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Green card confusion!

Green card confusion!

Old Dec 22nd 2005, 11:50 pm
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Default Green card confusion!

Me and the wife are planning on moving back to the UK in 2-3 years for about 5 years. I gather that I will lose my permanent residency (green card) if I do this...is this correct and is there any way around it?

Thanks!
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Old Dec 22nd 2005, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

Originally Posted by Lostman
Me and the wife are planning on moving back to the UK in 2-3 years for about 5 years. I gather that I will lose my permanent residency (green card) if I do this...is this correct and is there any way around it?

Thanks!
Yes.
No.

You could request a re-entry permit. But for a maximum of 2 years. So for 5 years no way Jose.

Read all about it here:

http://www.americanlaw.com/maintlpr.html
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 12:05 am
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

Originally Posted by Angry White Pyjamas
Yes.
No.

You could request a re-entry permit. But for a maximum of 2 years. So for 5 years no way Jose.

Read all about it here:

http://www.americanlaw.com/maintlpr.html
Just out of interest, does this apply to all GC's - including spouses of USC's? Seems rather unreasonable in that particular case - I mean, if you're married to a USC, seems there should be some permanency to your right to live and work in the US any time you want... without having to go through the rigmarole all over again any time you leave the US for more than 2 yrs?

Also, are USC spouses of UKC's in the same boat? I mean, if your hubby is a UKC and you get permission to live and work in the UK, do you lose it if you leave the UK for a long time?

I could understand (somewhat) the situation for people who have employment-based GC's, but not marriage-based ones.
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 12:09 am
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

Originally Posted by dunroving
Just out of interest, does this apply to all GC's - including spouses of USC's? Seems rather unreasonable in that particular case - I mean, if you're married to a USC, seems there should be some permanency to your right to live and work in the US any time you want... without having to go through the rigmarole all over again any time you leave the US for more than 2 yrs?

Also, are USC spouses of UKC's in the same boat? I mean, if your hubby is a UKC and you get permission to live and work in the UK, do you lose it if you leave the UK for a long time?

I could understand (somewhat) the situation for people who have employment-based GC's, but not marriage-based ones.

If you leave the US for more than 6 months you have to show no intent of abandoment. More than 1 year and you have to get permission for re-entry and you have to show its for a very good cause (eg nursing a terminally ill parent) and that you still maintain connections with the US (Job, Bank, Home etc). Over 2 years...tough luck boyo. The law is pretty plain in that respect. Also there is no distinction between work based GC and marriage based GC.

When they give you the privaledge to be a permanent resident they really do mean permanent and not use it as a holiday place once in awhile.

Two notes -

-However, a reentry permit does not guarantee readmission to the United States.

- Reentry permits are valid for not more than two years from the date of issuance and are not renewable. The INA makes it clear that the issuance of a reentry permit is at the discretion of the Attorney General

I dont know about the USC in the UK bit though. Could check it out on the HO website.

Last edited by Angry White Pyjamas; Dec 23rd 2005 at 12:13 am.
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 12:13 am
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

Originally Posted by Lostman
Me and the wife are planning on moving back to the UK in 2-3 years for about 5 years. I gather that I will lose my permanent residency (green card) if I do this...is this correct and is there any way around it?

Thanks!
Get your citizenship if you qualify. 5 years Green Card (or 3 years if your wife is USC)

That way you can come and go as you please.
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 2:20 am
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

Originally Posted by Angry White Pyjamas
I dont know about the USC in the UK bit though.
2 years there too - that is, outside the country before you would be considered to have abandoned permanent residence.

I don't know if they have the equivalent of a re-entry permit or not - I don't think so though.
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 2:24 am
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

Originally Posted by FlyergirlUK
2 years there too - that is, outside the country before you would be considered to have abandoned permanent residence.

I don't know if they have the equivalent of a re-entry permit or not - I don't think so though.
It's never affected me so this is the first time I've become aware of the situation, but it seems there should be a bit more latitude towards dual-nationality married couples. I mean, by definition, as a couple you have dual allegiances. It seems silly that you have to choose where you are going to "stay", or resign yourself to dealing with bureaucratic paper-shuffling every few years if you want to move back and forth occasionally.

All in all seems pretty dumb, but when did immigration ever seem straightforward?
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 2:42 am
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

Originally Posted by dunroving
It's never affected me so this is the first time I've become aware of the situation, but it seems there should be a bit more latitude towards dual-nationality married couples. I mean, by definition, as a couple you have dual allegiances. It seems silly that you have to choose where you are going to "stay", or resign yourself to dealing with bureaucratic paper-shuffling every few years if you want to move back and forth occasionally.

All in all seems pretty dumb, but when did immigration ever seem straightforward?
I agree with you but, what are ya gonna do?!

We just have to abide by these immigration rules and regs no matter how we feel about them.

I'm just thankful that Hubby's UK visa can be gotten in a matter of weeks, (by post) or just the one day should he decide to treat me to that trip to New York he keeps promising me!
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 2:55 am
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

Originally Posted by dunroving

I could understand (somewhat) the situation for people who have employment-based GC's, but not marriage-based ones.

Let me tell you that people with employment based green cards are in no less of a predicament. We have 3 (nearly) adult sons who are not sure where they want to live. Having moved here as teenagers, they are 'antsy' to get back to London - but what if they decide after a few years that they'd rather be back here? Unlike spouses of USCs, they couldn't simply re-apply for K-whatever visas - it's a once-and-for-all decision whether to stay or go.

I get the impression that mixed-nationality marriages and inter-country moves are becoming even more common than in the past, so the types of problems we all face hopefully will be addressed by the powers-that-be at some point. I'm not holding my breath though...
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 3:14 am
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

You could technically lose your LPR the day you leave, just to stress what has been said you have to maintain the US as your Permanent residency no matter how long you have gone, one day, one week one month and longer periods with the above restrictions.
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 12:02 pm
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

Originally Posted by Lostman
Me and the wife are planning on moving back to the UK in 2-3 years for about 5 years. I gather that I will lose my permanent residency (green card) if I do this...is this correct and is there any way around it?

Thanks!
Guess that if you're married to a USC (and you may not be), and you've been in the US for more than 3 years you can apply for citizenship in the meantime and get a US passport. This may make a return easier - maybe someone else can answer this one, as I claim no knpwledge in this area. 5 years residence is the time if you're not married to a USC - so this may or may not apply.
Dual citizenship is of course no problem for US & UK.
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

Couldn't he just reapply for a GC through DCF when he's ready to move back?
It's a much quicker and easier route as they will have already been married several years.
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 12:58 pm
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

Originally Posted by ladyofthelake
Couldn't he just reapply for a GC through DCF when he's ready to move back?
It's a much quicker and easier route as they will have already been married several years.
As long as his wife has been granted ILR - London Embassy tightened up their requirements for USCs to file the I-130 directly with them.

Of course, they might have changed the rules again by then...
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

If you think about it, there's not really a lot of confusion around the green card. It's more the hope of the beholder that there's some loop-hole.

If you remember, the "green card" really is a "Permanent Residency card" - It shows clear intent of the holder to be a permanent resident of the USA.

If they relax the clear rules, millions of people who could qualify and apply for it but never have to live in the USA. Sounds then like a "right to eventually live in the USA card".

If you want the right to freely travel and move between the USA and UK, indefinately and for as long as you choose, for you and your kids then the only known solution to that is to get the green card and THEN apply for citizenship. If you don't want citizenship but want to move out of the USA for a long period, then you risk losing your green card (through lack of residency). Pretty black and white to me...
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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: Green card confusion!

Originally Posted by franc11s
If you think about it, there's not really a lot of confusion around the green card. It's more the hope of the beholder that there's some loop-hole.

If you remember, the "green card" really is a "Permanent Residency card" - It shows clear intent of the holder to be a permanent resident of the USA.

If they relax the clear rules, millions of people who could qualify and apply for it but never have to live in the USA. Sounds then like a "right to eventually live in the USA card".

If you want the right to freely travel and move between the USA and UK, indefinately and for as long as you choose, for you and your kids then the only known solution to that is to get the green card and THEN apply for citizenship. If you don't want citizenship but want to move out of the USA for a long period, then you risk losing your green card (through lack of residency). Pretty black and white to me...
Yes, the rules are black and white, but the situation a mixed-nationality couple are in is not. That's the problem with US immigration - the "easy option" for US immigration services often makes for a difficult situation for leigitimate potential "immigrants" (I use the term loosely to refer to people who wish to live in the US for legitimate purposes - like, their spouse's family live there).

Maybe there should be some different status (so we don't have to call it "permanent residency", just to satisfy the immigration purists) for mixed-nationality couples so they can move freely back and forth between their respective countries without so much bullsh*t and form-filling. Perhaps we could call it "transient residency".
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