Permament GC, Husband died, overseas longer than 1 year, child is a citizen, need help coming back

I'm asking this for a friend who went to her home country to help her mother. Her PGC is good until April 2018. She has a child from her marriage who is a Citizen and a child with PGC. All have been out of the Country for 8 years.

Her Husband has visited every year they've been outside of the Country. She is on his Tax Forms and on Checking and Savings Accounts (joint accounts).

Her husband died mid-Sept and she's having problems getting back into the country. She is a Beneficiary of a Life Insurance Policy, 401k, pension, and the balance of his Estate in Wisconsin according to how they give Estate (no will). The Estate and Life Insurance is in the mid 6 figures in value.

Surely there has to be a way for her to re-enter the Country. I've seen and read the page on widows/widowers on the DHS website, but see nothing about re-entering this way with a PGC.

She's confused trying to figure the maze out.

It appears the quickest way would be to give up her GC and to apply for the above way to re-enter. Anyone have experienced this or can help with suggestions?

Best Wishes.



Super Moderator
Unfortunately for your friend, she is deemed to have abandoned permanent residency regardless of the fact that her GC shows an expiration date of 2018 - she’s been out of the country for 8 years.

I don’t know of a quick or easy way for her to return to the US.


Well-Known Member
You mean she left the US 8 years ago and never went back? Although being outside the US for more than 1 year doesn't necessarily mean she abandoned residence, and if she still had a valid card she could try to enter and let the officer and/or immigration judge determine whether she abandoned residence, I think at 8 years is so long that they will definitely say she has abandoned residence.

I would say her best best would probably be, yes, apply to immigrate from scratch as a widow. If you are saying she has a child who was also a permanent resident, this child probably also abandoned residence, and can immigrate as the derivative of a widow.
yes it's been 8 years her mother had health problems with no one to assist her. I figured DHS would say she and her other daughter abandoned her GC status. Thanks for the ideas. They are much appreciated.