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Living abroad with green card, NEED ADVICE!

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I am married to a US citizen and have had a green card for 4 years now. I applied for citizenship as soon as I was able, but the fingerprints kept getting delayed - had them done once, then got a notice for a second appointment, second appointment due to snow storm, etc. This was at the end of 2010.

At the same time, my husband accepted a job abroad for 2 years and we were planning our trip. I fully expected to have US citizenship before we were due to leave, so didn't worry about looking into any issues of me being out of the US for long periods of time (silly, I know!). Suddenly, time for our departure came and the naturalization process was still ongoing. Given how far we were moving and the fact that I was pregnant, we just thought we'd forget about the naturalization for now, until we returned.

Now, we are planning a visit to the US for a couple of weeks and I'm realizing I may have compromised my residency status. I've been out of the US over a year (had planned to go back over the holidays, but things got complicated with a small baby). I called the consulate and they suggested I apply for SB1 (returning resident visa), but given that we are not going back for good just yet this doesn't seem appropriate. I am at a loss about what to do. Another option is to apply for a nonimmigrant visa for this trip and then reapply for residency (I-130) when we are getting ready to go back. Obviously, I should have looked into this prior to us leaving, but there was so much going on...

It pains me to think I might lose my green card because I failed to get a re-entry permit (I didn't even know about this until I called the consulate). Any suggestions???


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I think trying for A tourist visa for this trip (you may not get it, but worth a try) and then for a new IR-1 spousal visa one you are ready to return for good is your best option.

Does the baby have a US passport yet, and will he be coming with you?

Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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File for the SB1. If you lose your permanent resident status then you'll have go through the whole immigrant visa process, and start over accumulating time towards citizenship. You need to be able to show that your absence was intended to be temporary, and that your extended absence was unforeseen and due to circumstances beyond your control. The sooner you apply, the better your chances of approval.

12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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