Is it possible to get back into the U.S. once you’ve left?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it possible to get back into the U.S. once you’ve left?

I lived in the U.S. 7 years ago and was married to a U.S. citizen. I went through immigration acquired a temp green card, SSN and driver’s license. However, I had an accident breaking my wrist. The cost was horrendous to fix so came back to the UK for treatment the next year. As soon as I got back I was served divorce papers by my wife at my mother’s address. My ex-wife turned out to be an alcoholic who put herself in rehab. so I ended up staying back in the UK. I would like to go back to drive a truck as there is a big shortage of drivers and wondered my easiest route if one to go back? My brother still lives in the U.S. and is a citizen. Is there a way back?

Asked on November 15, 2016 under Immigration Law, Alaska


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, if you only had a temporary green card and it never became permanent because you did not remove the conditional status, your status just lapsed at the end of that conditional 2 year period.  Since you are no longer married to a US citizen, there is no quick way to get back to the US.  Your brother can petition for you but that process will take about 10-12 years.  Unless you can do it through work or business, there is really no quick solution to your situation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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