Greencard and overstay out of the USA for 15 month!?

This is a discussion on Greencard and overstay out of the USA for 15 month!? within the Green Card Issues forum, part of the Other Immigration Law & Visas category; I got an greencard but i left the US without getting a re-enter permit. I did this because my husband ...

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Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 07:31 PM   #1
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Confused Greencard and overstay out of the USA for 15 month!?

I got an greencard but i left the US without getting a re-enter permit. I did this because my husband is in the military and was ready to get deployed for 15 month. I didnt knew anybody in the states because we just moved there and he was told not to get deployed so soon but then he had orders and i just thought it might be better to go back to germany and have my family there for the time he is deployed. So next month his tour is over and we wanna move back there. Do i still get in the US without having any problems? I called millions of times the USCIS the consulate...but they didnt even know what to do, they told me i need a re-enter permit, but i dont have one! And i cant get it from being outside the US. Should i go back and show my greencard and tell them i was out of the US for only a couple month(will they see it how long i was absence from the US) or better tell the trues? Or even not show my greencard at all and just go in on the visa waiver? Please help! I really dont know what to do.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 01:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Greencard and overstay out of the USA for 15 month!?

It is an all too common situation – after years of bureaucratic entanglements, a person finally obtains lawful permanent residence in the US, only to find they still have business or family concerns that will keep them out of the US for an extended period of time. Often, the lawful permanent resident (LPR) will try to reenter the US, only to have a port of entry officer or consular official tell them they have abandoned their permanent residence status. Absences from the US of more than six months raise a rebuttable presumption that an individual intends to abandon permanent resident status, and absences of more than one year invalidate the green card as an entry document unless the person holds a valid re-entry document. This means that a foreign national who has been continuously abroad for more than 12 months may still be a permanent resident, but a special immigrant visa issued by a US consul may be necessary to re-enter the US unless the individual has a valid re-entry permit.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 04:07 PM   #3
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Smile Re: Greencard and overstay out of the USA for 15 month!?

What if a permanent resident departs the U.S. for more than 1 year, without a reentry permit, or for more than 2 years, even with a reentry permit?

U.S. law recognizes that circumstances may arise so as to justify such an extended trip and allow the permanent resident to reenter the U.S. as a “Returning Resident”. When the permanent resident’s trip outside the U.S. becomes extended due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond their control that arose following departure, such as the unexpected medical condition of an immediate family member overseas or perhaps their own unexpected illness, then the U.S. Embassy will entertain the resident’s application for a Returning Resident visa. With such a visa the permanent resident will retain their status despite the extended departure and be allowed reentry, but not after having a U.S. consular officer thoroughly scrutinize all details surrounding the applicant’s claim of “unforeseeable circumstances”.

It is also important to note that permanent residents with very extended departures who do not have the type of excuse required for Returning Resident eligibility may still avail of a new immigrant visa by being re-petitioned by some U.S. family member or employer. And these days, those that are the spouses or under 21 year old children of U.S. citizens or parents of adult U.S. citizen will generally wait less than 1 year for such a new petition process to yield a new immigrant visa.

Lastly, permanent residents who are issued their status on a 2 year conditional basis will have many other special factors to consider in planning extended trips outside the U.S. and may therefore be far more restricted in their travel options.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Greencard and overstay out of the USA for 15 month!?

Returning Resident (SB-1) Visa

If you are a lawful permanent resident and you are unable to return to the United States within the travel validity period of a Permanent Resident Card (one year), or a Reentry Permit (two years), you may apply to the nearest U.S. consular office for a special immigrant Returning Resident (SB-1) visa. To qualify for this status, you must show that:
  • You were a lawful permanent resident when you departed the United States;
  • When you departed, you intended to return to the United States and you have maintained this intent;
  • You are returning from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay was protracted, that it was caused by reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible; and
  • You are eligible for the immigrant visa in all other respects.

If you wish to apply for a Returning Resident (SB-1) visa, you should contact the nearest consular office well in advance of you intended travel (at least three months in advance, if possible) to permit sufficient time for visa processing.

If the returning Resident (SB-1) visa is refused on the grounds that you have given up your residence in the United States, it may or may not be possible to obtain a nonimmigrant visa, depending on whether you have established a residence abroad to which you will return. If you cannot submit convincing evidence of compelling ties abroad, you may have to apply for an immigrant visa on the same basis by which you immigrated originally, if that is possible.
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Old Dec 19th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #5
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Exclamation Re: Greencard and overstay out of the USA for 15 month!?

I was a green card holder at the time when I stayed outside USA for more than a year (18 months). I don't know about the "1-year rule" at that time nor have heard of re-entry permit neither. Upon return to United States, the immigration officer asked me how long I stayed outside United States. So I told them, 18 months. Then they took me to an office-- or as what they call "interrogation room"; I'm sure all bad things happen here. And I was right! They explained to me the "1-year rule" and the reason why are they confiscating my green card and why are they sending me back. So pretty much, my green card is considered “ABANDONED”.
I have consulted lawyers and none of them could help or reverse the status of my green card. They told me to either marry a US Citizen or get an employer. Basically, start from scratch!

So if you are a green card holder and intending to stay outside the US for over a year, you need to get a re-entry permit or simply don’t overstay.
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Old Jun 11th, 2015, 06:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Greencard and overstay out of the USA for 15 month!?

Just wanted to tell my story that it may perhaps encourage someone who's having greencard abandonment issues. Miracles do happen...

I got my gc in Oct of 2006 through asylum, and it expires in 2017. I left the usa a couple of times between 2006 & 2009 to go to my country for a month each time. However in November of 2010, I left through LAX (los angeles airport), went to my country and stayed for....are you ready for this? I stayed for 4 years 6 months. Yes. You read that right. I didn't know about a re-entry permit so I never applied for one. Its a long story but to be brief my dad was really sick and I ended up taking care of him that whole time. In addition to that, the police in my country busted down our door one day and confiscated all our documents including our passports, birth certificates etc. The bribe the police chief would later ask so as to release my passport was too high, and with no job and with all of dad's medical bills, rents etc...I just couldn't afford it.

So I continued taking care of my dad till he passed away 7 weeks ago, in April 2015. At that time I didn't even think I would be able to return to the USA, but I deeply desired to return. I did some research on the internet just like a lot of you guys are doing and finally made up my mind to risk it all & attempt to fly back. I put all of dad's medical records, his receipts, doctor's letters etc into a folder. I also had another folder containing ''ties to america''..... (both folders totaling about 100 pages). I borrowed some money and paid off the police holding my passport. I borrowed some more money and bought a one-way plane ticket with borrowed funds, (I was that broke) and boarded a plane to the US last week on June 4th 2015.

I landed at LAX on June 5th 2015 and as the plane touched down, I looked outside the window and my eyes filled with tears remembering all I had been through the previous 4.5 years. I wondered if I would be deported & said a little prayer and asked God to have mercy on me. When I finally reached the end of customs line, the cbp officer questioning me was very shocked that I had stayed 4.5 years outside the USA. Would you believe that the CBP officers were so nice, I explained my story and even offered my documents but none of them wanted to read them. They took me to secondary, but after a bit of questioning they gave me back my greencard and welcomed me into the USA!! I was so happy, I almost cried. So guys, here I am 4 & a half years later, back in the good old USA. I feel overwhelmed by this 2nd chance I got. You better believe I won't make the same mistake again of not applying for a re-entry permit or overstaying my gc ever ever again. I hope this story encourages someone else. There's a light at the end of the tunnel for you, don't give up. This is America, the land of second chances. I love this place. - God bless you all..
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Old Jun 12th, 2015, 08:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Greencard and overstay out of the USA for 15 month!?

Once you got here with no money, how were you planning on paying for housing and food?
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Old Jun 13th, 2015, 05:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Greencard and overstay out of the USA for 15 month!?

Sorry I couldn't log in, misplaced my password. Housing & food wasn't a problem really. I have pocket money, still my mother and other family members are citizens here in USA. I had money to rent a studio and enough to pay for food till I can get my old job back. Working on it now...
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