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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 109656
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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Hello, I am an Australian citizen married to an American citizen

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Hello, I am an Australian citizen married to an American citizen currently living in Australia. I was married in Hawaii May 2006 and have a five year old daughter who was born in the US. I lived and worked in the US from 2006 - 2010 prior to relocating for my husbands work to Australia. I hold a permanent residency card to the United States with a ten year validity but I have been living outside the United States since February 2010.

We are now looking at relocating back to the United States potentially as soon as Xmas 2013 and my question is will I be okay to re-enter the country and work immediately without re-applying for a spousal visa etc.

Kind regards

Hello and thank you for using our service. My name isXXXXX and I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help you. Believe me that I will try my best to give you a solution if one exists, but sometimes the law does not have a good one.

Please tell me that you applied for a Re-Entry Permit before leaving the U.S. Did you?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I originally applied for a re-enry permit but that expired in April 2013. So I am unsure if we have to start the process again?

And you did not come back before April 2013? Was there an emergency reason or reason outside of your control that you would not come back before the Re-Entry Permit expired?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The last time I was in the US was December 2010. Lack of finances was my only reason for not returning prior.

Unfortunately, I don't have good news for you. You basically have three options:

1) You can apply for an SB-1 Returning Resident visa and prove that your absence from the U.S. was beyond your control and the length of time outside was reasonable due to the circumstances. Here is a link:

2) You can attempt to enter the U.S. with your green card. You most likely will not be lucky enough to get by. They most likely will confiscate your green card and parole you into the U.S. They will schedule you for removal proceedings and you would have to prove to an immigration judge that you did not intend to abandon your green card status. That can be proven by evidence to the contrary such as that during the time you were away, you were still 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. Luckily, assuming you are still married to your U.S. Citizen husband, he can petition for you all over again for you to stay. Because that is a possibility, they may not bother with placing you in removal proceedings at all since they won't want to waste the time or money. That's about the only thing going for you.

3) Your husband can file a K-3 or IR-1 process for you, but as you probably know, the K-3 will take around 9 months to process and the IR-1 can take around a year or so to process. Here is a link:

It is really up to you, but I think you should try option #1 first.

Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance to you. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. If you do rate me positively, a bonus is always appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future, just go to and make sure you type: FOR GUILLERMO on the subject line. Thank you!

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