I want to know that do CBP officers check or ask for travel history when entering into US via Automated Passport Control (Kiosk) equipped airports?

I have a valid Green Card but I am away from US for more than 3 years, I want to come back to US, someone suggested me to travel through an airport that has Automated Passport Control (Kiosk) and you just scan your Green Card and it will print out receipt and you had hand over to CBP and there is high chance they will let me in without asking further questions.


I left US by air, I am from Asian country

  • Is your plan to return to the US long-term or just for a short visit?
    – mlc
    Aug 27, 2022 at 17:52
  • @mlc want to return to US and stay there forever
    – traveller
    Aug 28, 2022 at 5:17

3 Answers 3


A Green Card is only valid for travel in the 1 year after you last left the US

From the state department :

A permanent resident (called lawful permanent resident or LPR) or conditional resident (CR) 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. This webpage is about Returning Resident Visas. If you are an LPR unable to return to the United States within the travel validity period of the green card (1 year) or the validity of the Re-entry Permit (2 years), you may be eligible and can apply at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa.

Which means that, as departures and arrivals are recorded electronically in the US, either the APC machine or the CBP officer will see this and nearly for sure deny you entry.

If you qualify, apply for the Returning Resident visa.

If you don't, don't ever use this green card for travel as you surely will get denied entry at the border even if you are going to be allowed to board by the airline due to it being valid in the face of the card, instead abandoning the status with form I-407 and applying for the correct permission (ESTA/Visa) is the preferred way to solve this

I highly doubt using the APC kiosk will change this and getting denied entry will get getting a US visa harder (if you don't qualify or you are denied an ESTA), I highly recommend for you to play it safe and abandon it before ever traveling back to the US

  • 2
    Wouldn’t completing pre-flight Advance Passenger Information flag this up too?
    – Traveller
    Aug 27, 2022 at 9:57
  • 2
    I have read few stories where LPR away for several years managed to enter US without being asked on APC airports
    – traveller
    Aug 27, 2022 at 10:46
  • 2
    @traveller: than you should ask the people who have told/wrote these stories
    – Hilmar
    Aug 27, 2022 at 13:43
  • 3
    Important clarification: if OP last left via the Mexican land border their exit wasn't recorded so CBP wouldn't automatically know how long they've been gone. However I don't know if this situation would automatically result in the passenger being sent to secondary inspection.
    – JonathanReez
    Aug 27, 2022 at 23:52
  • 1
    I know of LPRs in similar situation sent to secondary and let with a warning and an I-131 in hand. Technically the CBP would be within its right to refuse admission, but clearly the officers can show some leniency.
    – littleadv
    Aug 28, 2022 at 0:46

You cannot be refused entry to the US as an LPR having been abroad for too long. Though if you insist on being allowed in, they can refer you to an immigration judge who will decide at a later date whether you should be considered to have abandoned permanent residency. Automated kiosks won't help, because you still see an officer afterwards.

Your only saving grace may be the COVID pandemic, Hire a GOOD (!) immigration lawyer.

  • 3
    I believe your first sentence is incorrect, isn't it?
    – jcaron
    Dec 13, 2022 at 15:58
  • 1
    @jcaron the first sentence is not incorrect. An immigration officer does not have sufficient authority to make a formal finding that an LPR has abandoned permanent residence in the US. If the officer believes that to be the case, the officer will try to talk the traveler into signing a form that voluntarily relinquishes permanent resident status. If the traveler refuses, the officer can refer the traveler for a hearing before an immigration judge as described in this answer.
    – phoog
    Dec 14, 2022 at 10:07
  • 1
    "Having been outside for 3 years, you'd likely lose sadly, unless there are extraordinary, compassionate circumstances": three years ago was just a couple of months before COVID hit the world. In fact, it's called COVID-19 because it was first identified in December 2019. I doubt it would be difficult to establish an intention to remain outside the US for less than one year on departure and a change of plans that resulted from the worldwide pandemic and resulting difficulty in intercontinental travel. While "likely lose" is true for 3-year absences in general, it probably isn't true today.
    – phoog
    Dec 14, 2022 at 10:16
  • @jcaron Nope, it is in fact correct
    – Crazydre
    Dec 20, 2022 at 19:57
  • Removed the ad.
    – littleadv
    Dec 20, 2022 at 21:00

Oooof :(

The Green Card you have is not valid, and you've lost the Permanent Resident status. Sorry.

There's a small probability that the record keeping system has let you "fall through the cracks", but you shouldn't bet on it, and there are no tricks to exploit it. It's like betting your life on a lottery at this point.

Expect to be denied entry unless your nationality is in a country with a Visa Waiver program and the CBP agent is in a particularly good mood. Even then, the attempt to use an invalid Green Card may blacklist you, and then you'd be denied entry even if you qualify for Visa Waiver. It all depends on how the CBP agent sees your attempt: honest mistake vs. blatant fraud.

Given that you have posted the question already, you know that you're attempting fraud. You should have asked an immigration lawyer, not online.

Basically, if a federal agent with time on their hands happens upon your question, they have a good reason to subpoena the records and get your real identity, since you're basically admitting publicly to considering immigration fraud. Posting this question online was an extremely foolish thing to do. I would ask the site admins to wipe the question.

  • 6
    Noone will subpoena anything just because someone asked a question. The scenario isn't even a crime.
    – littleadv
    Aug 28, 2022 at 0:40
  • 2
    my Green Card has not expired, and trying to enter with valid GC is not a crime, its completely legal, either I will get admitted, or I will asked to surrender the GC or I have right to ask them to appear in front of immigration judge
    – traveller
    Aug 28, 2022 at 5:16

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