How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. Your Own...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 105647
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
9200179
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My brother used to live in the US and had a green card. He

Customer Question

My brother used to live in the US and had a green card. He left America many years ago to go back to Greece to work there and his green card expired.
In 2009 he wanted to come to America for my daughter's wedding and they told him that to reinstate his green card would take up to 5 months and if he wanted to come to the wedding that month he would have to sign a paper and surrender his green card. He foolishly did that so he could come to the wedding. Is there any way he can reverse that and reinstate his green card?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 13 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help. I think you misunderstand. Do you believe he had a realistic option to reinstate his green card after being outside of the U.S. for so many years?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Yes, they told him that he could reinstate his card, but it would take up to 5 months.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
are you still there?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Yes, I type fast but not that fast. Give me a few minutes because this is a LONG piece of writing to inform you correctly about this situation...
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
OK that sounds good, I have not done this before.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
No problem. Sorry about the delay. Anyway, yes, unfortunately, sometimes the officers at the Port of Entry don't give the proper information in order to make a person easier to handle. If he had decided to fight, they would have confiscated the green card and paroled him into the U.S. So why would they give him incomplete information? Because they aren't allowed to cancel someone's Residency status since they are not immigration judges and do not have that authority. So the only thing they are allowed to do (if the person doesn't give it up voluntarily) is confiscate the green card and parole them into the U.S. but the next thing they had to have done would have cost the government money. Why? Because they would have to schedule him for Removal Proceedings where he would have had the chance to prove to an immigration judge that he did not have the intent (by his actions) to abandon his green card. Now understanding that, how do you believe your brother could have convinced an immigration judge that he was residing in the U.S. (it is called Residency because a person is supposed to be residing in the U.S. to maintain it) and just staying outside for short periods of time?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Basically you are saying that since it had expired there was no way he could have reinstated it. By the way all this happened in Greece not in the US. He ended up coming to the wedding as a visitor and went back. Now he wanted to come back because he lost his job in Greece, but it sounds as if he does not have any hope of reinstating his green card and that he would have to apply from the start.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
There are websites by the way that talk about reinstating expired green cards, but this is different since they made him sign that surrender paper. It is no longer just expired it is surrendered.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
The expiration is not the issue. An expired 10 year green card is just that, an expired card. That does not terminate status. The issue is his actions or lack of certain actions. Let me see if I can explain. Anyone that is a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and is outside of the U.S. for 180 days or more within any 12 month period (not necessarily calendar year) creates a rebuttable presumption of abandonment of residency. That presumption can be rebutted by evidence to the contrary such as filing U.S. taxes, maintaining a home in the U.S. and paying that mortgage or rent, maintaining a U.S. drivers license, U.S. bank accounts with significant movement, etc.Someone that has been outside of the U.S. for more than 1 year without first having an approved re-entry permit has abandoned their residency and only in very few exceptions (such as serious illness) can they get it back.Here is an official link:http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/maintaining-permanent-residence So, understanding now how a person can abandon their Residency status, even if he had the opportunity to address an immigration judge, how would he have proved that he did not intend to abandon his status in the U.S. by living outside for so long?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you, ***** *****
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Well, I had not given you an answer yet. I just wanted to explain and ask if he could justify being out so long. Did he apply for a Re-Entry Permit at any point? Has he paid U.S. taxes all these years? Did he have a medical emergency?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
I had not given you an answer yet and they only way I can get compensated for helping you is if I give you an answer and then you leave a positive rating for me. If he had an emergency or urgent reason for being out so long AND the time out was reasonable in relation to the situation, then he could try for an SB-1 visa: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/returning-residents.html If he fails that, he could always apply for a new green card status. Of course, the fastest ways are through a U.S. Citizen spouse or a U.S. Citizen son or daughter over 21 that applies for him. If it is any other family member, he would have to wait a few years to get a new green card status. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions and there is no additional charge. Also, should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! When we are done, if you would be so kind as to leave a positive rating for my service, I would sincerely ***** ***** You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars if you see them, or the smiley faces if you see them. If you do not see any stars or smiley faces, please at least leave a THANK YOU for me so I can let the administrators know. Your question thread does NOT close, so you can ask additional questions without additional charge even after leaving a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Hello. I'm just following up with you again to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!

Related Immigration Law Questions