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My wife has lived in the states before, even obtaining PR status (with SSN, permission to work, etc). We moved back to Thailand and have been here for a few years, meaning she no longer holds this status or a valid visa. We have been married for more than 2 years (married in the US in July 2018). So is an IR 1 visa the correct visa to file for (as opposed to CR 1). Is this the fastest visa to obtain? Any suggestions on filing? Timelines? Things to know in advance? Thanks.

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Since you have been married >2 years you will apply for an IR-1 which will ultimately  give your wife a 10 year green card upon entry to the US.

 

Now, as for how long that will take is another question. 

 

Even before covid the Trump administration had severely slowed down all legal immigration shuttering the USCIS office in BKK which for many of us enabled a 3 month process, now everything goes through the lockbox in Dallas.

 

Covid has just made it worse. Best you can do is look at the processing times after you submit the I-130 and see what office it has been assigned to.

 

https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/

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On 5/17/2021 at 10:41 AM, revgreen said:

wife has lived in the states before, even obtaining PR status (with SSN, permission to work, etc)

What was her status at that time?  Was she a Landed Permanent Resident (LPR) with a Green card?

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4 hours ago, ProbPossConf said:

What was her status at that time?  Was she a Landed Permanent Resident (LPR) with a Green card?

 

No. Just a regular permanent resident. No green card.

 

However I am now seeing that it is possible to acquire 'Returning Permanent Resident.'

 

Quote

The second way is for the immigrant to apply for returning resident status. An application for returning resident status requires evidence of the applicant’s continuing, unbroken ties to the United States, that the stay outside the United States was truly beyond the applicant’s control and that the intent of the applicant was to always return to the United States. Evidence may consist of continuous compliance with U.S. tax law, ownership of property and assets in the United States and maintenance of U.S. licenses and memberships. Having U.S. relatives, attending school overseas or stating an intent to return is generally insufficient.

 

So this could be an avenue to explore. We have continued to file our taxes as a married couple. I'm wondering if COVID is a good enough reason for our inability to return.

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Something is confusing here.  If you are a permanent resident, then you are a US citizen, a naturalized US citizen, or a LPR with a Green card (aka Alien Registration Card, ARC).  Please clarify.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, ProbPossConf said:

Something is confusing here.  If you are a permanent resident, then you are a US citizen, a naturalized US citizen, or a LPR with a Green card (aka Alien Registration Card, ARC).  Please clarify.

 

Then I suppose she is a LPR. Apologies I think I misunderstood the usage of 'green card'

 

From the embassy website - https://th.usembassy.gov/visas/immigrant-visas/lawful-permanent-residents/maintaining-permanent-resident-status/

 

Quote

U.S. Immigration law assumes that a person admitted to the United States as an immigrant will live in the United States permanently. Remaining outside the United States for more than 12 months may result in a loss of lawful permanent resident status.

 

She has been outside of the US for more than 12 months. Therefor her PR status is considered abandoned.

Edited by revgreen
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The following is from a 2012 notice from the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

"If you are an LPR unable to return to the U.S. within the travel validity period of the green card (1 year) or the validity of the Re-entry Permit (2 years), you may be eligible and can apply at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa.

 

You will need to be interviewed for both your application for returning resident status, and usually later for the immigrant visa. An SB-1 applicant is required to establish eligibility for an immigrant visa and have a medical examination. Therefore, this involves paying both visa processing fees and medical fees."

 

Would like to know how this pandemic situation will affect and influence the decisions of the US immigration authorities on LPR unable to return to the U.S.A. 

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Yes I am going to try this route because the 1.5 - 2 year timeline for an IR 1 is just not feasible. It's either return in the near future or not at all. I am not optimistic about the SB-1 but we will see!

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