Joe Giudice has officially touched down in Italy shortly after his release from ICE, leaving behind wife Teresa and his 4 daughters.

There hasn’t been a new photo of Joe Giudice in over three years! The 47-year-old reality star was released from ICE and returned to Italy, where he was born, alongside his brother Pete. The duo were all smiles as they appeared to be snacking on breaded Jumbo prawns in an Instagram photo shared by Pete’s wife Sheila Giudice on Saturday, Oct. 12. “A day we’ve all been patiently waiting for. Pete and Joe reunited at last,” Sheila captioned the sweet photo. “Smiles bigger and brighter than the sky. Our hearts are so full.” Joe and Pete look remarkably alike in the snap, and Joe also appears to have slimmed down significantly after his time in prison.

Joe was also seen on Instagram in a screenshot of a FaceTime call shared by his oldest daughter, Gia, 18. “One of the happiest moments of my life! love you so much daddy, so happy your [sic] free! see you soon,” the college freshman captioned the pic. Gia and 14-year-old sister Milania also shared a touching tribute to their dad as he headed off to Italy. ““Love you forever ❤️,” Milania wrote over a childhood photo of her and her dad on an Instagram story. Joe’s move to Italy comes amid rumors that his longtime marriage to wife Teresa Giudice is in trouble, though Teresa has repeatedly denied this is the case.

While Joe was in custody of ICE from March 2019 on, after serving his 41-month sentence for fraud, he wasn’t actually deported: the Real Housewives of New Jersey star officially requested a lift of stay, meaning he’s allowed to leave the Clinton County Correctional Facility where he was being held and wait in Italy while his fate is decided. Joe was born in Saronno, Italy but moved with his parents to Paterson, New Jersey when he was just 1 years old. The deportation issue arose when Judge John P. Ellington decided to have Joe deported after serving time. Prior to pursuing the lift of stay, Joe had requested permission to spend time with his family at home but was denied on Sept. 20. 

Joe’s longterm goal, of course, is to remain in the United States with his wife and four daughters — but a lawyer previously explained that leaving could make this more difficult. “In my opinion, if Joe leaves the U.S. then all his appeals are gone…Joe has already sent himself away so I don’t see him being able to come back to the United States because he has already accomplished the goal of the U.S. which is get him out of the country,” immigration attorney Edward Shulman of Shulman Law Group previously told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “It’s faulty thinking or reasoning on his part. He just wants to get out of jail but once he’s gone, he’s gone.”