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cobrador

Ex-wife afraid to leave and re-enter, even with 10 year green card

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Filed: Timeline

First of all .. thanks again for this forum, it's incredible!

So here is my situation:

- I married my ex in the US a few years ago

- I'm a US citizen, she's a foreign national from Ecuador.

- We filed for divorce 2 years ago, but it's still pending .. we have been living apart and I've been paying her alimony, but we still haven't finalized the marital separation agreement.

- She has a 10 year green card, which she got while we were still married.

- She will receive alimony until June of 2013

- She currently is unemployed, living off the alimony

She is planning to go to Ecuador in December and return in Feb of 2013, and we are just about to sign the final divorce agreement and submit it to the court (California), however we are worried that if we do so, she will have a tough time re-entering and might even be refused, based on the fact that she might be viewed as a potential "burden to the state" due to lack of job etc.

We've heard stories of other people in similar situations getting grilled by immigrations, and it's making travelling incredibly stressful for her.

Is that a likely scenario that she could be refused entry or are we worrying for nothing?

Is there any paperwork or forms or anything else we can do to ensure she has a smooth re-entry?

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ireland
Timeline

She has a ten year greencard she can travel freely. Should she become a burden, then her sponsor (you!) will be responsible even after divorce.


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.

mod penguin.jpg

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Filed: Timeline

Yes, that's what I thought too, with a 10 year green card she should be able to travel freely, except for some limitations regarding being out of the country for too long (eg, more than a year), which can put residency in question.

Still, her friend, who is also divorced and holds a 10 year green card, claims to being heavily questioned by immigration officials upon re-entry after a 2 mo trip home. They were asking her questions like "How are you going to support yourself with no job in this economy?" and asking for proof of income. She said she was very afraid of being refused entry, and said she won't travel again until she has a more solid financial situation.

Was she really at risk of being refused? You say "no", but doesn't an immigration official have the power to refuse a green card holder entry based on their discretion?

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Hold up, the CP officer asked her friend where do you work, she states no where, don't you think it is a fair question of the CP officer to question her on, how did you finance this trip, how are you supporting your self in the US.

These questions are being asked to see if there is any illegal transactions being supported by the traveler.

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Filed: Timeline

Hold up, the CP officer asked her friend where do you work, she states no where, don't you think it is a fair question of the CP officer to question her on, how did you finance this trip, how are you supporting your self in the US.

These questions are being asked to see if there is any illegal transactions being supported by the traveler.

Good point -- I didn't think about it from that angle.

So in my ex-wife's case, since she is still receiving a substantial amount of alimony (and will be for more than another 6 mo's), it probably won't even be an issue right?

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Good point -- I didn't think about it from that angle.

So in my ex-wife's case, since she is still receiving a substantial amount of alimony (and will be for more than another 6 mo's), it probably won't even be an issue right?

Correct.

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Is that a likely scenario that she could be refused entry or are we worrying for nothing?

Is there any paperwork or forms or anything else we can do to ensure she has a smooth re-entry?

We?!?

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As a permanent resident, she has a right to enter the US regardless of whether or not she is employed or has any income.


Spouse-based AOS from out-of-status H-1B, May - Aug 2012

Removal of conditions, Aug - Nov 2014

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