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LPR w/Re-Entry Permit Residing Abroad - Can I file I-130 for my new spouse?

Client Question:

Hello.  I've had a re-entry permit for 1 year and am recently married. I was wondering if it was possible to apply for my wife while i have re entry permit and am residing outside the US?

Attorney Answer:

Thank you for your inquiry.  First, good job on getting a re-entry permit while you reside outside the U.S. to make sure you don’t inadvertently abandon your green card status.  Second, yes, you can indeed proceed with filing a I-130 for your wife while you are outside the U.S.  Given the priority date backlog in the F-2A category (Spouses of LPR’s), I would go ahead and at least get her a Priority Date.  (Filing the I-130 gets a Priority Date as of the date of filing, but you can only keep it if it is approved.)  Ideally, you can coordinate your return to the U.S. with her immigrant visa processing once her Priority Date becomes available.  In fact, she cannot complete the Immigrant Visa Process until you have established your plans for re-establishing domicile in the U.S. - i.e. proof of where you will reside in the U.S. once she is approved for her immigrant visa, etc.  

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