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Quickest way to get I-130?

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Hello everyone,

I am a U.S. citizen from GA.  My wife is from Argentina.  We were married in the U.S. in 2001 on her K-1 visa.  She received her permanent resident card in 2002.  In 2008, we learned that my father-in-law had leukemia and were advised to go and be with him.  Therefore, we traveled to Argentina to help care for him while he was undergoing treatments.  We did not apply for a travel document for my wife, as we were not planning on being gone for more than one year (our mistake).  Shortly after arriving in Argentina, my wife became pregnant and gave birth in April, 2009 to our third child.  April was the one-year mark of her being out of the country.  As she had some complications during the pregnancy, the doctor would not allow her to travel during her third trimester, so she was not able to return to the U.S. before the one-year requirement.  Her father was also still undergoing treatment for his cancer.  Now, her father's cancer is in remission and we are able (and need) to return to the U.S., as my job position will be changing from one that worked online to one that works in an office here in the U.S. She has obviously abandoned her residency, as she has been out of the country for 4 years. I was told that I will need to start the process over and file form I-130 to initiate the process.

My first question is, could she apply for a tourist visa, then I submit the I-130 and I-485 once she is in the U.S.? I know that isn’t the ideal way to handle things, if it is even possible. But we would ideally like to reduce the time our family is separated.

My next question...if we can't/don't do the tourist visa, is it better/quicker to apply for the I-130 while I am here in Argentina or should I travel back to the States and file for it there?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you and God bless!

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I think your wife qualifies for a SB-1 visa (returning resident visa). Being that she was pregnant while she was out of the country, by their requirements she qualifies, here read up on it SB-visa ... it could be a much easier solution to your "problem" :)

Thank you for your response. I did talk with the embassy, as well as an immigration lawyer regarding that option. However, it was suggested that it would probably be rejected, as she has been out of the country for 4 years. The attorney said that he feels the easiest and quickest way would probably be the I-130 route. Is that not the case?? Sorry, but I am trying to figure out the best option for us, so that one of us won't have to spend months away from our children.

Thank you again!

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