People who have unwillingly "abandoned" green card due to Covid-19


New Member
I am looking for anyone who is facing problems re-entering the United States, after having been outside the country for over a year due to the advent of Covid-19 and related issues. I myself had been in the UK for about 9 months when Covid hit, and as a result I ended up crossing the one year mark, and technically "abandoning" my green card status. I attempted to apply for a SB-1, Returning Resident Visa, but they deemed that my reasons for staying in the UK did not constitute "unforseen reasons beyond my control", stating that there were still flights available to the US at the time, even though it was unsafe to travel, and my places of employment in the US had informed me that they would not be able to hire me upon my return, indefinitely, due to Covid. I am wondering how many other Green Card holders must have found themselves in a similar predicament around the world. Perhaps if we were able to find each other, and form some sort of coalition, we could lobby the government to grant some sort of amnesty to people who have found themselves in this position as a result of the Covid pandemic. If anyone has a similar situation, or has an idea of how I can find others in this situation, please respond to this post and let me know.


Well-Known Member
If you still have your green card and it is unexpired, you may have more success with simply flying to the US and seeking entry (despite having been outside for more than 1 year and not having a Re-entry Permit or SB-1 visa). The immigration officer at entry has the power to let you in, perhaps with a warning, if they determine that you have not abandoned residency. Whatever you do, do not sign I-407 to voluntarily give up your green card. If placed into removal proceedings, the immigration judge will determined whether you have abandoned residency, and you can present your case. Abandonment of residency is not based on length of absence alone.


Registered Users (C)
I am also in the UK and in the same situation. Did you end up making the trip?
Just go ahead and make the trip. I agree with @newacct . If you have an unexpired GC you will be allowed in 100%, the on,y question is will CBP bother sending you to the IJ. In many cases, they do not. Even if they do, you can fight that case with an attorney and until then you will live your life and work as a GC holder. so it’s worth the risk IMO. If you apply for SB1, then you have to prove your case with the US embassy officer and their is no access to lawyer or no formal legal appeals process unlike the immigration court.