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Permanent Residency Laws

Permanent residency is the visa status granted to a non-citizen by the government allowing the non-citizen to indefinitely reside in the United States. Immigrants refer to the process as ‘Green Card’ as the color of the card issued was green between 1946 and 1964, and again since 2010. A Green Card holder has immigration benefits including permission to reside and work permanently. If certain conditions are not met, the resident status can be revoked. Below, Legal Experts answer questions on Permanent Residency.

What is the permitted time limit for staying in another country within a year of receiving the Green Card?

Upon receiving the Green Card, you are obliged to maintain residence in the United States. However, you may leave the country for a period up to 18 months and request a re-entry permit upon your return to the country.

I am an Indian who moved to the US after my marriage in 2001. I received the Green Card in 2008. I have filed for divorce from my husband in a US court; however, my husband has moved court to dismiss my case on the grounds that he has filed for divorce in an Indian court. Can he do that? Also, since my daughter is a US citizen, shouldn’t custody be fought in the US?

You have the right to file a case in the US as you have clearly been living in the US for more than six months, as per rules. However, as to which court will hear your case will depend on who filed first, even if it is by a few hours.

If your husband filed first in the Indian court, the US court will acquiesce to the Indian court recognizing its superior jurisdiction. If a motion to dismiss the case in the US court is not filed by your husband, you may have two different sets of orders. In such a situation, the Indian court’s verdict may have more value over the American order. Also, the child’s custody will be decided by the court that has divorce jurisdiction at that time.

My wife and I file for Permanent Residence two weeks ago, where I am being sponsored by her. However, she quit her job yesterday and plans to study while I take up a job. She has enough savings to show that she can support me. Should we update the USCIS of her current employment status or do we wait till the interview in about 4-5 months?

It would be fine to wait till the interview for Permanent Residency. Meanwhile, you wife needs to look for gainful employment and also document all her efforts — like keeping communication records of which companies she applied to — in the eventuality that she does not get employed by the time of the interview.

In all probability, her employment status will not be a problem as the immigration authorities are mainly concerned with understanding whether the marriage has been entered into for the purpose of residency.

She will be free to pursue her studies as the immigration officials are likely to accept this as valid reason to not work. Also, if you get employed, the ability to support you will not be significant in this case.

I am an Australian who is moving to America with my partner, a US citizen. Since I am a registered nurse, is there a Visa I can apply for that does not require a sponsor?

Generally, most of the time, Employment Visas are hard to get without a sponsor. Your options to obtain a Visa will be apply for a student Visa or marry your partner who you said is a US citizen. This will also entitle you for filing an application for provisional Permanent Residency.

There is no employment visa that you can get that does not have a sponsor. What you can consider filing for is possibly a student visa, or marry your partner in the USA, as that will automatically give you the right to apply for a provisional green card.

In case a Permanent Residency holder wishes to abandon his/her status, they may do so by filing form I-407 at a U.S. Embassy. Certain conditions may lead to your Permanent residency status being revoked. This includes any criminal act making the person removable from the US; leaves the US for more than 265 days without a re-entry permission; fails to file tax return; or even if the status was obtained fraudulently. To learn more about your right as a Permanent Resident, as a Legal Expert that specializes in Immigration Law.

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Tina, Lawyer
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Satisfied Customers: 8603
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
4460311
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Recent Permanent Residency Questions

  • I am a US citizen. I am seriously considering marrying a woman

    I am a US citizen. I am seriously considering marrying a woman from Cameroon. She presently lives in Limbe. We have discussed her living with me in the US. I do know she would like to be married in Cameroon. With her family present. I need to know if our marriage will be honored in the US. Also getting her US citizenship. And all the other legalities I haven't even thought of.
  • I have a question about students studying out of state for

    I have a question about students studying out of state for a year but just recently has no more family members or fix addresses in his/her home state.
    I know a student from Massachusetts that is studying in another state starting last year though his family who he lived with before he went to school used to rent an apartment however as of this year they also moved out of state. Since he is a student it is assumed he still holds on to old home state's residency as he has made no attempt to register to vote or anything in the school state. Though since they lived in an apartment and the family happens to be living temporarily as well out of state and have no mailing address in the home state. In this case how should they deal with voter registration, and other mailing issues. He has forwarded his mail though USPS we don't know How long would USPS forward his mail from home state of MA to his student address in the school state? I know the MA register of voters have trouble reaching him and is mailing warning letters which eventually reached him. I know that students that move out of state for study from MA can vote absentee in MA elections so I wonder is this the best choice. Though another issue is how to keep important mail from MA coming to his location so he don't miss any as we know there is usually a time limit for mail forwarding.
  • Hello Hammer Ojustice.... As a former prosecutor I am curious

    Hello Hammer O'justice.... As a former prosecutor I am curious to know...following my previous question to you...regarding my husbands (whose Canadian but recently received us permanent residency in 2012) DUI-D cocaine...well we finally went to court Aug 25 which was the first extension they asked for of 30days...so we go into court and they issue another piece of paper on when to return...all the way in to February 10, 2015! I can't believe this... Why do you think that has happened? Do you think they are trying to get information from Canada? Hopefully you remember my previous question to you...if not I can cut and paste it to refresh your memory on what is going on. thank you for your time.
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