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kensey

Left Greencard in US - Can I temporarily use Visa Waiver

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I left my green card in the US. I know that I'd need to obtain a transportation letter but it will definitely complicate things because of the waiting time for appointment which guarantees I'll miss my flight  and various work appointments.

 

I was thinking about another option:

 

Fill out an ESTA form and use the visa waiver program to immigrate as a tourist. Then, when arriving in Boston, pick up the green card, drive up to Canada, and come back with the greencard. If possible, this would be WAY easier than the transportation letter.

 

But is this legally possible or a really stupid idea? What will immigration say if I enter as a tourist while being a permanent resident?

 

Edited by kensey

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Bad idea. I strongly advise against anything that differs from the official way of doing things. You'll make your self suspect later on with the authorities.

 

I agree with EmilyW: have someone overnight your GC to you via FedEx or another private courier service. This is by far the best solution I can think of.

 


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1 hour ago, kensey said:

I left my green card in the US. I know that I'd need to obtain a transportation letter but it will definitely complicate things because of the waiting time for appointment which guarantees I'll miss my flight  and various work appointments.

I was thinking about another option:

Fill out an ESTA form and use the visa waiver program to immigrate as a tourist. Then, when arriving in Boston, pick up the green card, drive up to Canada, and come back with the greencard. If possible, this would be WAY easier than the transportation letter.

But is this legally possible or a really stupid idea? What will immigration say if I enter as a tourist while being a permanent resident?

 

 

This is way to complicated to say the least. Also it is misreprensentation and could cause alot of headaches for you if go this route. Why not have someone get it for you and then mail it to you in the country you are in?

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The best idea is what others have said: Have someone send it to you through FEDEX as fast as possible.

 

If for some reason that is not an option, the other way out I see is to use the procedure in place when a green card is lost/stolen abroad. As far as I understand, you will have to go to the consulate and file a form to get travel documents https://www.uscis.gov/i-131a

 

If they approve your petition, they will give you papers to get back and you will have to get a new green card when you come back. It can be tricky because you have not lost it nor did it get stolen, but if you tell them you left it at home they will probably roll their eyes and give you the form anyway. 

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As others have said....very bad plan!  Especially because it won't work and you will have wasted the time you could have been pursuing other options.  You would not get your ESTA application approved anyway...that system cross references with USCIS information and your LPR status would be revealed.  There are a couple of very limited situations in which a green card holder can entire the US on a visitor vIsa  --  forgetting to travel with your green card is not one of them.

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2 hours ago, Coco8 said:

If for some reason that is not an option, the other way out I see is to use the procedure in place when a green card is lost/stolen abroad. As far as I understand, you will have to go to the consulate and file a form to get travel documents https://www.uscis.gov/i-131a

You are mistaken. A transportation letter would be the way to go, given the circumstances which you describe. 


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A quick Google search shows you can probably head to the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy, as the officials there can write for you what's known as a "transportation letter", do note there may be a fee involved, and you will require your foreign passport — This letter will grant you access to the U.S. in place of your green card for that one-time entry only. An example document is attached below.

 

You should keep your green card with you on person at all times.

 

transportation-letter-for-LPR.jpg.66b8bf01e259cd30f5571a29a7392e02.jpg

Edited by zilchfox

5921a2716c637_TopPart.png.2d7b5424e00e0b2ab19a46632d1bf5ab.png

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5921a2849bdaa_BottomPart.png.85777847080af14b817179e848d917be.png

 

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Here's a link for how to apply for a transportation letter, which is exactly what your scenario is: http://photos.state.gov/libraries/india/13974/2013pdfs/CBPTLApplication.pdf

 

Edit: Might be for India only, but you get the idea. Should be the same for any country, really. Look for the one for your local consulate or embassy.

Edited by zilchfox

5921a2716c637_TopPart.png.2d7b5424e00e0b2ab19a46632d1bf5ab.png

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5921a2849bdaa_BottomPart.png.85777847080af14b817179e848d917be.png

 

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It would be a lot cheaper to Fed Ex the card, not sure about the implications of that though. However, I do know how expensive a transportation letter is as I had to get one in December. I emailed them, you can ring them on certain days at certain times, but that applied to the London Embassy, so might be different if you're at a different embassy.  They wont give you a date to attend the embassy until you have paid the fee and given them details they ask for,  then you need photos, your passport a summary of what has happened and a police report. You haven't lost yours or had it stolen like i did, so you might not need this.

 

 It's shocking the price they charge you for a letter/s. Once you go to the embassy you will get two sealed envelopes which you aren't allowed to open, one to be given to the airline on your way out and the other for border control. No doubt you will get secondary, well I did!  Good luck which ever way you decide to go, but please don't go for a visa waiver it is solely for tourists and I feel it will backfire badly on you!

Edited by shell20

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1 hour ago, Hypnos said:

You are mistaken. A transportation letter would be the way to go, given the circumstances which you describe. 

If you got to the actual form, on the top it says "transportation letter" or "boarding foil". https://www.uscis.gov/system/files_force/files/form/i-131a.pdf?download=1 

 

However, now I also found another form that allows you to enter without passport or visa that is called "transportation letter". This could be used too and and it seems it does not require you to get a new green card when you get back (which the other does because it is for stolen/lost)

Form:

https://www.uscis.gov/i-193

Instructions depend on the consulate, here is for Rome: http://photos.state.gov/libraries/italy/217417/pdf/Transportation-Letter.pdf

 

But basically, one would have to go to a consulate. It costs $585.

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1 hour ago, shell20 said:

It would be a lot cheaper to Fed Ex the card, not sure about the implications of that though. However, I do know how expensive a transportation letter is as I had to get one in December. I emailed them, you can ring them on certain days at certain times, but that applied to the London Embassy, so might be different if you're at a different embassy.  They wont give you a date to attend the embassy until you have paid the fee and given them details they ask for,  then you need photos, your passport a summary of what has happened and a police report. You haven't lost yours or had it stolen like i did, so you might not need this.

 

 It's shocking the price they charge you for a letter/s. Once you go to the embassy you will get two sealed envelopes which you aren't allowed to open, one to be given to the airline on your way out and the other for border control. No doubt you will get secondary, well I did!  Good luck which ever way you decide to go, but please don't go for a visa waiver it is solely for tourists and I feel it will backfire badly on you!

Unfortunately FedEx is difficult as I don't have anyone with keys to my apartment there, so I'd first have to fed ex the keys the other way, that all costs time. I guess I'll have to go the proper route and do the transportation letter. Do you get the 2 envelopes the same day you go the embassy? Unfortunately in Germany there is a 3 day waiting time to get an appointment. The phone line to the USCIS is tape only, no way to go around the electronic appointment system, and yes, it's expensive. This whole immigration thing, I always get the impression we are made to jump through hoops for nothing, all my information is in their system anyway, oh well. And to those who ask how one could possibly travel without the card, when I packed my stuff I mistook my old employment authorization card for the green card, and packed that one instead. They look kind of similar, should have thrown it away long time ago.

 

Edited by kensey

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