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Outside the USA for more than 3 years. Any way to get back?

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  • Outside the USA for more than 3 years. Any way to get back?

    I lived in USA for 4 years. Then, I moved back in Ukraine and stayed here for about 3 years. Is there any way I can return to USA without losing my greencard? If there is no way out.. Can it be done if I go throught Canada? Please give me some advice.

  • #2
    I lived in USA for 4 years. Then, I moved back in Ukraine and stayed here for about 3 years. Is there any way I can return to USA without losing my greencard? If there is no way out.. Can it be done if I go throught Canada? Please give me some advice.

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    • #3
      Do you have a valid re-entry permit?

      If no, the only way you can get SB-1 (returning resident visa)and keep resident status (green card) is if your stay outside the USA has been due to the circumstences beyond your control (like long illnes).

      All in all, it seams you've abandoned your permanent residency in the USA (have you filed taxes for the last 3 years?). Entering through Canada wan't change that fact.

      Who was your original sponsor? You get a new green card by being sponsored again...

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      • #4
        I left U.S when I was 16 years old. Now I'm 19. Circumstences were beyond my control but not because of illnes. Simple my mother didn't give me my green card with me.. Not because she didn't know but because she didn't want me to return to america. She was basiclly my sponser in U.S.. She applied for citizenship and supose to get it soon. This is kinda flowing into another question but if she is a citizen maybe its going to be easier for me to return. I'm wondering if she can become a citizen if I'm not there? Weird thing for me is that letters still come in america on my name like i never left it.

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        • #5
          ...your mother must had had her reasons

          If your mother becomes citizen (and she can do that without you being in the USA; why do you wondering about that?) and files I-130 on your behalf before you turn 21, you can be sponsored as immediate relative. That means you can get an immigrant visa immediately, and once you enter the USA, you get a new GC.

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          • #6
            Artem:

            I seen this issue before, and I believe you can still keep your Green Card. Talk to an experienced immigration attorney.

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            • #7
              I, by no means am offering legal advice, but I have a friend who is a LPR, married to a US citizen and they decided to move back to Italy for work purposes. Their plan was to permanently reside in Italy. After 1 year, their daughter got sick and they wanted to move back to the US. The US citizen wife came back no problem, but he could not because his green card had expired while he was away. He had to file with the US Consulate in italy. They were seperated for 4 months. He became inpatient and per legal advise came to America with his expired card and a letter from the doctor. Immigration questioned him extensively upon entering, but eventually let him in. He filed for renewal once back here, but it was no gaurantee that they let him in, I think they just cut him a break.

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              • #8
                its not a case of whether the card is valid or not, its more a case of did he abandon his PR status.

                JR is right, this one needs an immigration attorney. The card can be valid but unless he has retained his PR status it means nothing. You cant just come here get a GC and then go back to ur home country. A GC means u wish to become a RESIDENT of the USA!

                Because of the circumstances then maybe there is a chance - but only an experienced immigration lawyer is going to help on this and not a forum like this. good luck.

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                • #9
                  My green card is valid. I also have a passport that I got from Ukranian embassy in America. That passport shows that I am Ukranian but I live in United States. I wont be able to hire a lawyer but I went to consultation in American embassy here in Ukraine and they said only way in is to file I-130(as Aneri said).

                  Sorry if it takes long for me to respond. Here problems with internet.

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                  • #10
                    Artem: You have been living outside of America for three years, so your green card is NO LONGER valid...regardless of its official expiration date. A green card is AUTOMATICALLY invalid after an absence of ONE YEAR, unless you have a reentry permit issued by USCIS.

                    You have already had a meeting with the American Embassy in Ukraine, and they advised that you need to be sponsored for permanent residency...if you're eligible to do so through your mother or another individual.

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                    • #11
                      how long was ur GC valid for, 2 years or 10 years? Aneri is right u have to apply for a SB1
                      a returning resident visa. If that is not approved then u are going to have to go thru the whole process of refiling from begining. However, you can ONLY do this if u can get sponsored from someone. And as u say ur mother is not happy doing it who is going to do it???

                      Yes she can get her citizenship without u because she has fulfilled her requirements, SHE IS A RESIDENT OF THE USA and not living in the ukraine. Just because she is just getting it for herself is not going to go against her.

                      Your right ur GC is valid if the run out date has not expired however it is not worth the paper it is printed on if u have abandoned ur status.

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                      • #12
                        Thank you all for your help.

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