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In re Petition for Naturalization of Vafaei-Makhsoos

United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
597 F. Supp. 499 (1984)


Vafaei-Makhsoos (plaintiff), a citizen of Iran, came to the United States in 1968 as a student. His status was adjusted to lawful permanent resident (LPR), pursuant to § 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act), in 1977. In June 1979, he left the United States in order to attend his mother’s funeral in Iran. In November 1979, the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran was taken over by pro-revolutionaries, and all travel to the United States was banned during the ensuing hostage crisis. Vafaei-Makhsoos was therefore unable to return to the United States until June 1981, when the travel ban was lifted. Upon his return, the immigration officer refused to admit him as a LPR because his permit had expired. Vafaei-Makhsoos was admitted under parole status, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) began deportation proceedings. The issue at the hearings was whether Vafaei-Makhsoos abandoned his LPR status due to his absence. The immigration judge held that he did not, and allowed him to remain in the United States as a LPR. Vafaei-Makhsoos filed a petition for naturalization in 1983, which the INS sought to deny as barred by § 316 of the Act, which requires petitioners for naturalization to have continuous residence within the United States for five years, and bars petitioners from being absent from the country for more than one year.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (MacLaughlin, J.)

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