Immigration Issues/green card live out of US need to know how to travel back for business
My husband is a german citizen (I'm a US citizen). He lived in the US for 9 years, came over on a J1 (outstanding researcher) and then got a greencard by lottery. 2 years 10 months ago we moved to Germany, he works for a german organization with no offices in the US. We thought just for 2 years total but now we think we'll be here another 3 years.
We file US taxes, have an address (my mom's) and go back to the States 2 times every year for 1-3 weeks (although sometimes there is as much as 8 months in between trips).
We didn't request a reentry permit before we left. Last time we visited the US (march 08) the customs person at the airport warned us we better do that but we didn't realize we needed to do it while in the US and now we are back in germany.
My husband needs to travel to the US for conferences and also for independent consulting jobs.
My question is...
1. how can we legally do this? From what I have read I gather they could argue that he has given up his intention of residing in the US - is that correct even though we still intent to move back and we travel back 2 times a year?
2. how do other independent international consultants do it? is there another type of visa that would allow one to go to the US periodically for jobs that last 1-3 weeks? Is that possible on the tourist visa?
3. if he has to give up the green card now how hard would it be to get a new one? Is there some sort of special one for outstanding researchers etc?
Thanks very much!
I am surprised that you did not follow up on the warning by the customs agent.
1) Since your husband was last here in March 2008, I would suggest that he reenter the US before the 6 month period. On entering the US be prepared to file for his re-entry permit. This would allow him to be outside the US for a year and it can also be renewed for another year. Further your filing taxes and maintaining residence in the US would be in your favor if the USCIS wishes you to prove that you are a US resident. I would also suggest that you maintain bank accounts, insurance, etc to support your intention to continue being a US resident. Finally, staying out of the US for three years and yet continue to maintain your US residency is going to be a difficult proposition.
2)There are no visas for such situations. Others are in the same boat as you.
3) He can a get a new one since you are a US citizen.