Houston, TX asked in Immigration Law for Texas

Q: Obtaining certificate of non-existence

I am originally from the Netherlands and reside in the US without legal status. I just found out yesterday my mother is dying and I need to return to the Netherlands. I am already trying to obtain a Laissez- Passer/Emergency Passport from the Netherlands but I was told I also need a certificate of non-existence from the US immigration office, which could take weeks. My mother will not live that long and I need to be able to travel within the next few days. What can I do. I tried contacting the USCIS office via phone without success as the automated system will not allow me to speak to a live person, to ask for assistance.

I am already in contact with the Dutch Consulate and they are doing what they can to get a Laissez Passer Passport for me. Since this is an emergency, is there a way to obtain the certificate of non-existence from USCIS faster or another option, as that is what the Consulate needs?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Kyndra L Mulder
Kyndra L Mulder
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, FL

A: You are free to leave the USA. You will not be able to return.

Based on your post it sounds like the problem is that your Netherlands passport is expired. Most consulates will not renew a passport for their citizens unless you are in the USA legally. The issue is being admitted into the Netherlands not leaving the USA. My only suggestion is that you contact your consulate and explain.

Kevin L Dixler agrees with this answer

Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL

A: This is likely something that you could have been warned about if you had an reasonable appointment with a competent and experienced immigration attorney.

Life encourages many to give up their indefinite plan to live in the U.S. The unlawful presence bar is often unforgivable for some who are not qualified. It is triggered upon departure.

It is best to understand all of the consequences of any conceivable past, present, future mistakes. Your status as a possible visa waiver admission carriers arguable consequences. You ought to carefully review the situation.

The above is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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