[GreenCard] Maintaining ROC spouse's green card

I want to maintain my wife’s green card or get her a US passport and I’m not sure how to do it. Does anyone have any pointers or thought on this matter. I need some help brainstorming this matter.

My wife and I are quickly approaching our sixth wedding anniversary. We were married here in Taiwan, spent another year here then went to the States for almost four whole years. While there, I applied for and received a green card for her, but only after months of confusion, delays and frustration in dealing with the INS. – The INS lost our application only to find it much later. – We finally received the card, years late, after finding out that I had an old friend working in the INS. She helped us get the GC, but is unwilling to do offer any more assistance.

We arrived back in Taiwan about 14 months ago to be near my aging and ailing mother and father-in-law. However, we still maintain a residence in the US and I still work for a US company, the University of Phoenix, as an online facilitator. Unfortunately, my wife has not traveled back to the US in that time.

Now, I’m wondering if the green card is valid any longer. Will I have to go through the expense and nightmare of going through the application process again in the future? Or, is there a way to maintain her green card while living in Taiwan? Is there a way to get her a passport while living here? Even though I work for a US company, I’m not in the business of generating US trade.

Thanks for your ideas.

You didn’t make this easy. From my understanding your wife has to touch US territory every 6 months even if it is only a “5 minute, jump on the next plane, out touch ground” thing similiar to my Taiwanese visa. Guam is the closest US territory to go to, and this is where my friend and his Taiwanese wife went to keep up her green card in a pinch. I would definitely call AIT up and see what you can do. They can let you know your options and what problems you can face.

CYA
Okami

from what i’ve seen if you exceed one year you have a problem. do a web search under “green card maintain” and you will find a lot of relevant information on lawyers web pages.

[quote=“Ah Dah”]I want to maintain my wife’s green card or get her a US passport and I’m not sure how to do it. Does anyone have any pointers or thought on this matter. I need some help brainstorming this matter.

… I applied for and received a green card for her…

We arrived back in Taiwan about 14 months ago to be near my aging and ailing mother and father-in-law. However, we still maintain a residence in the US and I still work for a US company, the University of Phoenix, as an online facilitator. Unfortunately, my wife has not traveled back to the US in that time.

Now, I’m wondering if the green card is valid any longer. Will I have to go through the expense and nightmare of going through the application process again in the future? Or, is there a way to maintain her green card while living in Taiwan? Is there a way to get her a passport while living here? Even though I work for a US company, I’m not in the business of generating US trade.

Thanks for your ideas.[/quote]

Below please find my suggestions regarding the maintenance of your wife’s U.S. permanent resident status and a brief explanation regarding reentry permits.

It is common that a permanent resident alien will know in advance of leaving the U.S. that he or she will not be able to return within one year and will thus need some form of reentry documentation other than her green card. In these cases, the permanent resident alien can apply to the INS while in the U.S. for a reentry permit. A reentry permit is a valid reentry document, good for up to two years from the date of the alien’s departure from the U.S.

When applying for a reentry permit, the permanent resident alien should state the purpose of her overseas stay. Generally, an assignment abroad working for an U.S. employer is considered a suitable purpose, as is an extended period of stay to care for a family member(s) or to manage property.

Many aliens who will be abroad for lengthy periods will arrange to return to the U.S. prior to the expiration of the reentry permit in order to apply for a new permit. However, an alien who will be out of the U.S. for an extended period cannot expect to indefinitely obtain new reentry permits; with each new application for a reentry permit, the alien can expect closer and closer scrutiny with respect to her intention to maintain permanent residency status in the U.S.

In fact, under INS rules issued in January 1994, when an applicant for a reentry permit has been outside of the U.S. for an aggregate period of four out of the last five years, the permit will be issued only for a one-year period, rather than the normal two-year period of validity. It should also be noted that a reentry permit does not guarantee an alien’s readmission to the U.S. It does certify, however, that the alien’s trip abroad was accepted by the U.S. government as temporary and that the alien intends to maintain her permanent residency status despite a lengthy stay abroad.

This is important, as the issue of the alien’s continuing intention to remain a U.S. permanent resident is central to issuance of a reentry permit when the alien plans to be absent from the U.S. for a long period of time. Permanent resident status is not automatically lost by a lengthy absence abroad. However, an extended absence is one factor that the INS considers in judging an alien’s intentions. The INS looks at several major objective facts when determining an alien’s intent, which include the following:

[b]Length of alien’s absence from the U.S.

Purpose of the alien’s departure from the U.S.

Existence of facts indicating a fixed termination date for the stay abroad

Continued filing of U.S. income tax returns as a resident of the U.S.

Maintaining other ties with the U.S. (ownership of property in the U.S., U.S. bank accounts, U.S. credit cards, U.S. driver’s license, etc.

Maintaining an U.S. address

Location of the alien’s close family members

Location and nature of alien’s employment (U.S. vs. foreign employer, permanent vs. temporary employment abroad, fixed term employment contract, etc.)[/b]

Thus, merely returning to the U.S. and using the green card once a year, or once every two years if a reentry permit has been issued, has little bearing on the separate question of whether or not the alien has maintained the intention to remain a U.S. permanent resident. Many aliens have lost permanent resident status because, apart from returning to the U.S. to use their green card or apply for a new reentry permit, they did not maintain sufficient ties with the U.S. to indicate that they considered the U.S. their permanent home.

A case can certainly be made that your wife has the intention to maintain her U.S. permanent resident status. She has been out of the U.S. for only a short period of time for the purpose of taking care of her parents, which is generally considered a suitable purpose. She must file U.S. income tax returns as a U.S. resident. Filing such tax returns is perhaps the most important factor considered by the INS. She should also maintain a U.S. bank account and a U.S. address.

As your wife has already been out of the U.S. for more than one year, her green card will be insufficient for readmission to the U.S. and she will need to obtain a “special immigrant visa” (not a new green card) at an U.S. consulate abroad (AIT) before being permitted reentry to the U.S., unless she already has a reentry permit. After returning to the U.S., she should apply for a reentry permit. She should provide the INS a written statement explaining the purpose of her departure, which should include caring for her parents abroad.

Hope the above is helpful. Please check with AIT to confirm that the above is correct… its been a long time since I last handled any immigration matters.

I want to thank everyone who has provided insightful advice on this topic. I spoke with AIT recently and receive the following information, some of which supports what has already been posted.

It may be possible to maintain a green card after being out of the States for more than a year under the following conditions:

You maintain ties to your life in the US (i.e., maintain a household, hold a job, pay taxes, etc.),

You show why you were unable to return to the US within the year,

You submit the Returning Resident Visa and a non-refundable fee of US$360 dollars to AIT. The processing time is 2-3 months and there are no guarantees that the application request will be granted.

If your RRV is rejected, you may reapply for the green card with an I-30 form and a fee of US$130. The processing time is 2-3 months.

With that being said, I will leave all of you green card seekers with a word of advice. Do not apply for a green card in any INS office that is serviced by the INS Service Center in Laguna Nigel, California. It is the most poorly run government office in the US. The Gov. built the fancy building in Laguna Nigel for a government contractor. However, the contractor never took up occupancy. Therefore, the feds decided to put the INS Service Center there.

Seems like a sensible use of resources, right? Wrong. You see, Laguna Nigel is a rather expensive California suburb. There aren’t many folks in the immediate area that are interested in working for measly government worker wages. Therefore, most employees of the center have long, long commutes to work each day. If any of you don’t know, commuting in So. Cal. is a grim proposition, so there aren’t many people willing to do it for an unrewarding job with low wages. For this reason, the Laguna Nigel Service Center is horribly understaffed. If your application is sent there, you’d be extremely lucky to have it processed in a timely manner. It’s more likely that it’d be thrown on a mountainous backlog of work or lost altogether.

Guys,

A quick, related question: Like the original poster’s spouse, my spouse’s green card has been lost within the bowels of the INS – we still don’t have it and we’ve been married 5.5 years!

My wife and I had to return to Taiwan for the management of property and to care for her parents. As such, with the green card lost in the INS ether, we re-enter the U.S. using extensions to her Entry and Re-entry Permits.

My question is – can we apply for another Re-entry Permit (current one about to expire in May) in Guam at the INS there? Is the INS office there full-service enough?

Thank you.

[quote=“FormosaSmith”] – can we apply for another Re-entry Permit (current one about to expire in May) in Guam at the INS there? Is the INS office there full-service enough?

Thank you.[/quote]

The general rule is that you must be in the US when you apply for a reentry permit. I would think that Guam would be OK, and I would think with the military there the INS would have a service center that could handle this application. I’d check with AIT to make certain, however.

See
usais.org/greencard.htm

you need to actually mantain your residence in the US to keep your green card

just by going back to the US for one day or for a short period of time every six months or every year or so will not do it–eventually the Immigration inspector will take your green card form you/

Jonathan Capp
usvisasolutions.com
california-immigration-lawyers.com
losangeles-immigrationlawyers.com
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socalbusinesslawyer.com
sandiegoimmigrationlawyers.com
california-personal-injury-lawyer.us/
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san-diego-immigration-lawyers.com/
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california-immigration-lawyer.net/
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You can do a search on the web at dogpile.com for “green card” . . . . . . there is a lot of information available.

Maybe your wife/spouse can find some useful information from this
Chinese-American legal website.

Are there any first or even second hand accounts out there of anybody who has lost their green card because they acquired too many reentry permits? I know what all the INS forms say, but what about experience?

Keep in mind that the INS uses the modal ‘may’ (as in might) when discussing various limits. They do seem to be most inflexible with regards to the 1 year limit on being out of the US with a green card. (If you’re out for more than 6 months, it deserves ‘review’ which means a doubletake at customs. More than a year and you’ve lost your green card, maybe, probably, most likely, unless you jump through some of the previously mentioned hoops.) But with regards to this limit on reentry permits, what’s your experience been? I know people who have had 7 of them with no problem.

[quote=“hoedad”]Are there any first or even second hand accounts out there of anybody who has lost their green card because they acquired too many reentry permits? I know what all the INS forms say, but what about experience?

Keep in mind that the INS uses the modal ‘may’ (as in might) when discussing various limits. They do seem to be most inflexible with regards to the 1 year limit on being out of the US with a green card. (If you’re out for more than 6 months, it deserves ‘review’ which means a doubletake at customs. More than a year and you’ve lost your green card, maybe, probably, most likely, unless you jump through some of the previously mentioned hoops.) But with regards to this limit on reentry permits, what’s your experience been? I know people who have had 7 of them with no problem.[/quote]

I do know of several people who have lost PR status due to continued use of reentry permits. However, in each case the persons had different numbers of RPs. There is no bright line… the authorities have discretion in looking at each case and making decisions. The factors considered have been provided above in this thread.

Sorry if this is off topic or a little dumb but i thought if I am a U.S citizen living and married in Taiwan and I apply for an immigration visa for my wife( been married 3 years) while in
taiwan then that was it. If she is approved won’t she get a green-card and later citizenship in the U.S? Ifshe gets A green card at the airport when we land will it have any resrictions on it?