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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 109330
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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I have a old card from 1985 and 3 weeks ago I went to the

Customer Question

I have a old green card from 1985 and 3 weeks ago I went to the DMV to get a new driver licence They told me that my green card is probably to old and not valid anymore. Up to now I am living in France because of my husband work situation. I am divorced and I want to come back in the us to live close to my mother brother and nephews their are all us citizens, also my oldest daugther was born in San Diego. Can you tell me what I should do and how can help me
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 years 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.

How long have you been outside of the U.S. without coming back? Did you get a Re-Entry Permit before leaving? I'm more concerned about abandonment of Residency.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I live in France since 2001. But I came to visit my mother in 2004, 2005,2011, 2014 and actually visiting her and going back to France on august 23.I never had are entry permit
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Oh no! This may be a problem and not because the green card is old. They call it Residency because you are supposed to be living "residing" in the U.S. in order to maintain it.

A Lawful Permanent Residency is for someone that intends to permanently reside in the U.S. and is actually doing so. Not for someone that is just coming to the U.S. to visit from time to time.

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

They have never given you an issue upon entry into the U.S.? How did you get your Residency status? Are you currently married to a U.S. Citizen? Do you have U.S. Citizen children over 21?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Because of my marital situation until now I was not able to stay in the us because it was a big issue with my ex husband. Now I want to come back first to take care of my mother and to finally live here permentely. What should I do ?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Are you currently in the U.S.? Do you plan to go back to France? And are you currently married to a U.S. Citizen? Do you have U.S. Citizen children? What age? And you never said, do they give you any problems when you try to enter?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I had an problem in 2004with the immigration when I came to visit my parent but they did not took my green card. Since 2005 with the new passport there is a agreement between us and France we do not need a visa to enter us when you stay less than 3 Month we just need to apply for the esta a authorisation to enter uswich I have. My first child was born in San Diego Can. I have to go back Torrance to take care of my paper before moving to Los Angeles. AlsoIwant to be sure to be OK with the us immigration
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

But you have been using the ESTA to come in or the green card? I think that makes sense. It isn't good news, but that makes sense. So what I assume happened is that they gave you some warning in 2004 and after that you started using ESTA instead of the green card?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I had a warning from the immigration and each time I come I use the esta what do you think Ishoulddo. I have a social security number I worked for 6 Years in the us before I married
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

By using the ESTA, you have basically admitted abandonment of Residency. If you tried to use the green card again, they will confiscate it and place you in Removal Proceedings for deportation and you would not be able to prove to an immigration judge that you did not abandon your Residency because you just spent too much time outside and you used the ESTA. So basically, you are back to zero. You have to start from scratch. How old is your U.S. Citizen child? I hope over 21.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I use the esta when I visit my mother What do you think I should do
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

There isn't much you can do. You have to start from scratch. So you are in almost the same position as anyone else to get a green card. You don't get special processing or a special way to get a green card because you had one before. How old is your U.S. Citizen child? Do you have a U.S. Citizen significant other?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My child is 28years old my mother is a us citizen and also my 2 brothers
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Well then your child is your solution. Where does he live?

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I do not know why you are not responding, but you are not charged per question, per response, nor per answer. So after I give you my answer, you can continue to ask me questions without additional charge until you are satisfied. I apologize if it is a site issue that you posted and the post did not go through.
Your solution is that your 28 year old child must file an I-130 for you if you are outside of the U.S. Your child would need to be living in the U.S. or prove that they will be immigrating with you to the U.S.
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 even ask additional questions without additional charge even after leaving a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 2 years 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!