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Hi Everyone,

My grandmother is a green card holder and my grandpa is a US citizen. My grandmother has been living in Albania for the past 5 years and has not been back to USA in five years. Her green card expires in March 2012. If she wants to re-enter USA now will they give her a problem because she has not been back in five years. Does she have to go the the American embassy in Albania to re-apply? I tried to call the Albania embassy today but they left me on hold for hours and was unable to get someone on the line.

Thank you

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Filed: Other Timeline

Since the green card is an authorization to live and work in the US permanently, anybody who moves to another country for 2 years or more automatically loses their resident status. Thus, your grandmother is not a green card holder anymore. She may still have the card in her possession, but the moment she gets to the US and the Immigration Officer scans it, it will be taken away from her and, most likely, she'll be put on the next plane back to Albania since she has no visa either.

Your grandpa would have to start the whole process from scratch again, ideally with Direct Consulate Filing (DCF) in Albania.

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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