No. It is only the card that is expired. Your permanent resident status does not “expire” with the card. One exception to this rule, however, is if you are a conditional permanent resident with a green card that is valid for two years only. If your conditional permanent resident card has expired and you have not filed the application to remove the conditions, you should contact an experienced immigration attorney immediately.
In general this is not a good idea, though there are always exceptions. If immigration believes you intended to abandon your U.S. residence by residing and working in another country, they can seek to rescind your green card even if you "check in" every six months. If you have a green card, are considering spending a significant amount of time abroad, and hope to maintain your green card status, speak to an experienced immigration attorney immediately for advice.
Maybe. There are many factors to consider, including the purpose of your trip, your intent at entry into the U.S., how much time has passed since you last entered the U.S., your spouse's income level, and the strength of any evidence you have to prove your marriage is bonafide.
No. You must be a U.S. citizen to be eligible to petition for a parent. As an asylee, you must first reside continuously in the U.S. for one year before applying for your green card. You must then wait five years after obtaining your green card to be eligible for naturalization.
You have a few options. With $500,000 you might be eligible for a green card based on an EB-5 investment. If you do not have a desire to become a permanent resident, however, you might want to consider an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, which is a non-immigrant visa.
You may be eligible to self-petition for a EB-1 classification as an outstanding researcher. In the alternative, you might also qualify for an exceptional ability EB-2 classification with a National Interest Waiver, if you can demonstrate that it is in the interests of the U.S. to waive the job offer and labor certification requirement.
No. The filing fee is not refundable for a denied application.
It might be a terrible idea. A shoplifting conviction is likely to be considered a "Crime Involving Moral Turpitude" (CIMT) under the immigration laws. Two CIMTs from separate incidents constitute a ground of deportability. Your defense attorney has a duty to advise you of any potential immigration consequences in a criminal proceeding, and so he is failing to meet this requirement by not discussing immigration with you.
There are a number of possibilities. First, it is important to note that no two cases are exactly the same. Your friend's case may have additional facts that caused his case to be processed quicker. Second, USCIS often experiences delays in adjudication due to misplaced files, staffing shortages, or excess applications. Sometimes it is truly a matter of luck if your case is adjudicated more quickly than others.