Reenter US With An Expired Green Card After Living Abroad Over A Year

How To Reenter The US With An Expired Green Card After Living Abroad For Over A Year

Categories: Resources
Published: February 28, 2023

Expired Green Card After Living Abroad Video Summary

In this video, Joseph will help you understand the 4 main options you have to renter the US with an expired Green Card after living abroad for more than a year. In short, those options are:

  1. SB-1 Visa
  2. Talk With Customs Officer In The US
  3. Explain Reasons To Judge In The US
  4. Refile For New Green card
Full Video Transcript

So the past year, a lot of people have been contacting us because they’ve been outside of the US for a year. Now, when you are a green card holder, you technically cannot leave the us for over a year or else it is presumed that you’ve abandoned the green card. And because of the pandemic, maybe they left in 2019, they were originally planning on coming back in 2020, but planes were canceled, pandemic was raging, they have some urgent reason that they couldn’t come back… And so now a year has elapsed. What can they do? In this episode, we’re going to be focusing on four different ways to help people who are outside of the US, come back in and prove that they have not abandoned their green card.


(Tsang logo splash)


(0:39) Hi. This is Joseph Tsang and I’m the managing partner here at Tsang & Associates where we solve legal problems with creative solutions. Alright. So here are four different methods on how to get you back into the U.S. if you’ve been outside for over a year.


(0:49) The first is to apply for the SB-1 visa. If you’ve been searching online, this is probably what you will find. 


():55) The second method is a little bit less obvious. It’s directly taking your green card, buying an airplane ticket and directly flying into the U.S. Hawaii, Texas, New York California, anywhere. And an immigration officer, a CBP officer at the airport, will pull you into a room and review your documents and see if and whether you have abandoned your green card. If you prove that you have not abandoned your green card, they are satisfied, then you can enter just like you’ve done in the past, but you will have to go through that protocol. That’s the second method.


(1:24) The third method is technically an extension of the second one. If the CBP officer at the airport doesn’t really believe you and thinks that you’ve already abandoned your green card because you’ve been outside of the us for too long, then you may be put into court proceedings, and now you will get the opportunity to prove to a judge that you did not abandon your green card, right? So that’s the third method.


(1:45) The fourth method is, well, you’ve been outside for over a year… if the consulate doesn’t accept you and would not grant you the SB-1 visa, if you do not want to fly to the US and take this opportunity to explain yourself, then you can abandon your green card formally with USCIS and reapply for the green card. I know this is an extreme option. It doesn’t apply to most people because it is tremendously difficult to get a green card, but for a few small case; for example, you just got your EB-1 extraordinary ability green card and it’s just a matter of refiling with a quick premium processing fee, or you got married to a US citizen, it’s relatively fast to get a green card. Those might be viable options as opposed to taking a huge risk with the SB-1 visa or the CBP at the airport.


(2:28) I know it’s absolutely insane that people who have their green card, and finally getting it after years and years of waiting, and preparing, and investing, and building up a company, and however you got the green card, now it might be deemed to have been abandoned because of COVID, because of the pandemic, because you had to go through surgery, because you were outside of the US for a year. And that is extremely unfortunate. And that is the law. 


But, don’t lose hope because there are a lot of ways to prove that you did not abandon it. In the next few episodes, I’m gonna go through each one of these methods and explain, and compare and contrast, and talk about the pros and cons, and how to prove you didn’t abandon your green card. We’ve been doing this for a long time. We have a lot of success stories that we want to share so you can kind of see just exactly how to do it, okay? 


Best of luck and see you soon!