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I have a card from 1982. I am married to an American

I have a green...

I have a green card from 1982. I am married to an American citizen. I am british. never became an American citizen although living there 34 years and worked as a teacher. I had to come back to the UK to take care of my ailing mother in 2016 january. She died end of 2016. I stayed here improving the house i inherited, and had many dishonest builders, and lost money this way. I finally have the house ready to put on the market. i would like to go back to the States after it has sold. my husband is here with me now. we both want to go back. Since I have overstayed...more than 2 years, what should I do.? We have been paying our US taxes while we have been here. I am retired, almost 68 years old.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any paperwork with the U.S. government?

No.

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

Not yet, i thought I should get an appointment with the US Embassy in London, and ask.

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

Is this a free service at the moment?

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Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/18/2018
Guillermo Senmartin
Guillermo Senmartin, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 113,383
Experience: Principal Attorney at Guillermo J. Senmartin, P.A.
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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.

Please give me a few minutes to review your question and I will be right with you with an answer. Sorry for any delay. I may have to do some research and at the same time I read and type fast, but not that fast! Thank you for your patience.

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Sorry for the delay. I just ask that if the news is not good 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.

My condolences on the loss of your mother. Did you apply for Re-Entry Permit before leaving the U.S.? Is your spouse a U.S. Citizen?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No I did not apply for a re entry permit. Did not know I had to at the time. My mother became ill suddenly after my sisters death and I rushed back to the UK to take care of her since there was no one else.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I would prefer to type here. It should be straight forward for you to tell me what I should do. Should i make an appointment at the US Embassy in London to discuss my situation? Or is there a form to fill out online first?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
My spouse is a US citizen.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Are you still there? I replied that yes my husband is a US citizen.

Yes. Give me a moment as I have to type your answer and it is a long one...

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Ok. Well, you can try to apply for an SB-1 Returning Resident visa and explain the situation. If they approve it, then no problem. You can come back using it. If not, you would have to file an I-407 Abandonment of Residency to officially abandon your Residency which would then allow your spouse to apply for a new green card for you using form I-130, but it will probably take around 6 months or more for you to be able to immigrate back to the U.S. using it and you would not be allowed to visit the U.S. during that time. Here are some links:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/returning-resident.html

https://www.uscis.gov/i-407

The other alternative I see is to try to come back using you current green card, but if they stop you at the Port of Entry, they can confiscate your green card and parole you into the U.S. and you would be scheduled to go before an immigration judge in Removal Proceedings where you can try to convince the judge that you were not abandoning your green card. If they are not convinced, your spouse can just file for you all over again so that you can stay. It's more scary than anything else to do it like that.

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: 113,383
Experience: Principal Attorney at Guillermo J. Senmartin, P.A.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you....that is all very worrying. But I guess I will just follow your advice and try the SB-1. So just to clarify....if I go back with my current green card, they will let me in but take my card? We are planning on buying property in Florida with the money I get from the sale of my inherited house. We might buy on line, or go back and rent and buy there. I was going to go and look at property that we are interested in before we buy it and come back here again to pack up everything. My husband would stay here and take care of the dog! So you think i would not be allowed out again if i go in with my current green card? That would be extremely inconvenient if I was not prepared.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
i just wrote another question but you do not seem to have received it...are you still there? i can ask again if you are. thanks.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
are you still there?

Yes. Please be patient. I am on the phone with a customer and it seems I am the only expert online at the moment. I will be right with you.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
How about if we bought a house in Florida...before we go back without seeing it...then I just return with all our belongings, I can't imagine there would be ay problem renewing my green card then (or giving me a new one from my husband's application?) Is there any reason they could find NOT to allow me to stay?

Yes, they would let you back in and might confiscate the green card, or they may just let you in without much of a fuss because they figured it would be a waste of government resources to place you in Removal Proceedings when your spouse can just reapply for you. Regardless, there is no way to guarantee that you will or will not have a problem unless you get an SB-1. If you get the SB-1, you should be fine. If you do it the other way of using your green card to enter the U.S. and they don't bother you, it could become a problem in the future when you apply for U.S. Citizenship. Buying a house now can help, but it wouldn't be as helpful had you purchased a house during the 2 year period that you were away. Thank you for your patience.

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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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
ok thank you very much for your advice.

My pleasure.

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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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