Immigration Issues/Green Card

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Question
Dear sir,

I did already contact you several months ago regarding my "permanent resident" status. Thank you again for your answers. They were extremely helpful for me.
However, I still need clarification on certain things and I would be very grateful if you could answer a few more questions for me.

But first let me quickly refresh your memory:
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. In late 2003 my husband moved back to the US for professional reasons and I stayed in France.

The problem is that I did not file for a re-entry permit prior to leaving the US. 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, which according to you would take 6-12 months.  I was told that my husband (who lives in Connecticut) 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. You made me aware of the risk that, if I entered the US under the visa waiver program I could be denied access in case an officer presumed that I tried to enter the US with the intention to immigrate.  In case I was denied access under the visa waiver program could that jeopardize the process of getting a new Green Card?  If so should I ask for another type of visa prior to travelling to the US?


Thank you in advance for your help.
Kind regards,
Astrid  

Answer
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?

yes.

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

this is more difficult.  you can do it.  you are not supposed to, but you can.  there is no way they will find out.  

3. You made me aware of the risk that, if I entered the US under the visa waiver program I could be denied access in case an officer presumed that I tried to enter the US with the intention to immigrate. In case I was denied access under the visa waiver program could that jeopardize the process of getting a new Green Card? If so should I ask for another type of visa prior to travelling to the US?

No.  You can only have one visa at a time.  When you apply for the greencard, you cannot have another.  The waiver program is not a visa though.  I think if you are careful, you will have no problem with the visa waiver.  If asked where you live, be truthful, and say France.  Try not to elaborate in answers.  Yes, No.

good luck.

Immigration Issues

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Alexander J. Hay

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I am a U.S. lawyer with offices in Houston, Texas and in Belize. I can answer questions on U.S. Immigration, U.S. corporate law, and Offshore Tax and Asset Planning.
If you are on an H or L visa I am NOT GOING TO ANSWER your questions since they are usually highly fact oriented, and also you have a company attorney handling the whole thing. Call your own attorney please! If you disregard this request, don't be surprised if I answer with "homework question".

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I am a U.S. attorney with offices in the United States and Belize. I have experience helping to protect assets, reduce taxes, and improve investment performance by utilizing global investment techniques.

Education/Credentials
Harvard University, A.B. degree; University of Houston Law Center, J.D. Degree; Fulbright Scholar

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