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fym033

SB-1 Resident Return Visa due to corona virus

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Hi folks,

 

I'm fairly new to this forum and found it while doing google search. I'm here to see if anyone has any insights on our current situation, any suggestions and advice would be appreciated.

 

I am US citizen, my wife got a 2 year green card that expired in April 2019, filed for I-751 to remove her condition in Jan 2019, never received extension letter, so we went to get a stamp from USCIS local field office that extended her until April 2020. She got pregnant in Feb 2019, left US in Aug 2019, still stuck in mainland China as of now.

 

Reason left US: Medical complication and mental depression due to pregnancy. I was in active duty Army by then, too busy prepping for deployment training, constant in field exercises and had no time to take care of her both physically and mentally. Medical records and my field exercises operation orders all available.

 

Original plan: Give birth to our daughter in Nov 2019, stay in China and come back in late March 2020, then move from KY to PNW area together after I finish my active duty contract in May 2020. 

 

Reality: Corona virus outbreak happened in Jan this year as everyone knows, the whole country was under lock down until late March/early April. Also, in late March Chinese government imposed restrictions on flight routes between foreign countries and mainland China. Capacity was reduced by 90% to 95% I'll say? If you'are lucky enough to get a ticket, price would be in 3000 dollars range which is really beyond affordability, especially considering extra cost for our infant daughter. 

 

My thought: since her extension stamp expired in April, and no U.S. consulate general is open yet, we can start gathering info and prepping for SB-1 visa to get back to the U.S. I'm almost certain that she won't come back before Aug 7th which is her one year mark of departure. Another option would be pray for USCIS to process her case faster and get her 10-year green card before August and ship it to her. But other than that I want to see if anyone has any other ideas we can prepare for? Thanks!

Edited by fym033

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Why won't she be back before August? She can try to find a repatriation flight, or apply for a boarding foil at an embassy or consulate (AFAIK, these services are still open...it's visa services that are suspended).

That would be the first and simplest option IMO.

 

Once she passes the 1 year mark and w/o a valid green card, it becomes more complicated...

If she can find a way to get to a US border, she should still be able to enter. Her LPR status doesn't end just because of a lack of a valid green card, but airlines likely won't board her without a valid visa, green card, or other travel document (like the boarding foil mentioned above).

Being abroad over a year has a presumption of abandoning LPR status, but this can be overcome. Worst case is an immigration judge would ultimately make that decision. If we're talking a few months over a year, it probably won't be an issue. If we're talking several months or longer, then this becomes a more difficult claim IMO.

 

An SB-1 visa is a possibility...but 9 times out of 10, I would say try to make the argument about abandonment of permanent residency with CBP + an IJ, versus a CO. The CO's decision is generally not subject to judicial review.


Timelines:

ROC:

Spoiler

7/27/20: Sent forms to Dallas lockbox, 7/30/20: Received by USCIS, 8/10 NOA1 electronic notification received, 8/1/ NOA1 hard copy received

AOS:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago, 9/27/17: received by USCIS, 10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received, 10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received, 10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update), 1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed, 1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received, 1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice, 10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice, 10/25/18: Formal approval, 10/31/18: Green card received

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/16: sent, 12/14/16: NOA1 hard copy received, 3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification), 3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved! , 3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received, 4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy, 4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy, 4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

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9 hours ago, geowrian said:

Why won't she be back before August? She can try to find a repatriation flight, or apply for a boarding foil at an embassy or consulate (AFAIK, these services are still open...it's visa services that are suspended).

That would be the first and simplest option IMO.

 

Once she passes the 1 year mark and w/o a valid green card, it becomes more complicated...

If she can find a way to get to a US border, she should still be able to enter. Her LPR status doesn't end just because of a lack of a valid green card, but airlines likely won't board her without a valid visa, green card, or other travel document (like the boarding foil mentioned above).

Being abroad over a year has a presumption of abandoning LPR status, but this can be overcome. Worst case is an immigration judge would ultimately make that decision. If we're talking a few months over a year, it probably won't be an issue. If we're talking several months or longer, then this becomes a more difficult claim IMO.

 

An SB-1 visa is a possibility...but 9 times out of 10, I would say try to make the argument about abandonment of permanent residency with CBP + an IJ, versus a CO. The CO's decision is generally not subject to judicial review.

 

Thanks for your reply first. The reason why I thought she would not come back before Aug is that Chinese government is still imposing restrictions on flight routes, and I did not know that 'getting a boarding foil' option was still available, my impression was that consulates and embassy were completely shut down. We tried to call USCIS military help line when I was still on active duty status, was told to wait until embassy/consulate reopen to file for either i131A or SB-1, that gave us the assumption. But anyway I'll start contacting nearest embassy/consulate to see how it goes. Thanks for mentioning that.

 

As for SB-1, correct me if I am wrong, you meant that the hard part would be to prove that she did not abandon her permanent residency, right? Based off other  threads I saw in this forum, it will be all possible ties to the U.S. such as bank accounts, tax filing, property and equity ownership, etc. What else could be used?

 

Again I appreciate your constructive reply and time. 

10 hours ago, fym033 said:

But other than that I want to see if anyone has any ot

 

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