Jump to content

Applying for ESTA after greencard

13 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

I have been a US green card holder for a few years but have moved back to the UK and I am waiting for my husband's UK visa to come through (I know the popular thing to do is stay in the US and get citizenship first but my green card renewal was delayed for over a year due to general immigration delays and we got fed up with delaying our move back). I want to go visit my husband in the US over Christmas (he cannot visit as UK immigration has his passport). I will have been out of the US for 6 months from the 17th December. Will this mean I have automatically abandoned my green card? Can I apply for an ESTA before the 6 months is up so I can book flights in advance or will I have to wait for the 6 months to apply. Should I expect any difficulties applying for an ESTA after abandoning my green card? I was going to fill out the relevant forms to abandon the green card but with less than a month to go I don't hold out much hope of it being processed in time for Christmas. 


Thanks in advance for your help.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't apply for ESTA because your green card is still valid. You'd need to officially give your green card away if you don't plan on living in the US and want to use ESTA instead.


29.11.2013 - NoA1

06.02.2014 - NoA2

01.04.2014 - Interview. 


03.2015 - AoS started.

09.2015 - Green Card received.  


24.07.2017 - NoA1.

01.08.2018 - RoC approved. 



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you have not filed the I 407?

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand how UK immigration has your husband's passport while he is in the US.........and I don't think you qualify for ESTA since you are a US green card holder..........It sounds like you don't really qualify as a US resident which means you should probably give up your green card, then apply for ESTA.  Having said that, your GC will probably allow you entry into the US......maybe after ansering some questions from CBP.

                    "What I am to be, I am now becoming"-  Benjamin Franklin     

   :idea:MSC (National Benefits Center) I-751 filers- Please add your data :idea:                          https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Id1duRRByZHJmhEzl9N25GqwzcnUyLCR4e4N9W6zGLg/edit#gid=0


Retired 20 year US Air Force Missileer (Retired E-8)

Retired Registered Nurse with practice in Labor/Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent Psych, Adult Psych

Retired IT Professional, Software Developer, Database Manager


Immigration Journey:

  • Texas Service Center after transfer from Nebraska
  • Consulate :Taipei, Taiwan
  • Marriage: 7/30/2015
  • I-130 NOA1 : 4/27/2016
  • I-130 Approved :9/8/2016
  • Case received at NVC: 10/11/2016                               
  • Case # and IIN#: 10/24/2016
  • AOS Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • AOS Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • IV Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • IV Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • DS-260 Completed: 10/28/16
  • Scan Date:11/9/2016
  • Supervisor review: 12/21/16 
  • Checklist: 1/13/17 
  • Case Complete: 4/10/17
  • Interview Date: 5/8/17 
  • Visa  "ISSUED": 5/10/17
  • Visa and Passport in hand/Flight to USA Booked!!!: 5/12/17  
  • POE Dallas DFW on June 22, 2017
  • SS Card received : 7/3/2017
  • 2-year Green Card received in mail: 7/15/17
  • I751 mailed to Dallas PO Box: 3/28/2019
  • I-797 extension letter  for ROC dated 4/2/2019  MSCxxxxxxxxxx received: 4/6/2019
  • Biometrics apt received for 4/25/2019: on 4/12/2019

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies. Boiler, hi from a fellow welsh person! No I haven't filed the I 407. If I file this (from the UK) how long is this likely to take? Is there any possibility of me travelling over for Christmas? I've not had great experiences with US or UK immigration delays, lol! Or can I wait until I've been out of the country for 6 months and 'abandoned' the green card then apply? 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I would be in quite such a hurry to give up your green card until your husband has his UK spouse visa in hand. If it were me, I would maintain my GC until things were certain. Other members may have more information than I do, but it's possible that VWP may not be available to you in the future and you would need a B visa to visit US.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It most likely won't be an issue for you to visit him during christmas using your greencard.

K-1: 12-22-2015 - 09-07-2016 (260 days)

AP: 12-20-2016 - 04-07-2017 (108 days)

EAD: 01-18-2017 - 05-30-2017 (132 days)

AOS: 12-20-2016 - 07-26-2017 (217 days)



04-19-2019 - Earliest filing date

04-22-2019 - I-751 sent with USPS (AZ lockbox)

04-24-2019 - Delivered/Received date

04-30-2019 - Check cashed

04-30-2019 - NOA1 text/email (WAC)

05-03-2019 - NOA1 hardcopy/extension letter

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Scandi said:

It most likely won't be an issue for you to visit him during christmas using your greencard.

I agree. Whilst you are not living in the USA so theoretically your GC is no longer valid, since your husband doesn’t have his visa yet I would hold onto the GC and use that. What if the visa is denied? I know the chances are slim but anything is possible. 


I would say say you are still in transition from one place to another. Your husband still has a home, I assume, in the US where you will be staying for Christmas? It’s not like you are going on holiday to Disney World and staying in a hotel. 




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

What stops you from using your still valid GC to enter the US?

Entry on VWP to visit then-boyfriend 06/13/2011

Married 06/24/2011

Our first son was born 10/31/2012, our daughter was born 06/30/2014, our second son was born 06/20/2017

AOS Timeline

AOS package mailed 09/06/2011 (Chicago Lockbox)

AOS package signed for by R Mercado 09/07/2011

Priority date for I-485&I-130 09/08/2011

Biometrics done 10/03/2011

Interview letter received 11/18/2011

INTERVIEW DATE!!!! 12/20/2011

Approval e-mail 12/21/2011

Card production e-mail 12/27/2011


Resident since 12/21/2011

ROC Timeline

ROC package mailed to VSC 11/22/2013

NOA1 date 11/26/2013

Biometrics date 12/26/2013

Transfer notice to CSC 03/14/2014

Change of address 03/27/2014

Card production ordered 04/30/2014


N-400 Timeline

N-400 package mailed 09/30/2014

N-400 package delivered 10/01/2014

NOA1 date 10/20/2014

Biometrics date 11/14/2014

Early walk-in biometrics 11/12/2014

In-line for interview 11/23/2014

Interview letter 03/18/2015

Interview date 04/17/2015 ("Decision cannot yet be made.")

In-line for oath scheduling 05/04/2015

Oath ceremony letter dated 05/11/2015

Oath ceremony 06/02/2015

I am a United States citizen!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, louise12345 said:

I will have been out of the US for 6 months from the 17th December. Will this mean I have automatically abandoned my green card?

Shouldn't be an issue to enter the US using that card then.

Once you are all set to live in the UK together, then file the I-407.

Assuming you still qualify for an ESTA (i.e. never overstayed), you'll likely be granted it if you applied in the future.



AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received





12/1/16: sent

12/14/16: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received



4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017



5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

We ended the lease on our US apartment as we couldn't afford to pay for rent both in the US and the UK, so we would be staying with his parents for the Christmas period. I agree, I am very reluctant to give up my green card until my husband's visa is approved. I haven't been able to update the US gov with my address as my address is in the UK and my husband is currently living with various family members and friends. I don't know if this is likely to cause problems as I know you are meant to update your address ASAP when moving. We are definitely still in the transition of moving. 


I was under the impression it would be very difficult to return to the US on my green card after being away for 6 months without evidence of returning to the US with a job etc or proving you only returned to your home country temporarily due to a sick family member or similar. Does anyone have experience of this? It would be even more heartbreaking to get refused entry at POA. Just to clarify, I have a conditional green card which expired in Dec 2017. I applied to renew it and have received 2 notices from US immigration to explain that this is unlikely to be renewed until Spring/Summer 2019 due to general delays in processing. I would take both my expired green card and both these notices when travelling. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -

Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
  • Create New...