Immigration Lawyer Ari Sauer – The Immigration Answer Man

Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.

I stayed abroad after my green card expired. Can I renew my green card?

QUESTION: I had a green card as a child. My green card got expired while I was abroad and I didn’t go to the US to renew it because I was in University and then I couldn’t travel back to the US for the next three years after finishing university because the laws of my home country required me to stay for an additional three years. Is it possible for me to renew my green card now after it expired 5 years ago?

Expired by Rian

Expired, by Rian. Flickr Creative Commons License.

THE IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN – ARI SAUER:

US Permanent Residents should not take a trip outside the US of longer than a year without obtaining a Reentry Permit. Those with reentry permits should not remain outside the US beyond the expiration of the Reentry Permit. US Permanent Residents should not let their green cards expire while they are abroad. In any of these situations the Permanent Resident can be considered to have abandoned their residence. For a US Permanent Resident who has a valid green card but has stayed abroad over a year without a reentry permit or who has overstayed their reentry permit, it is possible to apply for reentry into the US as a permanent resident with the green card and proof that they have maintained the US as their permanent residence, including showing that the reason for the trip was temporary and that the overlong stay was due to unexpected reasons beyond the person’s control. An example of this would be someone who was planning to make a shorter stay but became too ill to travel back to the US. The longer the person has stayed outside, the harder it is to show this.

Where a permanent resident lets their green card while they are abroad (or lets both their green card and reentry permit expire) they would need to apply for a Returning Resident Visa (SB-1). This can be done at the US consular post abroad. The applicant will still need to show that they have not abandoned their US permanent residence as described above. If the consulate refuses the SB-1 visa, then they applicant would require a new nonimmigrant or immigrant visa to return to the US. Having previously been a US Permanent Resident does not benefit them in this.

So it is recommend that an experienced US immigration lawyer is consulted before applying for a Returning Resident (SB-1) visa, as an experienced attorney will be able to assist applicants in providing the best available documentation in support of their claim that they maintained their US residence, increasing the chances for an approval.

* This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is an attorney with the Siskind Susser law firm. http://www.visalaw.com/ari.html. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. The opinions expressed here are those of Ari Sauer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Siskind Susser.

3 comments on “I stayed abroad after my green card expired. Can I renew my green card?

  1. Mithila
    November 29, 2014

    Hello Mr Ari,

    I am from Bangladesh.I have got my green card 2010, then I went USA and 3 month stay there. some of my family region I have come back to my country and I didn’t go to USA again.My petitioner was my husband unfortunately we are divorced right now. In that situation how can get my green card again. please can you get me proper advice. I have a social security card and text paid paper. almost 4 years ago my Green card expired.Please let me know,I will highly appreciate. one more thing Can I apply Visit visa for USA.

    Best Regards…

    • Mithila, It does not sound like you are eligible to get your green card again based upon your previous green card. It sounds like you had a conditional residence that you let expire while you were outside the US, and that you did not established the US as your residence. But the information you provided is a bit conflicting, so I cannot say for sure without a full consultation with you where I would be able to get your full history and see your documentation.
      As to the visitor visa, previously having a green card that the foreign national abandoned should not, by itself, be a basis for the DOS to deny a visitor visa to the US. But the person has to otherwise be eligible for the visitor visa.
      * Ari Sauer is an attorney with the Siskind Susser law firm. You can call 901-507-4270 and speak with my paralegal to schedule a consultation appointment with me or another Siskind Susser lawyer. A standard consultation fee will apply for all consultation appointments. Visit our website at http://www.visalaw.com/about-visalaw/our-team-1/attorneys/ari-sauer/ . This is an advertisement.
      On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. the opinions expressed here are those of Ari Sauer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Siskind Susser.

  2. hanafy
    March 30, 2014

    hi im hanafy my staution is the same im out of usa now

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Ari Sauer

Ari Sauer is an immigration law attorney with the Memphis office of the Siskind Susser law firm. Ari answers questions on US immigration law submitted by readers. Email Ari Sauer to submit a question. immigrationanswerman@gmail.com

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