Roberto Grau v. Helen Grau

Case: 19-10982 Date Filed: 07/12/2019 Page: 1 of 17 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 19-10982 Non-Argument Calendar ________________________ D.C. Docket No. 6:19-cv-00251-CEM-KRS ROBERTO GRAU, Plaintiff - Appellant, versus HELEN GRAU, Defendant - Appellee. ________________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida ________________________ (July 12, 2019) Before WILSON, NEWSOM, and BRANCH, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Petitioner Roberto Grau seeks the return of his four-year-old twin sons to Germany from Florida, where they are living with his wife, Helen Grau. After an Case: 19-10982 Date Filed: 07/12/2019 Page: 2 of 17 expeditious bench trial at which both parents testified, the district court denied Roberto’s petition on the grounds that the twins’ country of habitual residence is the United States. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment of the district court. I The undisputed evidence is as follows. Roberto and Helen, citizens of Germany, were married there in 2012. Their twin sons, also German citizens, were born in Germany in 2014. Soon after, Roberto accepted a temporary work assignment in Massachusetts, and the entire family moved to the United States in May 2015 on L-1 and L-2 visas. 1 Apart from a three-month trip to Germany in late 2015 to visit family and attend to U.S. immigration issues, the Graus lived together in the United States until November 2016. At that point, Roberto’s work assignment ended and the family returned to Germany. Helen and the children then vacationed in Spain for three or four weeks. In February 2017, Roberto received another work assignment in Massachusetts and the family returned to the United States, again on L visas. 1 Nonimmigrant L visas for “intracompany transferees” may be issued upon an employer’s petition, based on the employee’s executive or managerial capacity or specialized knowledge, to an employee and his spouse and children in order to work for the employer in the United States temporarily. See generally 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(L); 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(l). The visa is valid only for the period of the employer’s need, which may be up to three, five, or seven years. 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(l)(7)(i)(A)(2), (l)(15)(ii). 2 Case: 19-10982 Date Filed: 07/12/2019 Page: 3 of 17 When that work assignment ended in March 2018, the Graus decided to continue pursuing their “dream” of living in the United States long-term. They agreed that Helen and the twins would move to Florida—where they had some close friends—and start a cleaning business, in support of an application for an E-2 investor visa.2 Roberto, meanwhile, would return to Germany and work to support the family and the fledgling business. He planned to join them in the United States if his career in Germany did not work out. In July 2018, Helen and the twins returned to Germany for her consular interview. By this point the Graus had invested about $100,000 in Helen’s business. The family lived together at a friend’s house for six weeks while ...

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