I am a permanent resident of the US. I traveled to Australia for a semester abroad a year and two months ago. I was supposed to return after 4 months but the pandemic happened exactly when I arrived and I decided to stay for safety reasons. As it has been more than a year, my green card is technically expired. However, in Australia there is no covid, or masks, and it is 100% safe where I currently live in. Up until now I was terrified of flying back to the us as the pandemic was very bad. I have all ties to the US as I am a full time student at Columbia University for 4 years now. I am paying taxes, and I am renting an apartment with a lease agreement until the end of this year. I also have a part time job that can provide documentation on future employment in the us. In addition, I have one kidney and frequent kidney problems. therefore, I had to not risk my health for the green card while it was completely safe here. I kept my apartment in the us even though I was in australia this whole time, and I continued to work online and attend classes online.
Now that I am eligble for a vaccine in the US and it is safer I would like to return. Do you think there is a good chance they will let me in if I explain this? The only reason I stayed for so long was becasue of the pandemic and the fact that it did not affect australia at all. With my kidney problems I could not take the risk of getting Covid. I feel like my health is more important and that CBP should understand this.
I don't want to lose my green card, new york is my home and my entire future is there and I do think that the pandemic is something beyond my control.
Anyone in a similiar situation?