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Immigration Issues/Maintaining Permanent Resident Status

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QUESTION: Hello,

I have a few immigration questions and have had a difficult time finding clear answers to them. Any help you can give me will be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

I am an American from CT and married my fiancee from Norway last summer. We decided to live here first and have since obtained permanent resident status and work permission for her. I believe her permanent residence status is valid for two years at which time we will confirm that we are still married in order to have it extended. Recently we have begun to evaluate certain job opportunities in Norway and are considering relocating there in the next 2-4 years. We spoke to a friend who had been in a similar situation who told us that after extending her permanent resident status two years after receiving it she will be permitted to travel freely and limitlessly without jeopardizing her status. However, most of the information I have found available online seems to contradict that assertion. Any move to Norway would be on a trial basis so we would like her to keep her status so that we have the opportunity to return if desired and to travel back to the US without time limitations. Norway does not allow dual-citizenship which appears to eliminate that as an option.

If we decide to live in Norway will she lose her permanent resident status? If so will she have to go through the same application process to reinstate it if we choose to return? Also, if this is the case, will her abandonment of status cause her any difficulty in reinstating her permanent residence here again? Lastly, is there a preferable way of going about relocating to Norway on a trial basis while maintaining status here?

Thank you for the help,

Ryan

ANSWER: Hi,

You and your wife will jointly file the petition to remove the conditions on residence up to 90 days before her conditional resident status expires. Your wife can apply for naturalization 2 years and 9 months from the time that she became a conditional resident in the U.S.: www.h1b1.com/citizenship.htm

Thus, by the time that you are seriously ready to move to Norway, she will be a U.S. citizen, and then there will be no restrictions whatsoever on the time she spends outside the U.S.

If your primary residence will be Norway and your wife is not a U.S. citizen, she will lose her U.S. resident status. However, if your wife spend less than 6 months in Norway in a single trip and then enter the U.S. again, the presumption will be that her primary residence in the U.S. and therefore she will not lose her U.S. resident status. The worst case scenario: you can sponsor her again without any problems: www.h1b1.com/Uscitizen.htm



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for the response. From what we have found Norway does not allow dual citizenship. I assumed that this meant that she would not be able to claim US citizenship without losing her Norwegian citizenship. Is that true? If this is the case, is there no way to move between countries without having to re-file and wait 6 months before working each time we move.

Also, on a separate issue, when a country such as Norway does not allow dual citizenship does that apply only to their citizens obtaining additional citizenships or would that also require me to renounce my American citizenship to become naturalized there?

Thanks again,
Ryan

Answer
The U.S. has no problem with dual-citizenship. Thus, there is no need to renounce the original nationality when becoming a U.S. citizen.

However, Norway is a sovereign county with its own set of immigration laws. As I am not licensed to practice law in Norway, I do not know if Norway will allow you to maintain dual citizenship.

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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