Retaining green card

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I received my green card in the last 90s.  Few years after that I went back to my native country.  I couldn't return to the US while my green card was valid.  Two years ago I entered the US on a B2 visa.  No questions were asked about my expired green card at the visa interview or at the port of entry.  I wanted to reapply for a new green card through my USC son, but the attorney I consulted with said I would have to surrender my expired green card before applying for a new one.  The attorney then advised me to try to renew my old green card.  I did and surprisingly my green card renewal was approved.  I now have a valid green card.  But I am still worried about traveling outside the US even for a few weeks.  Will CBP question my extended absence and B2 visa upon reentry and put me in removal proceedings?  

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  • 4 weeks later...

Normally such a long absence from the US would result in losing your LPR status. CBP doesn't necessarily refuse the entry to those who no longer qualify for LPR but USCIS can revoke the LPR status at a later point (based on the past failure to maintain the status), which could put you in deportation proceedings.

It is surprising that your B2 visa was approved given that you had already shown immigrant intent. A more appropriate visa would have been the Returning Immigrant visa - SB-1. With that visa your LPR status would have been reinstated. From your description it sounds like your GC might have been renewed in error. If your B2 I-94 is still valid, you could perhaps leave the US and apply for the SB-1. (In this case you could argue that no violation has occurred.) This is assuming that you clearly indicated that you had had the LPR status when you applied for the B2 visa. If you failed to mention these facts, your B2 application could be considered visa fraud (since you clearly intended to remain in the US with your GC renewal), in which case you may be banned for life. Let's hope that's not the case. 

Best contact a highly proficient attorney. This sounds like a very serious case.  I'm not a lawyer and the above is not advice but my personal opinion and speculation.    

Edited by natan111
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Did you not mention that an Immigration Petition was filed for you in the forms vis a vis applying for the tourist visa along with the fact that you had a Green Card?

You HAVE to actually retain a lawyer and discuss the situation with him.

Did you speak to an Immigration Lawyer in this country?

Did you apply for a replacement GC from your country?

As suggested above, you need a lawyer. In the late nineties, records were not as thorough as they were after the towers fell. This could have serious repercussions in the future. Do not stint on the money spent on a Good Immigration Lawyer.

Edited by pontevecchio
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