I married a US citizen in California in 2000. I was finally granted my
unconditional greencard in August 2002 but the final processing to
collect the card took an astonishing 11 months! I filed the paperwork,
paid fees etc. However, in mid 2003 I had to leave the US due to
family problems in Australia (my home country). My US hubby came with
me. We ended up having to stay on here in Australia.....and I got a
forwarded letter a month after I arrived in Aust. (July 2003) telling
me I could collect my unconditional card from LA! I didn't have the
money to return to collect it.
We have been in Australia since 2003, my US husband applying for
residency here since we didn't want to be apart and the family
problems were/ are persistant and long term. He has just been granted
"permanant residency" here in Aust. - which is actually for 10 years,
I think a bit like the unconditional green card system.
My husband has returned to the US once to visit his family for a few
weeks. I have not been back. We are not financially doing well.
My question has a few parts:
1. If I want to return to the US to visit, how will I get into the
country? I only have an expired conditional green card and being out
of the country for years, I expect it says in the INS database that I
am a *cancelled* greencard person??? Will I be allowed in on the usual
3-month tourist recipricol visa thing most visitors enter on? Should I
2. We plan to move back to the US to live permanantly in about another
3-4 years. (The family problems involve teenagers and it won't be
until about then that they are older and "out-of-the-picture" so to
speak.) How do I go about that? Do I have to apply for a greencard all
over again....i.e do the 2 year conditional stuff etc?
Am I more likely to be rejected because I had to leave the country in the past?
3. How do I enter the country if I want to live there? I know if I
enter as a "tourist" but then apply to live there, there is a question
of "intent" surrounding my entry into the US and I can be deported/not
granted greencard if they think I lied about entering as a tourist?
That is, is there a legal way to enter the US and then apply, I assume
for the second time from scratch, for the card?
4. What is the proceedure for applying from Australia before leaving for the US?
How far in advance would it be wise to try it that way? If I hadn't
had to wait 11 months to get the actual greencard in my hand,
technically I would have in my possession right now, a current
unconditional greencard! So does anyone know roughly how long ahead we
should start processing for a pre-entry type visa? What type of forms
and so on are involved in that?
I realise there are a lot of questions within these 4 main questions.
I am willing to pay $30 PER major question (1 - 4) answered fully and
to my satisfaction. That is $120 if all 4 questions and sub-questions
answered fully, or $30 for every one of the 4 answered. If more than
one answered, I guess the payment for the rest is made as a "tip"?
Thanks in advance.