Once married, the Green Card helps secure travel to the U.S. and can act like a visitor visa. However, in order to be an immigrant and keep her green card, your wife must maintain primary residence in the U.S.
I still do not understand how it makes sense to any reasonable or even unreasonable person, lawyer, legislator or government official that it is sane for me to be working outside the United States for the U.S. government, and yet Yulia must stay in the United States for a majority of time in order to keep her green card.
It goes against the whole concept of family and it limits considerably my rights of freedom. She can no longer have a visitor visa because we are married. How in the world is there any logic to this situation? Seriously, my English Bulldog who is an absolutely wonderful dog but is dumber than a brick, could manage this situation better than the United States Immigration Service.
I am trying to follow the law and I am a United States citizen with a now long term marriage and relationship that is provable, transparent, documented and real! I am paying boatloads of taxes, (please note my W2). So who is taking care of my rights and my family’s rights? Yulia is an attorney she has a degree and has never been a burden on anyone… Ridiculous!
In the final analysis you are telling me that the United States Government will not allow Yulia to go to my daughter’s graduation at Ole Miss? The government is preventing and denying me from performing and providing proof of a family relationship as simple as attending a graduation. What is the reasoning?
very little in immigration is perfect. The fact remains that government rules generally serve the interests of the U.S. government. Your family interests come second.
The U.S. presumes that foreigners who are married to U.S. citizens are intending immigrants. For this reason, visitor visas are inherently unstable. This is why Yulia was blocked from travel to the U.S. as your wife. Once married, the Green Card helps secure travel to the U.S. and can act like a visitor visa. However, in order to be an immigrant and keep her green card, your wife must maintain primary residence in the U.S. An exception would be for a U.S. soldier stationed or deployed abroad together with a foreign spouse. You are a Department of Defense contractor, so you do not come under the same rules.
If Yulia does not spend a majority of time in the U.S., she should at least touch base in the U.S. each year. She should not remain outside the U.S. for more than a year at a time. If for any reason, she must remain outside the U.S. for more than a year at a time, it will be important for her to obtain a reentry permit from the USCIS, which is advance permission to reenter the U.S. Let me know if this is something she needs.
You should maintain a residence in the U.S. If possible, you might also have Yulia carry your work papers showing you are working abroad for a U.S. company for a fixed duration and not open-ended. Essentially, if you work abroad temporarily, but still have a U.S. residence, then you have a good argument she has not given up U.S. residency. It’s just that you have not yet completed your work assignment abroad.
By comparison, if your work overseas is open-ended with no termination date, then it can be difficult to show you maintain primary residence in the U.S.
Even if you are essentially working abroad without a return date, her green card should not be taken from her anytime soon. It was easy for a border agent to cancel a visitor visa. It is much less likely a border agent will confiscate a green card. Travel to the U.S. using a green card can potentially last a number of years. One of our clients successfully touched base in the U.S. once per year for 10 years before his green card was taken. A U.S. border agent will at some point start questioning what Yulia is doing and where she really resides. You simply need to be aware of the rules and the risks. The more time she spends inside the U.S., the better. The quicker you relocate back to the U.S., the better. If her green card is confiscated at a border check, she should ask for parole (temporary permission) into the U.S. to petition to keep her green card. Perhaps she will be allowed entry or perhaps she will be turned away.
Ultimately, it is better for her to have the green card than not to have it, so consider that she is in the best position to succeed.
You are welcome to contact me if you like to discuss further.