I would need some advice on the following issue:
I am a German citizen with a valid Green Card which I obtained via marriage to a US Citizen on 5/21/2014. I spent 15 months and two days in the US (got a job, etc.) until my wife and I decided to temporarily leave the country to go travel in the Southern Hemisphere (Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, ...). We wanted to spend the majority of our time in New Zealand for which we both obtained a 12-month Working Holiday Visa. We are currently in New Zealand.
My Green Card will expire on 5/21/2016 and I fully intend to apply for having the conditions removed, by late February 2016 (90-day window). I did not apply for the I-131 because we never intended to stay outside the US for more than 12 months.
We are maintaining our bank accounts, credit cards, US mailing address, SSN, and Netflix account (for what it's worth), and we will file taxes in the US come 2016. We are planning to visit friends and family for Thanksgiving this year in the US (return ticket because we are still traveling).
We do not currently pay rent, own a car, or have domestic health insurance in the US. I also don't have a US driver's license or own any property in the US. We also have not bought a car in New Zealand, so far haven't done any work either, and the visa, as mentioned above, is only valid for 12 months and does not allow for residency of any type.
So far, so good.
My questions are:
1) When I fly into the US sometime in March/April next year to get my biometrics taken, will I have trouble with the immigration officer? I will have been outside of the US for quite some time of course (more than 7 months in the last 12 months that is, with a 1 to 2 week interruption for Thanksgiving) and I have read, depending on the port of entry & mood of the immigration officer that they could accuse me of having abandoned my intent to permanently reside in the US. Of course, I would bring my "supporting evidence of ties to the US" with me when returning to the US, but will that be enough (see above)?
2) Also, after that, we would want to keep traveling outside the US until our New Zealand visa expires. So, speaking the truth, in March/April 2016, I don't have the intention to stay in the US, at least not for another couple months. Will this be an issue with the immigration officer if I am only temporarily returning to have my biometrics taken? Should I purchase a one-way ticket?
3) Finally, if we do not visit the US over Thanksgiving, will this effect the outcome of any of the above questions?
Thanks for helping me out here. I am quite puzzled by the system. I understand that an I-131 is helpful when staying outside the US for more than 12 months, but for anything between 6 and 12 months, it seems there is not much you can do...