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Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Moving overseas perm. - What to do with Green Card?

  1. #1
    Hi everyone,

    I have been surfing the net trying to find an answer to this question and can not. My wife (German) and I (American) moved to Germany 6 months ago after living in America. My wife at the moment has a green card.

    Do we need to do anything at all regarding her green card now that we've moved? Do we need to surrender her green card? We don't know how long we'll be in Germany, there is no time table at the moment as I am employed here (reason for moving).

    Do we need to file a change of residency?

    And lastly, does this impact her ability to visit the United States? We plan to still visit my family when we get opportunities to do so. But as before, there is no concrete plan that we will visit every year, 2 years, or anything of that sort. We are not cutting ties with the U.S but we won't be living there permanently, at least not in the near future.

    Thanks in advance for any help,
    Andy

  2. #2
    Hi everyone,

    I have been surfing the net trying to find an answer to this question and can not. My wife (German) and I (American) moved to Germany 6 months ago after living in America. My wife at the moment has a green card.

    Do we need to do anything at all regarding her green card now that we've moved? Do we need to surrender her green card? We don't know how long we'll be in Germany, there is no time table at the moment as I am employed here (reason for moving).

    Do we need to file a change of residency?

    And lastly, does this impact her ability to visit the United States? We plan to still visit my family when we get opportunities to do so. But as before, there is no concrete plan that we will visit every year, 2 years, or anything of that sort. We are not cutting ties with the U.S but we won't be living there permanently, at least not in the near future.

    Thanks in advance for any help,
    Andy

  3. #3
    Hi Andy,

    Do you work for an american company/organization or foreign?

    Does your wife have 10 year GC? How she has been a permanent resident in USA?

    You know it takes time and money for one to become PR in the USA, so many people are relactunt to give up GC once they acquire it.

    For that reason, I usualy tell people to get re-entry permit before leaving the USA, even if they think they may move permanently. That gives them 2 years to "keep" permanent residency in the USA while living somewhere else. If it turns out, USA permanent resident is going to stay in foreign country much longer, he/she can then file I-407 Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status at the local USA embassy. If the two of you are sure you'll stay out of the USA for a while, your wife can file I-407 anytime. After a year of being abroad without re-entry permit it may be considered that she abandoned her residency anyway... but I think it is important not to leave loose-ends.

    As for a permanent resident of the USA, USCIS wants to know her USA address.

    If your wife surrenders her GC, she can visit the USA as normal: on VWP I assume.

    It is up to the two of you to decide what's the best course of action. Despite what many people say, I don't think giving up GC is a "big mistake". You always have a choice to petition for her again through the USA embassy in Frankfurt.

  4. #4
    Thank you Aneri for the quick response.

    My main concern is that this would affect her current ability to visit the U.S. in the future. Currently Germany is part of the visa waiver program and therefore it is fairly easy for Germans to visit the states. I would not want this ease of visiting to be impaired because we live in Germany at the moment. And to answer your question, the company I work for is a German company. I expect we will be here for more than 2 years but will discuss with my wife whether or not it would make sense to file a re-entry permit. But at this point would it be too late to do that since we've already been living in Germany for 6 months?

    But in short, we don't need to mail the actual green card anywhere or go through any formal surrendering of the card at this point as far as you can tell from the info I have. Is that correct?

    Thanks again, I appreciate your help.
    Andy

  5. #5
    Andy: I agree with Aneri's advice.

    A permanent resident can only obtain a reentry permit while they're in America, so it's too late for you to do that.

    You say that you've already been outside of the United States for six months. At this point, even if your wife were to return to America using her green card, she would need to explain her extended absence (of more than six months). It would be at the discretion of the Customs and Border Protection Officer as to whether she would be readmitted as a permanent resident. Technically, whenever a permanent resident leaves America with the intention of making their residence in another country, they abandon their residency status in the United States.

    It might actually be easier for your wife to formally abandon her residency status, and apply for future admissions to America as a tourist on VWP. If you chose to return to live in America in the future, you can always sponsor her again at the U.S. Consulate in Germany.

    How long has your wife been a permanent resident? Was she eligible for American Citizenship? If she had obtained American citizenship, your problem would have been solved.

  6. #6
    Sun Devil,

    Thanks for your reply. We had been in the U.S. together for a year, so she'd only had residency status for that year. She was not a citizen and hadn't applied for citizenship during our time there.

    You mention that future admission to America can be handled as a tourist with the VWP. But you also said she could "apply for future admissions to the America" she doesn't need to physically apply to be a part of the VWP does she? She didn't before we were married and I would assume that would not be affected by her having residency status in the interim.

    Thanks,
    Andy

  7. #7
    Let's narrow it down to 2 scenarios:

    1. your wife travels to the USA in the near future and applys for re-entry permit (has to be physically present in the USA); can get re-entry permit sent to US embassy in Germany when approved. If she has conditional GC, re-entry permit will be valid as long as her GC, not 2 years.
    And then you go on with your lives in Germany... if it looks you are not moving back before re-entry permit expires, go to the USA embassy and return it together with GC.

    2. don't do anything at the moment. After a year of being in Germany, your wife formaly returns her GC to the Embassy with I-407.

    She should have no problem using VWP after formaly abandoning GC. She'll get a copy of I-407 and should keep it with a passport if questions are asked at a POE.

  8. #8
    Okay, great. I think I'm clear on everything now. I really appreciate your help Aneri and Sun Devil. You were very helpful.

    Andy

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