We are a family of 3, all Indian citizens. My father has come to the United States about 4 months ago on an L1 visa, and I as a minor child am on the L2 visa. We're probably going to live here for at least 3-4 years, and my parents for longer (possibly forever), and in 2 months we will get the ball rolling on our green card applications. But as I am wanting to study in the Netherlands for my bachelor's degree and am currently researching as much as I can for that, a question has come up - if and when I get a green card through my father, I will pretty much immediately be considered as abandoning it if I then get accepted into a 4-year college in Europe and go there. But of course, I will then not be able to visit my parents here even for a short time. Getting a tourist visa for the US over there will then become an exponentially more difficult and expensive process. I could just apply for a re-entry permit and then make absolute sure I come back once every year (and then have to apply and wait for a re-entry permit there), but then I am at the whims and fancies of immigration officers who may one day say that I've abandoned residency. At the same time, visas for the family members of green card holders that don't involve coming to live with them are basically non-existent.

So what can I do? How can I make sure I have a stable and easy to obtain way to get back to my parents each year or two for Diwali or something?

  • Students have some choice about whether they move to the location where they are studying, or only get very temporary accommodation there during college sessions and go on treating their parents' home as their residence, returning there for the summer, and perhaps winter break. Which way do you intend to go? Commented Mar 14, 2020 at 17:48
  • I intend to move. I probably won't return every summer and winter break because I will need to take Dutch language courses over there. But I will probably return most winter breaks for Christmas or Diwali. Commented Mar 14, 2020 at 17:50
  • Where do you plan to look for work after college? Commented Mar 14, 2020 at 17:54
  • It really heavily depends, I cannot look that far ahead (it's probably more than 7+ years in my future). At this point I'll say that I'll probably look for work over there and get an HSM residency, but this has a coin-toss chance of working out and I may need to move back and get a job in the US. And if I lose my greencard, then turn 21, my options will have run out substantially, which is why I'm evaluating the risks and possibilities of this right now. Commented Mar 14, 2020 at 17:57
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    On the other hand, an Indian who abandoned permanent residence to study in the Netherlands, especially one who is eligible to apply again for permanent residence but has chosen not to, is not credibly someone who has immigrant intent.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 14, 2020 at 18:47


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