He can try to return on his green card, at the risk that they will find that he abandoned his status by leaving for four years. His sister can file a visa petition for him, and it will take about 25 years for the visa to be available.
The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.
I think there are some facts missing such as whether or not your grandpa had a green card or simply and I-130 filed for him by his brother. Please clarify or retain counsel to discuss fully and assess all options.
If he had a green card, he can try and return and if placed in removal, the aunt (his daughter) can always re-petition for him as they are what is considered immediate relatives. You should talk to an attorney before you do anything.
This is not legal advice and a client attorney relationship is not created. For a free consultation call (718)234-5588.
You should definitely consult with an immigration attorney for the particulars. A permanent resident is not regarded as seeking an admission unless he or she has been absent from the
United States for a continuous period in excess of 180 days or has abandoned or relinquished his or her status.
[INA §§ 101(a)(13)(C)(i), (ii).] At the port of entry, a CBP official may accuse a permanent resident of having abandoned his or her status or may question the permanent resident about his or her trips abroad. It is extremely important that the permanent resident answer questions truthfully, as false statements or misrepresentations could not only close off a favorable exercise of discretion down the road, it could also trigger a separate ground of inadmissibility. [It can be argued that a misrepresentation is material only if the lawful permanent resident abandoned his status.]
The permanent resident may have limited access to family members or counsel and will to a large extentbe at the mercy of the CBP officer. The CBP officer may pressure the permanent resident to sign an inaccurate or incomplete sworn statement or “voluntarily” relinquish permanent resident status by threatening him or her with detention or removal proceedings
To determine whether he has alternatives more information is needed. For a free initial consultation contact my office in Jacksonville (across the street from the USCIS).
Kyndra L Mulder, Esquire
If the reason he overstayed were for causes outside of his contol such as medical problems, etc. it could be possible to get a permit to enter the United States from the American consulate. This is very difficult. Probably the best chance is for your aunt (his daughter) to file a petition for him, assuming she is over the age of 21.