I was granted a Green Card during 2020 lockdown. I had to fly to the USA as soon as possible to activate it. I mistakenly thought I needed to also apply for an ESTA, which was denied as I was a Green Card holder (LPR). I then entered the US with my Green Card. I decided that I no longer wanted the Green Card and wanted to return to live in the UK as I missed my boyfriend. I formally gave up my Green Card 7 months ago.

I would like to be able to apply for an ESTA as I would like to now visit my mother, an American citizen, who has Parkinson's Disease and not very well.

I have the paperwork that shows that I gave up the Green Card.

I am not sure how long I need to wait before I can apply for an ESTA online. I am worried that I mistakenly tried to apply for an ESTA and was denied because they already saw me as a Permanent Resident. Will my ESTA be denied due to a stupid error on my part? What would be recommended I do in this case?

NEW UPDATE - I applied for an ESTA and was denied. It said that I may be able to apply for a tourist visa, which will end up costing over $1,000 (an ESTA is $21) for all costs involved. I could still be denied. What will be hard is explaining to mom I can't come.

I have no desire to live in the US at all, which is why I chose to not take it up. At least the UK is not as harsh as the US, as she could visit me, but it is her health that is an issue and she cannot travel alone.

Thanks for all the advice. If anyone has anything else to suggest, please let me know, thanks.

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    Aside: given your mother is a US citizen, are you sure you are not one yourself?
    – jcaron
    Commented May 19 at 15:00
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    @jcaron: The US consualte almost certainly would have investigated that and determined that the OP was not a US citizen, before they issued the OP an immigrant visa.
    – user102008
    Commented May 19 at 15:25
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    @user102008 Maybe they made a mistake. That would hardly be unusual. Commented May 19 at 23:45
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    The mother might have become a US citizen after the daughter reached the age of majority. Commented May 20 at 11:55
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    @Marianne013 There are quite a few more cases when people do not automatically acquire US citizenship from their parents, so I’m definitely not saying that OP is necessarily a US citizen just because their mother is, but some cases are a bit complex and it could have been overlooked.
    – jcaron
    Commented May 20 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


You should be able to apply for an ESTA now.

If ever the application is denied, the alternative route is to apply for a B-1/B-2 visa, but depending where you are based, this may take a much longer time.

Note that having had a green card previously and having family in the US may make proving non-immigrant intent quite a bit more difficult. You would need to be able to establish proof of strong ties to your home country.

  • If she gave up green card willingly, why would they think immigration would be the intent? If she wanted to live there, she wouldn't have given up greed card, no? Commented May 20 at 10:15
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    @akostadinov People change their minds, as clearly evidenced here. "I want to immigrate to the US". "Oh no finally I don't want to" could be followed by "Oh I changed my mind again maybe I want". I'm not saying they will think immigration is the intent, just that they may wonder about it.
    – jcaron
    Commented May 20 at 10:20
  • Is there some kind of other visa she can get then? I mean wanting to visit a mother with parkinson's seems like a really good reason to go. Any chance there's a humanitarian argument?
    – DRF
    Commented May 20 at 11:57
  • @DRF for now the quick route is to ask for an ESTA.
    – jcaron
    Commented May 20 at 12:08
  • My mother married an american citizen 25 years ago. She was a British Citizen. Gave it up for American Cit. My father is British and also remarried and lives in England as I do.
    – Deb Davies
    Commented May 20 at 17:15

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