Green Card Reentry After 7 Years With An Expired Green Card

Green Card Reentry After 7 Years With An Expired Green Card

Full Video Transcript

This might be the most difficult Mexico entry case we did this year. The client’s green card was expired since 2016, and they hadn’t been back in the US since. Their green card application was actually denied by USCIS. The client had to file a motion to reopen to rekindle it. We had to go down to Mexico multiple times, and it was denied every single time until this last time. About 2-3 weeks ago, she came in with her dad and was able to enter as a green card holder, even though the green card had expired since 2016. Let me share with you all the strategy and the ins and outs of this case. It’s crazy. Let’s get to it.

Hi everyone, my name is Joseph. I’m the managing partner here at Tsang & Associates, where we solve legal problems with creative solutions. The legal problem was that this young girl wanted to come back into the US. She finished school abroad and now she finally wants to come to the US, but she hasn’t been here for so long.

The CBP officer looking at her case, if your green card has expired, technically you could still come back, but now the presumption is more so that you’ve already abandoned your green card. “Why didn’t you come back before your green card expired? Why didn’t you renew your green card?” If you look at the system, your green card was actually denied because she didn’t do her Biometrics, and then the case was closed. Her sister reopened it. She called USCIS info multiple times, and they were able to listen to her and reopen it. Extremely competent. She didn’t hire another attorney to do it; she pushed through. All she needed to do was to get a Biometrics appointment to get the biometric done. Then her green card might be saved.

But first and foremost, she needed to get into the country. We went down again and again, and the CBP officers just were not willing to budge because when they do a search like this, they look at the entire history. How did you get the green card? “Oh, your parents, you were a dependent. Well, let me look at the parents. Oh, the parents have been out for a long time. Maybe the parents have already abandoned the green card.”  So, other factors affect your case.

We’ve done cases where another minor was out of the US for six, seven years, but we were able to prove, well, the parents took them away; he didn’t have a choice in the matter. But now he went to a university, his English is fluent, and he has a job in the US, so he needed to come back. We were able to make those types of arguments and win this other case. Similarly, we tried to do the same for her; however, because the parents were not here and her green card was expired, because her case was already closed, it made the officer just not willing to budge on this particular case.

Side note, something even more complicated than the case was that the clients were thinking about doing all of this themselves, and I was just stressed the heck out. If it was a simple case, I can give encouragements, I can give guidance, but man, boy, like this is a difficult case. And if you’re going to be blocked in Mexico, that would be terrifying. 

So, the end result was that the dad was going to fly back and be with the younger daughter and fly into Mexico with the younger daughter. The two of them came together. We represented the daughter. We presented the case to the CBP officer. Here was the key difference: we went to the ASC Center, the biometric Center, and I begged the officer to get her a Biometrics appointment. We got it. Monday, we went down to Mexico, picked up the client with the Biometrics in hand, with everything else. We pleaded the case, and that one little thing, I feel like, made the difference. The case was approved within minutes. 

They were at peace, and within the next few months, the green card should be mailed to her house. So, a green card that has been expired since 2016 in 2023 was able to re-enter and get the Biometrics done.

It just shows how complicated the immigration system is. There’s USCIS that adjudicates green cards, there’s the ASC officer that deals with the Biometrics, which is a critical part of the Green Card process. But if somehow that gets messed up, and the client is abroad, then how do they prove to the CBP officer (Customs officer) that they’re able to enter? 

If they can’t enter, then they can’t do the Biometrics, and then they can’t get the green card. Everything is connected, but everything is also disconnected. The CBP officer doesn’t see USCIS, and USCIS doesn’t know ASC. So, it took us to be able to navigate all three and explain all three, and to be there next to the client. That’s why we are here; that’s the purpose of immigration attorneys. It’s not the government’s job to make everything work, even though it would be nice, but it’s not their job. For the clients who are out of the US, who don’t speak English, how are they supposed to do it? If it wasn’t for this sister being able to put everything together and trust us to do the stuff that she couldn’t do, together we were able to get her little sister back.

I was talking to the little sister throughout this whole thing, and it’s like, when’s the last time you saw your older sister? It’s been years, and you know, when she last saw her and really hung out was when she was a toddler. Now she’s already in junior high/high school, so it’s really special to see this family reunite. I’m very happy for them. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Would love to talk to you. Take care. Bye-bye.


This success story is for a green card reentry after seven years with an expired green card. In this case, our client was a minor who had a green card that expired in 2016. The application was actually denied, but only due to non-completion of the biometrics. This being the case, we were contacted by our client’s sister, in the US, to help her sister re-enter the US, get her appointment, and renew her green card.




This case started back in 2016 when the client’s green card expired. After a denial due to biometrics, discussions with CBP, and preparation for re-entry, we were able to help this client re-enter the US and renew her green card in 2023. This was a seven year process from expiration to green card renewal.




In this green card reentry case, our client had been in the US with a green card as a child with her parents. She left the US to continue schooling and her green card expired in 2016.

Her initial green card renewal was denied, but only due to the biometrics. The biometrics were never completed. The client’s sister worked with USCIS to reopen her case in order to get a biometrics appointment scheduled for her sister so that she could renew her green card and return to the US.

The issue was she needed to be back in the US to get her biometrics done to continue the renewal process. That’s when we were contacted to help with this green card reentry after seven years with an expired visa. We were able to continue with this green card renewal process that had been started by the client’s sister. After strategizing the best way to re-enter, we were able to make it happen, get a biometrics appointment scheduled, and secure a valid green card.




In this case, there were many challenges. First, there was the length of time the green card had been expired. This length of time could be questioned as abandoning a green card. There was also the fact that this client’s original green card had been as a minor with her parents but her parents were no longer in the US. These factors had to be addressed when reviewing the strategy for this case in order to ensure that they didn’t turn into reasons to deny the case.

Lastly, we also had the issue of reentry with an expired green card in order to get the biometrics done. This would be one of the biggest challenges in this case as we needed to help CBP to understand this case to enable re-entry for our client. If we didn’t our client would not be able to re-enter, which is not what we want to happen. In the end, we were able to help with this green card reentry after 7 years with an expired green card.




Ability to Work With Multiple Agencies


This was a complicated case, made even more complicated due to the involvement of so many different agencies. For biometrics we needed to coordinate with ASC, for reentry, we needed to ensure CBP understood the case, and for the green card processing, we were communicating with USCIS. Being able to help these independent agencies understand the case and how other agencies were involved really helped connect the dots. This really was one of the keys to navigating this complicated green card reentry case.


Securing the Appointment


Securing the biometrics appointment so that our client had an appointment on arrival was essential to this case being successful. Once we had the biometrics secured, the case was approved within minutes. To make sure this happened, we went to ASC personally to get the appointment and brought all the details with us when we went to Mexico to be there with our client when she re-entered. It made all the difference.


Creative Strategy


At Tsang & Associates, we are always solving legal problems with creative solutions and this case was no different. In fact, being able to find a creative way was the only way to get this case approved. After several attempts talking with CBP and not being able to get them to budge in their position, we had to find another way, a new way. This is where having our client’s father fly in to enter the US at the same time really made all the difference. Because of this solution, we were able to make a difference with CBP and this case could move forward.




Even with a green card that had been expired for seven years, and an initial denial, we were able to help our client re-enter the US. Not only that, but her case was approved within minutes on arrival. Finally, after not being with her sister for years, our client was able to re-enter the US and be reunited with her sister. It was a really happy result for everyone.




With several different agencies involved in different aspects of each immigration case, these cases, green card cases, are not easy to navigate. Being able to explain how the agencies work together, help them work together, and help clients navigate the process is why immigration attorneys exist.

If you need assistance with a green card reentry after your original green card has expired you can learn more about our green card services or contact us to discuss your case. For more information on green cards, see the green card information on the USCIS website.

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