Immigration Issues/Green Card

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Question
Dear Sir,

I am contacting you concerning a serious problem I am facing in regards to my permanent resident status.  

I am a French citizen and I have been married to a US citizen since 1995. I received my Green Card in late 1995. In 2001 we moved to France. We went back to the States from time to time for family vacations. In late 2003 my husband moved back to the US for professional reasons and I stayed in France.

Now, here is my problem: Since I was unaware of the risk of losing my Green Card I did not file for a re-entry permit. I know now that I have lost my "permanent resident status".
From what I have been told so far the only way to get back the "permanent resident status" is to file for a new Green Card.  I was told that my husband would have to petition for a new card, which would be subsequently issued in Paris, France.



Here are my three questions:
1.   Can I enter the US for a short visit under the "Visa waiver program" before we file for a new Green Card?

2. Can I enter the US under the "Visa waiver program" while I wait for my Green Card to be issued?
3. What needs to be done to receive a new Green Card?  What are the delays? My husband lives in Connecticut and I live in Paris. Could the fact that I have already been in possession of a Green Card speed up the progress?



Thank you in advance for your help
Kind regards,
Astrid


Answer
Q1. Can I enter the US for a short visit under the "Visa waiver program" before we file for a new Green Card?

A1.  You could try but you probably would be denied entry since you are perceived to have an intent to immigrate.

Q2. Can I enter the US under the "Visa waiver program" while I wait for my Green Card to be issued?

A2.  You would almost certainly be considered to have a "preconceived intent" to immigrate to the US and that would prevent issuance of a green card.

Q3. What needs to be done to receive a new Green Card? What are the delays? My husband lives in Connecticut and I live in Paris. Could the fact that I have already been in possession of a Green Card speed up the progress?

You would need to have your husband sponsor your for a green card.  There are many possible delays including FBI checks, CIA background checks, and standard delays based on volume.  Most of these checks were not required when you applied for your green card the first time.

Immigration Issues

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James D. Mills, Esq.

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding business and family immigration, deportation, removal, exclusion, the immigration consequences of crimes and structuring criminal cases to eliminate or mininize immigration consequences.

Experience

I have been a licensed immigration attorney and a member of the American Immigration Lawyer's association for more than five years.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyer's Association.

Education/Credentials
Juris Doctorate, Rutgers School of Law- Camden, 1997

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