If I’m returning to the US after more than 5 years, is there anything that I can do to go back on my current green card?

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If I’m returning to the US after more than 5 years, is there anything that I can do to go back on my current green card?

I’m a LPR; I have a valid green card that expires after 1 year. I was forced to stay outside the US for over 5 years because of my parents health condition; my mom had cancer and my dad got really sick afterward. I had to stay and take care of them since all my brothers and sister are in the US. Now, since my mom got better, she can take care of my father, so I can go back to the US but I’m afraid it is too late since I’m considered as someone who abandoned their status. Are there any forms that I should fill? Will I be stopped and banned from entering the US in any airport if I tried to go now? I have documents prooving mom’s cancer condition.

Asked on August 25, 2014 under Immigration Law

Answers:

SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can try to just go and see what happens but most likely you will not be permitted to enter because you have abandoned your status due to not being in the US for such an extended period of time.  I would suggest trying to go to the US Embassy in the country where you are now with all the documentation as to why you needed to be outside the US for so long and try to see if you can get your status reinstated.  For that, too, you would probably have to show that you have ties to the US by way of having established residence that you've been maintaining as well as accounts, etc.


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