How long does it take to see an immigration judge if you are charged with abandonment of your green card at Port of Entry?

Asked 9 months ago - New York, NY

I am a US citizen and my husband is a Canadian green card holder who has been out of the country for 16 months. We are going to apply for an SB-1 visa which we may not get. If we don't get it, we will drive across the border from Canada.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Elizabeth Ann Kohler

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyer agrees


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    Answered . Depending on which court your husband is placed in it can take several weeks before he may even have a Master Calendar (preliminary) hearing with the Immigration Judge and then another several months to a year or more for an individual hearing.
    If you are unsuccessful with the SB-1 visa but wish to relocate to the US, you would probably be best off starting from the beginning and sponsoring him again for permanent residence. This would be much more straight forward and quicker than trying to defend an abandonment case in immigration court. It would be worth it for you to consult with a reputable immigration attorney.
    Good luck.

  2. Alena Shautsova


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Guys, you need to speak with a lawyer before you make a drastic move that may put your husband in deportation proceedings... It may takes months before he can see a judge. He also needs to be allowed back to the US on parole for it...

    New York Immigration lawyer. This advice does not create an attorney client relationship. No specific legal advice... more
  3. Matthew Borowski

    Contributor Level 3

    Answered . Your husband can get the SB-1 visa if he was kept in Canada due to circumstances beyond his control - e.g. illness - but not if he voluntarily remained in Canada. You'd need to file form DS-117 to apply for an SB-1 visa. If you apply for it and are denied, then drive across the border to the U.S. and present the Permanent Resident Card you will likely run into problems with CBP.

  4. Lynne Rogers Feldman

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . Unless you have good facts to overcome the abandonment you may want to re-file if you still have a grounds for eligibility.

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