I'm a Filipino passport-holder but I also have an expired US green card. I'm currently in South Korea for my master's degree and I wish to visit USA this summer to see family.
My green card's expiry date is August 2017. I applied for a master's program scholarship March 2017, got accepted in June 2017, got my ticket from the scholarship organization July 2017, and flew out August 2017. I didn't (couldn't?) renew my green card due to following reasons:
Yes, I could've renewed 6 months before it expired as recommended, but I didn't expect I'd get a full-ride scholarship for a master's degree. My plan was to renew my green card after graduation (May 2017) because I had to save up $540 for the renewal fee.
Let's say I did renew my green card 6 months before or before it's expiration date AND got accepted to the scholarship program July 2017...
- There would be no guarantee that I'd have my greencard before August 2017 as it takes 5-9 months for the new green card to be issued;
- If I did renew and got my new green card before August 2017, I'd have to apply for a re-entry permit and that's another 2-3 months of waiting... I was accepted 2 months before so, again, there's no guarantee I'd have said re-entry permit before August 2017.
Because the scholarship process went by so fast, I was a bit stressed with what to do with my green card. I have all intention to remain a US permanent resident but I also couldn't just throw away a FREE master's scholarship program (knowing that US higher-ed is just extremely expensive).
Back to my question... I want to visit family this coming summer break. But of course I have to come back to Korea to finish my master's... and I plan to go back to USA after obtaining my master's degree. Is my best option to apply for a tourist visa? Do I need to give up my green card? Am I considered as someone who abandoned their residency? Are there other better options in my case that would allow me to visit US for a bit and finish my degree then go back to US?
Also, I'm an "international student" in Korea. I live in my school dorm and have NO purchases of an apartment, car, or any of that. I just have a Korean bank account.