Anna’s Story

My husband and I got married in June of 2016 and I received my conditional green card. I had to wait two years to prove that the marriage was bona fide and real and that I wasn’t married just to gain American status. In 2018 I received a letter advising me that I had to wait another year before I could go back to USCIS and apply for my 10 year permanent resident green card. It was during this year that my husband was charged with downloading cp. We both decided that because i had no family and couldn’t get around on my own that i would come back to Australia, but before I left the U.S to came back home I phoned USCIS and my immigration attorney and asked them if there was anything that I could do to be able to stay out of country for a length of time and still retain my permanent residence status. I was advised that 6 months was the maximum time that I could be out of the country. Anyway to cut a long story short before i left the U.S i had already paid almost $700 us dollars for my 10 year green card and biometrics and was told that I would be called within the year due to their backlog of applicants. So I left to come home under pressure from my husband because he was worried about me being on my own and not being able to fend for myself in a little country town. A month after my arrival in Australia I received my letter to go and do my biometrics. The problem was i couldn’t go back because we didn’t know if my husband was going to jail or not and his attorney refused to accept his calls or return them when we would call him to find out whether we had enough time for me to go back do my biometrics get my 10 year green card and see what other options i could of had from there. Unfortunately 6 months lapsed. The attorney never returned our calls and I relinquished my green card thinking that I could reapply once my husband did his time and came out. After relinquishing we found out the hard cold facts about the AWA and now I’m stuck in Australia married to an American whom I may never be able to see or be with again due to a cruel and unnecessary law that’s been created to punish registered citizens and their families. As if the registry isn’t enough to deal with we are also dealt this cruel law as well.

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