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Ask Guillermo Senmartin Your Own Question
Guillermo Senmartin
Guillermo Senmartin, Attorney At Law
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 139394
Experience:  Over 12+ years of experience in various areas of U.S. Law and 15+ years of experience in U.S. Immigration Law..
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My sons mother married an American man and they have moved

Customer Question

My sons mother married an American man and they have moved to the USA. He currently lives in the UK, she has applied for his visa through the spousal visa route to then get him a green card, did she have to do it before he was 16 or could she have waited until before he was 21. Also does that affect how long it takes to get his green card.
JA: What steps have they taken? Have they filed any paperwork with the UK government? What country do they live in? If different, what is their citizenship?
Customer: He has his visa and has entered the US on said visa. They live in the US, his mother has her green card.
JA: Have they talked to a lawyer about the green card?
Customer: I\ don't know.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No thats all for now.
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: US Law
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi, do you know when someone can respond please?
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 14 days ago.

Sorry for the delay.  Generally speaking, the marriage had to happen before the child turned 18 and the child had to be Petitioned before turning 21 to avoid a 7+ year or so wait.  Is that what you wanted to know?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
the marriage took place when my son was 15. Does it make a difference for him to get a green card whether she applied when he was 15 or 20?
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 14 days ago.

It does not.  As long as he is applied for before turning 21, he can immigrate in around a year if he is outside of the U.S.  If they applied for him after he turned 21, that would be a 7 or so year wait to get an immigrant visa.  

What else may I answer for you? I want to make sure you are satisfied and happy with my service.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
very satisfied, thank you.
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 14 days ago.

You are very welcome.  But just in case, what other U.S. Immigration Law questions do you have for me? I hope you are pleased with my service. All I want to do is help.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
My son is 16 and has been granted his visa, but not yet got his green card. If he was to stay in the UK and not get his green card now. Could he apply again when he is 20?
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 14 days ago.

Technically, yes, he could.  But just in case, I wouldn't cut it so close.  Maybe apply when he is 19.  Also, if his parent in the U.S. before a U.S. Citizen before he turns 18 and he has a green card before he turns 18 and is living in that parent's legal and physical custody, he can become a U.S. Citizen automatically.  If he does not, then he has to apply on his own when he reaches having 5 years or Lawful Permanent Resident status.

What other U.S. Immigration Law questions do you have for me? I hope you are pleased with my service. All I want to do is help.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
ok, even though he has entered the US and his green card is being processed, when does he have to reside in the US to not lose it?
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 13 days ago.

Anyone that is a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and is outside of the U.S. for 180 days or more within any 12 months (not necessarily a calendar year) creates a rebuttable presumption of abandonment of residency. Rebutting the presumption is possible by submitting evidence to the contrary, such as filing U.S. taxes, maintaining a home in the U.S. and paying that mortgage or rent, maintaining a U.S. driver's license, U.S. bank accounts with significant movement, etc.

Someone that has been outside of the U.S. for more than one year without first having an approved re-entry permit has abandoned their residency, and only in very few exceptions (such as serious illness) can they get it back.

Here is an official link:

That may become a problem in a trip back into the U.S. when applying to renew the residency card or applying for U.S. Citizenship.

So basically, he needs to spend more time in the U.S. than outside. If that will not be possible, at least at the beginning, he can apply for a Re-Entry Permit on form I-131. That will allow him to be outside of the U.S. for up to 2 years. He can use it for multiple trips. If he needs more time, he comes back before the two years end, and then he can apply for one more Re-Entry Permit for two more years. If he still needs more time, he can apply again, but after four years, they get harder and harder to get and often only grant them for one year at a time. At some point, he will need to start living in the U.S. and spending more than 180 days per 12 months inside. Here is a link to the I-131:

If his biological parent becomes a U.S. Citizen BEFORE he turns 18 and he is living in their legal and physical custody also before turning 18 and also has a green card, then he becomes a U.S. Citizen automatically:

What else may I answer for you? 

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thanks for your help
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 13 days ago.

You are very welcome.  Thank you for being a valued customer. Due to time constraints, I am not really available for follow-up questions, but if you need more help or for any situations in the future, please post a NEW session and remember to write FOR GUILLERMO in the message box so that no one else grabs the question. That way, I can become your exclusive immigration consultant. Also, I am not currently taking active cases for representation, but I am accepting certain cases for review and for a very competitive price. Those cases are primarily Adjustment of Status (family-based), Removal of Conditions on green cards, and Naturalization. If interested, please let me know so that I can send you a Premium Service request for just a few dollars to discuss in private. I hope you continue to use Just Answer in the future. It really is a great site where, from the comfort of your own home or office, you can communicate with experts in many different areas apart from Legal like Medical, Tax, Automotive, Computer, Electronics, and the list goes on and on. Thanks again and good luck in all your endeavors!