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.

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

  1. Mayra
    January 13, 2016

    Hi my name is Mayra and i went outside of the united states my green card expired , 4 years ago…. I have 6 Kids in the states can i still renew my card

    • Just having adult children in the US, is probably not a sufficient factor, by itself, to obtain an SB-1 Returning Resident Visa, if you stayed outside the US four years after your green card expired. But each case is different, and it may be that there are other factors as well, that you have not considered, that might help your case. Also, if any of your children are a US citizen who is 21 years old or older, they may be eligible to petition for you to receive a new immigrant visa and to return that way. In that situation, you would not be renewing your permanent residence (green card) but would be applying for a new one. You should consult with me or another experienced immigration lawyer about your available options to return to the US.
      If you would like to have a consultation appointment with me to learn more about this, you can call 901-507-4270, and my paralegal, Jessica, can help you to schedule an appointment.

      * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is a Memphis immigration lawyer with the Siskind Susser law firm. http://www.visalaw.com/ari.htmlhttp://www.visalaw.com/ari.htmlhttp://www.visalaw.com/ari.htmlhttp://www.visalaw.com/ari.htmlhttp://www.visalaw.com/ari.htmlhttp://www.visalaw.com/ari.htmlhttp://www.visalaw.com/ari.htmlhttp://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.

  2. Ned Alhasan
    December 15, 2015

    Mr. Ari,

    I stayed in USA from 1992 till 2008. I received my green card approval in 1998, but received the actual card in 2000, with expiration date in 2010. I applied for my citizenship in 2006, and went through the test, but the result did not come, and I waited for long time going back and forth to Jordan and UAE for work, and to visit my wife. Any way my father had health problem, and truly it was so hard for me going back and forth 3 times sometimes to USA back and forth. I did not notice the expiration of my Green Card in 2010, and now it is been expired since. it is SAD that I live, and pay taxes for 16 years in USA, then Can not go back. is there is any way of possible way to go back to USA? I would appreciate your consultation. ni

  3. Emilija Popova-Foster
    October 3, 2015

    I am married to USA citizen since 1998 , my green card expired 2010 but I wasn’t able to renew it because me and my husband both lost jobs,Now my dad passed away and I had to return home for his funeral,How can I return back to my husband and family with expired green card? Please help, I ve been in USA 1997/now,married since 1998 , thank you

    • Emilija:

      I am not comfortable giving you a response to your question in this format, since it is not a simple question. You will need to have a consultation with me or another experienced immigration lawyer to determine the options available for your specific situation.
      * This is an advertisement. 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/http://www.visalaw.com/about-visalaw/our-team-1/attorneys/ari-sauer/http://www.visalaw.com/about-visalaw/our-team-1/attorneys/ari-sauer/http://www.visalaw.com/about-visalaw/our-team-1/attorneys/ari-sauer/ .
      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.

  4. Tayo
    October 2, 2015

    My Permanent resident aunt left the U.S. on a 2 year permit but will end up overstaying it by 5-6 months while the green card is still active ( just based on expiry date). Technically it is abandoning GC I believe but what will happen at the airport when she comes back using one way ticket? Deportation on the spot, take the green card, initiate deportation proceeding but allow her in? I know too hypothetical.

    • Tayo,

      It will depend on the officer and the situation. If the officer looks at the evidence she has with her, the length and purpose of the trip, and her situation and feels that she continued to maintain the US as her permanent residence and the trip was temporary in nature, then they would admit her as a permanent resident. Otherwise, they will likely schedule her for a Deferred Admissions hearing, at which time she will be able to present evidence in favor of her claim that she continued to maintain the US as her permanent residence and did not abandon her US residence.
      * This is an advertisement. 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/http://www.visalaw.com/about-visalaw/our-team-1/attorneys/ari-sauer/ .
      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.

  5. Frank Tubman
    September 30, 2015

    I was 14yrs old when I come to see my mom in Liberia and my green card expired since 2006 what do you think I can do

    • Frank:

      Unfortunately I do not have enough information about your situation to be able to respond. The possibilities of your situation range from there being nothing you can do on one extreme, to the possibility that you may be a US citizen on the other extreme. It just all depends on the facts of your situation and your history. I recommend scheduling a consultation appointment with me or another experienced immigration lawyer.
      * This is an advertisement. 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/ .
      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.

  6. Sellu Mac
    August 4, 2015

    Hi, i was issued a conditional green card couple years ago. My wife and I have applied to remove the condition. The application is pending. My conditional greencard expires in this month and i need to travel out of the country. Can i travel while the conditional greencard is expired and before the permanent greencard is issued?

    • The receipt notice for the I-751 states on it that it is proof of a one-year extension of the permanent residence. The receipt notice can be used together with the expired green card, for that one year period, unless the I-751 is denied before then. If USCIS takes longer than the one-year period to adjudicate the I-751, then the applicant can make an infopass appointment with their local USCIS office and obtain an I-551 stamp in their passport as continued temporary proof of their permanent resident status.

      * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is a Memphis immigration lawyer 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.

  7. George Hanna
    July 9, 2015

    Hi Mr. Sauer,

    My mom has a green card and it was expired on 8/16/2014. My mom didn’t notice that and she has been out of the states for almost 2 years. When she purchased the ticket to come back from Jordan and the officer there didn’t allow her to board on the airplane because her card was expired. My mom can provide some medical reports since she left the states and went to Jordan because she can’t afford the medical expense in United States. Is there any hope that my mom can get her green card back?? I appreciate any ideas.

    Thank you for your help,
    George.

    • George:

      She would need to apply for an SB-1 Returning Resident Visa from the US consulate, as I explained in the post. If she couldn’t return to the US for medical reasons, then she may be able to get the visa. But they look at the whole situation, not just one thing, in determining whether you intended to maintain your US residence while you were abroad. It can help to have an attorney assist you with putting the application together.

      * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is a Memphis immigration lawyer 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.

  8. Anonymous
    July 4, 2015

    Hello mr Sauer,.
    My mother received a green card through family (her parents, brothers, sisters and extended family moved to the usa from the Netherlands/curacao).

    I received my green card as a child but left the usa as a teen and moved back to the Netherlands along with my mother. Since them my green card expired years ago.

    I still have my 9 aunts/uncles and extended relatives living in the usa.are there still grounds for renewal?
    best regards Marcel

    • I don’t know enough about your situation to be able to answer your question. If the only thing you have going for you is that you have aunts and uncles in the US, then you are probably not going to be successful. But I would recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer so that you can find out if there are other factors that might help give your application a better chance at being successful.

      * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is a Memphis immigration lawyer 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.

  9. Ricardo Paul
    May 26, 2015

    Hello Mr Sauer,
    My parent travel between Caribbean and US, they had their permanent residents green card. However, my dad had a heart attach and was unable to travel. The remain in Caribbean as they still have a home there. Their green card expired 4/28/2015 and I am about to apply for renewal fro them now. My questions is this, will then need to visit an office, or will they mail them the green card to my home in the US? If my dad is still not clear to travel, what will they have to do?

    • Ricardo, see the article above. If he applies at the consulate soon, showing the medical emergency that kept him here in the US beyond the expiration date of his green card, he shouldn’t have any problem obtaining the SB-1 visa to reenter as a Permanent Resident.

      * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is a Memphis immigration lawyer 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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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