take out of USA or Bring in to India provided the appropriate currency declaration is made. In USA when leaving with more than US$ 10,000 in currency or negotiable monetary instruments the Form to be filled prior to departure is referred to as FinCEN 105 [ previously called CF 4790] On arrival in India a currency declaration form has to be filled if more than US$10,000 in total is being brought in or if cash amount is more than US$5000. Ask for a Currency Declaration Form (CDF), on arrival in India and fill it in before going through customs.
Disclaimer: Information provided is for general knowledge only and should not be deemed to be professional advice. For professional advice kindly consult a professional accountant, immigration advisor or the Indian consulate. Rules and regulations do change from time to time. Please note that in case of any variation between what has been stated on this website and the relevant Act, Rules, Regulations, Policy Statements etc. the latter shall prevail. © Copyright 2006 Nriinformation.com
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Q.978  Illegal immigrant in USA

since 1994 wants to return to

India voluntarily

Question: Sir , I am an illegal immigrant living in U.S. Since 1998 , through my years of service have saved very modest amount which I intend to take back with me but am finding it very difficult to open bank account in india whose red tape is insane I have my unexpired Indian passport issued by the Indian embassy in N.Y. but don't have visa or 1 94 on it as I lost it more than 15 years ago I also have my election commission card issued during T Seshan time in 1994 and my LLB degree etc What steps. can I take to go back as I don't see any process of getting legal with so many political gridlock beyond my control Am 49 years old and would sincerely appreciate your help or guiding me in the right direction to help solve this dilemma Thankfully Sanjay Pande Answer: I can just give you general information and strongly urge you to speak to an immigration lawyer in the United States to get professional advice.

Illegal immigrant returning to India

voluntarily

Since your status in the United States is of an illegal immigrant, as per US law if you were apprehended by law enforcement, you would be deported out of the country and restricted from returning to the United States for about ten years. If on the other hand you select to leave voluntarily you may avoid the ten year ban, provided you do not have any criminal proceedings against you while you have been in the United States. Generally when illegal immigrants are detected at the point of departure leaving the country, their information is recorded into a database so as to check that the person leaving has not been involved in any criminal activity etc. There is no formal procedure I am aware of to leave USA by those who may have overstayed their visa. As long as you have a valid passport and ticket and assuming you are not on the US ‘do not fly’ list, the chances are you should be able to leave USA if you are going back to your home country. Since you have a valid Indian passport you do not need an Indian visa. 

Problems on arrival in India

Assuming that when you left India there were no criminal or other legal matters pending against you, on return to India with a valid Indian passport you may not have any issues other than perhaps some standard additional questioning by immigration/customs such as duration of stay abroad, purpose of visit etc. Either way they will have to let you in as you are an Indian citizen!

Arriving Passenger information sent to

India before arrival of aircraft

The ‘Advance Passenger Information System’ (APIS) came into effect in India in October 2005. This required pilots of all international aircrafts flying to India to transmit a list of the passengers on board their flight within 15 minutes of their flight taking off. As of January 24, 2008 this procedure was changed and now instead of the pilots the country representative or station manager of an airline scheduled to land in India is required to submit APIS data within 15 minutes of taking off of the aircraft from the port of embarkation outside India. Under APIS information such as the name, date of birth, nationality, sex, passport number, country issuing passport, country of permanent residence, visa number & date and place of issue is the type of information sent to the Indian immigration authorities prior to an aircraft’s arrival in India. In the event a person is on the watch list of the Indian authorities, such persons may be subject to investigation on arrival in India by the concerned Indian authorities.

Bank Account in India – Take money

from USA to India

To open a bank account in India while you are in USA is possible but they will require proof of your residential status in USA as one of the documents for opening Non-Resident bank account in India. You cannot open a resident bank account in India while staying in the United States. Taking you money back with you to India whether you have a bank account in India or not should not be a problem as there is no restriction on the amount of money you can take out of USA or Bring in to India provided the appropriate currency declaration is made. In USA when leaving with more than US$ 10,000 in currency or negotiable monetary instruments the Form to be filled prior to departure is referred to as FinCEN 105 [ previously called CF 4790] On arrival in India a currency declaration form has to be filled if more than US$10,000 in total is being brought in or if cash amount is more than US$5000. Ask for a Currency Declaration Form (CDF), on arrival in India and fill it in before going through customs.
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