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Thread: What are my possibilities?

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    What are my possibilities?

    Hi there,

    I'm Cuban, I lived legally in the USA for 6 years, I had even already applied for citizenship, but then I moved to Spain. That was 12 years ago. After 2 years in Spain I went to the embassy to return my residency card, because I wasn't going to live there in the foreseeable future.
    Now I'm a Spanish citizen, my parents are both American citizens, I have properties in the USA and file taxes there.

    What would be the best way for me to return to the United States?

    I appreciate any help. Thanks a lot!

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    In theory, you can use ESTA to travel as a tourist using your Spanish passport. If you change your mind about returning to Spain, you could overstay your visa, then after a year apply for adjustment of status under the Cuban Adjustment Act. In practice, I wonder if a CBP officer would be reluctant to admit you knowing the possibility that might happen, in the absence of the "wet foot dry foot policy" that was rescinded back in January

    Otherwise, your parents can petition for you to immigrate, and you can wait 14+ years like everyone else. Or you can marry a US citizen, and get an immigrant visa within a year

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    Thank you for the reply. I go to the US at least once a year, last time was in June this year, so that shouldn't be a problem. The time that I lived there before and the fact that I had a permanent residency doesn't count at all? If my parents petition for me that takes more than 14 years? I thought that would take less time. I appreciate your comments a any information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dlaa6 View Post
    The time that I lived there before and the fact that I had a permanent residency doesn't count at all?
    There is a mechanism for returning residents to argue that they never abandoned their permanent residency in the United States, despite staying abroad temporarily. However, you have affirmatively abandoned your permanent residency (I'm guessing when you went to the US consulate to return your green card, they had you sign Form I-407). Even had you not, you're not a good candidate for a returning resident treatment because you have taken steps like seeking permanent residency and naturalization in Spain, which implies that you deem Spain your permanent abode.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dlaa6 View Post
    If my parents petition for me that takes more than 14 years?
    I was wrong. If you are unmarried, it is only 6 years. If you're married, 12 years. It is quite a bit longer for Mexican and Filipino nationals! You're quite lucky that you can benefit from the Cuban Adjustment Act, although it would take a serious investment of living a year in the United States. As an alternative to overstaying ESTA, you could find a work visa or student visa that will let you stay at least a year with status, but you'll still need to commit to staying put for that whole year without travelling abroad. Or marry a US citizen. Or marry a foreign student or worker in the US who can get you derivative status, while you wait a year to apply for adjustment of status

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    Thank you for taking your time to give me all this information. I think a work or student visa would be a good option, since I wouldn't want to spend a year there without status and unable to work. That's something I would have to do from here and not once I'm there with ESTA, right?

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    You would have to make those arrangements from abroad, because under ESTA you can not change to a different non-immigrant status (eg H work, F student) while there in the United States. For both work and student visas, there is usually a long lead time, because of the time it takes to gain college admission or get a job offer in a specialty occupation. In addition, work visas for with for-profit employers are subject to an annual lottery (that is oversubscribed each year)

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    Oh wow, everything sounds very complicated, and I guess a lot more if I had my European partner coming with me.

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    Yes, your partner would would have to get her own work or student visa, or you would have to get married so that they can get a dependent visa. You both will have to get married anyway eventually, so that they can gain permanent residency along with you when you apply for adjustment of status under the Cuban Adjustment Act

    If you go through this process, this time I urge you (and your partner) to commit yourself to remaining in the United States long enough to naturalize. That way, if you choose to again live abroad, you will forever retain the right to return to the United States someday

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    Thank you so much. Yes, it was a big mistake to go before getting my American citizenship.

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