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I have a question about citizenship, immigration. It is

I have a question...

I have a question about citizenship, immigration.

Lawyer's Assistant: What is your official status? Do you have any pending applications or petitions with USCIS?

It is about my wife. She has a "green card".

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

No, I have a general question about name changes and citizenship.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No, I just need someone who knows about citizenship laws.

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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/17/2017
Nisha Jones
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 3,490
Experience: Managing Attorney at Nisha Jones Law, LLC
Verified

Good morning, I am an Immigration Law attorney and former Prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office, and I'll be answering your questions today. Keep in mind this is for informational purposes only and we do not have an attorney-client relationship. Please allow me just a few minutes to review your question, thank you!

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I'd be happy to help, what's your specific question?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
My wife is a citizen of Ukraine. Her green card has my family name and her drivers license has my family name. She has a Ukrainian passport with her maiden name which will expire in Feb 2018. She was advised that she needs a apostille translated to Russian or Ukrainian to get her name changed in Ukraine if she wants to use my family name. And she must return to Ukraine to get her name changed on her passport. Maybe a better solution is to keep her maiden name on her passport and change her name to her maiden name on her green card and her drivers license. How difficult would it be to change her green card name to her maiden name. She probably wants to keep her Ukrainian citizenship as she wants to spend more than 3 months in Ukraine(limit for USA citizen). What is your advise? (I have limited time as I am at work and need to go to a customer)
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
to call you may be a good option, but I do not have time now. Is it possible to renew this discussion later or another day?

Yes, I'll review the information you sent, and you can come back to this thread and initiate the phone call when you are available.

To do so you would just follow the link I sent above.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I don't see a link.

Do you see the link to follow for the phone call now? I've just re-sent it.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Do you mean the Accept this Offer? That is not a link. I thought this site worked with chat. Okay I'll think about it. I thought I had a chance for a free trial for the first question.
Guillermo Senmartin
Guillermo Senmartin, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 113,949
Experience: Principal Attorney at Guillermo J. Senmartin, P.A.
Verified

Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 15 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. Also, please do NOT click on the Opt Out button because if you do, it would prevent me from communicating with you and then it could take a long time before another expert responds to you.

I am a new expert and I will try to help you, but please understand that this is not a free service. It looks like you deposited around $43 or $44. Are you ok with that?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I should not have been charged yet. They asked for $5 deposit, refundable. I have not received any answer yet. Just an offer of a phone conversation at $60. I'm willing to pay $40 if I can get accurate advice.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I don't have time for a conversation now.

Ok. Sorry for the delay. I just ask that if it is bad news that you not shoot the messenger. Shooting the messenger is either leaving a negative rating (usually reserved for rude or unprofessional experts) or not leaving a positive rating at all.

I have a few questions for you:

How long has your spouse been a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident?

She does not want to become a U.S. Citizen because she would lose her Ukrainian citizenship?

What city and state do you and your spouse live in?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
She has been living in the US with a "green card" for about 8 years. She wants to be able to live in Ukraine for part of the year and in the US for the other part of the year. If she is a US citizen she is limited to 90 days in Ukraine. If she keeps her Ukrainian citizenship she can stay in the Ukraine for 6 months and in the US for 6 months, as I understand it. So this seems to be a better option.She was going to have her name on her passport changed to my family name, but She would need to take an apostille(?) translated into Ukrainian or Russian to Ukraine. We have decided to keep her maiden name on her passport and have her green card name changed to her maiden name. (she has a delays going through customs because they do not match. She needs to carry a marriage certificate as an explanation for the different names).We live in Frederick Maryland.

Ok. If she is not going to get U.S. Citizenship, then she should go through a legal name change locally. Here is a link to that:

http://www.courts.state.md.us/family/forms/drin60.pdf

Once this is done, then she files an I-90 to get a replacement card with the new name. Of course, she has to show that she has legally changed her name, so she has to submit the evidence of the court order that changed her name.

As to 6 months in and 6 month out of the U.S., be careful.

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:

https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/maintaining-permanent-residence

So basically, she should try to spend more than 6 months every 12 months in the U.S. If that will not be possible, at least at the beginning, she can apply for a Re-Entry Permit on form I-131. This will allow her to be outside of the U.S. for up to 2 years. She can use it for multiple trips. If she needs more time, she comes back before the 2 years ends and then she can apply for one more Re-Entry Permit for 2 more years. If she still needs more time, she can apply again, but after 4 years, they get harder and harder to get and often only grant them for one year at a time. At some point she will need to start living in the U.S. and spending more than 180 days per 12 months inside. Here is a link to the I-131:

https://www.uscis.gov/i-131

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! If you have no further questions (at this time) please leave a positive rating for my service. I would sincerely ***** ***** You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars or smiley faces if you see them. If you do not see any stars or smiley faces, you may have to scroll up to the top of the page or click on my name and they should come out. Also, your session does NOT close when leaving a positive rating, so you can continue to ask additional questions without additional charge. Thank you for your understanding.

Guillermo Senmartin
Guillermo Senmartin, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 113,949
Experience: Principal Attorney at Guillermo J. Senmartin, P.A.
Verified
Guillermo Senmartin and 87 other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Okay. Thank you for the information. That is very helpful.

You are very welcome! Thank you for the positive rating. If you would like to request me in the future for a different topic, please remember to put FOR GUILLERMO in the subject line and message box. Good luck to you!

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Guillermo Senmartin, Immigration Attorney
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Satisfied Customers: 113,949
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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