Monday, January 23, 2012
Lost in a Foreign Country -- K3 or SB1?
So I was chatting with a potential client the other day regarding an interesting problem. He was a citizen, and his wife was a permanent resident alien (aka green card holder). The wife had left the country several years prior to take the the offspring back to Indonesia so they could receive a "proper" education (one daughter). You guessed it! Violation ensues.
For those of you unfamiliar with this type of case, it is a lot more common than you might think. Green-card holders often forget that they are not permitted to leave the country for more than 6 months or risk not being permitted to re-enter. This individual was the second person to call me on this same topic in one week -- so it seemed like a perfect blog topic.
There are really only two methods for fixing this problem. One -- apply for an SB1 visa and pray you can convince a rather surly consulate officer that your "overstaying the 6 month period was due to critical, unforeseen, exigent circumstances" and then re-up your green-card when you get back to the States -- or scrap the current green-card and come back on a K3 spouse visa and re-apply for a green-card from scratch.
There are tricks for both -- but that's a discussion for a different blog!
Sean R. Hanover, Esq
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