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Jen Marie, Esq.
Jen Marie, Esq., Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 5239
Experience:  She has worked on all types of U.S. Immigration cases since 2007.
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I am an vwp euro passport holder with a green card.

Customer Question

I am an vwp euro passport holder with a green card. Living in Asia since 2013 and have been going back and forth to US with my american wife for short stays to visit family/friends. Now however my green card has expired and it appears that I may not be able to get a new one due to the fact I do not live in US any longer.
We may want to go back at some point but it could be several years and best thing to do is just to give up green card and re-apply at a later date.
I am trying to understand how I can be able to go back and forth to the US for short stays during holidays etc. with my American spouse. can I just use my vwp as a euro passport holder? For example if I give up my expired green card tomorrow how can I travel to US for a 2 week holiday in August or during next christmas?
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** I Will be the attorney helping you today.
Even if you are not currently living in the US, if you are to come back to the US with the expired green card, you can apply for a renewal of your current card once you are here through form I-90. It may not be easy to get back into to the US with your expired green card, however.
Technically you can travel to the US with the expired card if it was valid for 10 years, not 2 years. The problem will be that you would also have to show that you have not been outside the U.S. and you would have to show proof of this.
If you decide to do this and are able to enter and renew your green card what you can do to be able to stay out of the country for 1-2 years is apply for reentry permit with form I-131.
can I just use my vwp as a euro passport holder? For example if I give up my expired green card tomorrow how can I travel to US for a 2 week holiday in August or during next christmas?
Yes, legally abandon your green card tomorrow throuh form I-407 at a US embassy/consulate then be allowed to enter the US on VWP in August. The final decision will be up to the CBP immigration officers at the airport when you try to enter as he will know you recently gave up your green card.
Good luck to you during this process and I hope this answer has helped you!
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Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello there..
I see that you were able to view my answer. Did you have any other question or clarification I can help you with?
ALso please kindly remember to leave a rating when you get a chance. It's the only way that I receive credit. Thanks so much!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Jennifer, but I do not think you are correct in saying that as long as my green card is a 10 year one technically I can travel to the US. Mine is a 10 year green card for what its worth.Also I read I can actually naturalize as my wife us citizen lives with me in Hong Kong but not sure if just having a job is enough. It appears you need a qualified job, although I do meet all the other criteria including the fact that at some point we would like to go back to the US as we own a home and all our things are there. I mean our stay here in Hong Kong is entirely job dependent and it is just hard to know the future and tell when we may move back. Could be 6 months or 5 years, we just do not know today and is impossible to forecast.For me the issue is that even if I went back to the US with a travel letter and get my green card re-newed then I run the risk to be determined as having abandoned it regardless since there is a chance I may not come back to live there for several years. Even if I were to get a re-entry permit it would be potentially pointless. So the only option is to either abandon it and do the VWP until we have a clear view or Naturalize but I think I may have missed the boat. For example:1)Can you naturalize with an expired green card?2)I was out for 11 months in 2013 into 2014, I read you can only be 6 months or less unless certain circumstances apply.3)Can I file from overseas?The would be follow-up questions to my situation...Thanks
Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I will be with you shortly.
Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello again:
I have a lot of experience in this field So I am sure about what I told you. You can travel back into the US with an expired green card IF you can show that you have not been outside more than a year. :)
For confirmation, you can read about it here:
Here is the excerpt from the US embassy website (it's for Barbados but they are all the same):
My Green Card expired. I have been out of the United States for less than 12 months. Do I need a transportation letter?
If your permanent resident/Green Card expired and you are outside the United States, you can still return without a transportation letter if you have not been outside the United States for more than 12 months.
1)Can you naturalize with an expired green card?
Once you enter the US, you can submit your application to naturalize if you are eligible. USCIS has issued different guidance throughout the years on whether you can do this with an expired green card. In short, having an expired green card should not affect your citizenship application. The main issue is that you will not have a proof of your status while your citizenship is pending if you dont renew your green card. It could be difficult to travel or prove your status for employment etc. That is why USCIS does recommend that you do renew your card if it is expired when you apply for citizenship. It is safer to renew it first.
2)I was out for 11 months in 2013 into 2014, I read you can only be 6 months or less unless certain circumstances apply.
Being out of the US more than 6 months in the last 3 years does not bar you from citizenship completely but you will have the burden of proving that you never abandoned your residence here in the US. To do this you would have to show you still things such as a home here, car, bank account, filing tax returns. You don't need all, but the more you show the better the chances will be. Any trips of more than 12 months will bar you from applying and your 3 years starts starts again the day you arrived back in the US from the 12 month trip.
3)Can I file from overseas? No you can only do this under certain circumstances and it doesn't sound as if you qualify.
It must be your US citizen spouse that is employed abroad under one of these jobs.
Qualifying employment abroad means to be under employment contract or orders​ ​and to assume the duties of employment​ ​in any of following entities​ or positions​:​

•Government of the ​United States​ (including the ​U.S.​ armed forces)​;​

•American institution of research recognized as such by the Attorney General​;​

•American firm or corporation engaged in whole or in part in the development of foreign trade and commerce of the ​United States​, or a subsidiary thereof​;​

•P​ublic international organization in which the ​United States​ participates by treaty or statut​e;​

•A​uthorized to perform the ministerial or priestly functions of a religious denomination having a bona fide organization within the ​United States​; or​

•E​ngaged solely as a missionary by a religious denomination or by an interdenominational mission organization having a bona fide organization within the United States​.​ ​
In conclusion, unless you were inside the US at least 1.5 years TOTAL in the last 3 years with no trips of more than 12 months and proof for the trip of 11 months (like I mentioned above) then I would suggest abandoning the LPR and reapplying later. If you think you qualify for citizenship you can apply but remember you will have to be returning to the US for the fingerprints and then the interview.
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