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URGENT Green card holder out of USA for more than a year, do I apply for ESTA?

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Panic mode.

Hello, I lived in the USA for 7 years with a green card obtianed through a Fiance Visa.

My american wife and I moved to France 16 months ago, and now have a son with US passeport.

We are going to the US for a month in 2 days to introduce our son to family members and friends. We will be coming back to France, no intention to live in the US in the near future.

I have not filed I-407 (Record for Abandonment).

I thought I just needed to apply for ESTA and enter as a tourist, just like I used to do before I had a green card. However, it seems more complicated than that.

I do not want any trouble with customs. We might, in a few years, decide to move back to the US and we will apply for a new visa at that time. So I don't want any trouble.

What do I need to do?

Apply for ESTA?

Give my greencard to the agent?

Thanks a ton in advance for your help.

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You had a couple of options, but due to the fact you are leaving for the US in two days I would say you are down to one option. Use the GC to board the aircraft and get to the US. Once in the US and upon reaching the CBP person, explain that you have been outside the US for more than 1 year, want to just visit on this trip and would like to surrender your GC at this time.

If you had more time before your trip, you could have gone to the US Embassy in France and surrendered your GC. Then you could see if you are still eligible for ESTA. If so, you can travel using the ESTA. If not, you will need to apply and be approved for a tourist visa--this will take more than the 2 days you have and if you can not travel on ESTA will cannot make this trip.


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