My mother obtained a US 10-year multiple visit visa from India. During her stay with us, we applied for a Green Card / permanent residence for her and she was approved. She lived with us for about 2 years and went in and out of the US 3 times. She had to leave the US due to medical issues, as she had no insurance and she has been in India for the past 2 years. I assume her Green Card / Permanent Residence Card has expired.

My question is whether the 10-year multiple visit visa issued to her prior to getting a Green Card is still valid. Can she come on her visitor visa to visit us in the USA for like 4 months?

  • Did they not stamp "cancelled" on the visa? You might want to ask on Expatriates about getting her a returning resident visa, which would allow her to resume permanent resident status. Statistics indicate that the US has issued around 1250 of these on average each year between 2012 and 2016. She would have to show that her extended absence was because of "circumstances beyond her control."
    – phoog
    Oct 3, 2017 at 17:07
  • They did not stamp cancelled on the visa on her passport to the best of my knowledge and that's what made me wonder if she could travel on that visa. We also did not cancel her permanent visa and just assumed that you cannot travel on it if you are out of the country for more than i year. How do i go about getting her a returning resident visa? Thanks
    – Asif
    Oct 3, 2017 at 19:21
  • 1
    @Asif, Only the Green Card expires, not her Permanent Resident status, but still i don't think so airline would let her travel on an expired GC, you need to consult with an immigration lawyer on it, might be she can get a new GC before travel or can enter on her Visit status, still very confusing situation.
    – Nestsouls
    Oct 3, 2017 at 20:06
  • The green card is valid for 10 years and shouldn't be expired yet.
    – user102008
    Oct 4, 2017 at 15:06
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    @Asif: Yes but that doesn't mean the person has abandoned permanent residence. The immigration officer at entry and/or an immigration judge in removal proceedings has the discretion to let her in as a permanent resident anyway even if she doesn't meet the documentary requirements for entry to the US, if they determine that she hasn't abandoned permanent residency. You should be clear in your question whether the card is expired (which you seem to say in the question), or you just don't think it's valid for entry.
    – user102008
    Oct 4, 2017 at 15:10

1 Answer 1


No she cannot. By acquiring permanent residency, you display immigration intent.

Under U.S. immigration law, if a foreign national applies for a non-immigrant visa or for admission to the United States as a non-immigrant, the application often can only be approved if the individual can demonstrate a lack of immigrant intent.

Immigrant intent automatically cancels your eligibility for a non immigrant visa (except for H visas etc) which allow dual intent. Thus your visa is rendered void for all intents and purposes.

She will have to apply for a new non-immigrant visa, and demonstrate to consular that she no longer has immigrant intent. Don't take the chance of her trying to come back on the visa, she is almost certain to get denied entry especially in this climate.

Alternatively what you can do is apply for a Returning Resident Visa if the plan is for her to get back her permanent residence status.

Overview - About Returning Resident Visas

A permanent resident who has remained outside the United States for longer than one year, or beyond the validity period of a Re-entry Permit, will require a new immigrant visa to enter the United States and resume permanent residence. A provision exists under U.S. visa law for the issuance of a returning resident special immigrant visa to an LPR who remained outside the United States due to circumstances beyond his/her control.

  • If you were outside the US for over a year due to health reasons, you may be eligible for the returning resident visa and to resume your permanent resident status in the US. Consult an immigration lawyer. Also our sister site Expatriates may be able to answer questions about this visa. Mar 18, 2018 at 19:00

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