Does Immigrant Guilt Ever Go Away?

Stella Guan
7 min readDec 31, 2021

During time of COVID, immigrants are making choices they have to live with

One day in May, I opened my mailbox and discovered a nondescript white envelope.

Inside, there was a little plastic card that was previously stuck in processing for almost 3 years. It was my green card.

For the past 13 years, I have called the United States home living under one visa after another.

For the past 13 years, I had been dreaming of this moment countless times. Never would I have predicted that it would feel so bittersweet.

I was not ecstatic. I was not overjoyed. I was relieved, but with a new concern.

In normal times, I would have started to make plans to visit family that I wasn’t able to see for the past 3 years.

Photo by M. on Unsplash

But this year, much like 2020, was no usual year.

Since the pandemic, finally having the paperwork to travel without needing a visa to come back to the US means nothing to someone from a country with the world’s strictest lockdowns that is also known to some as the “birthplace of COVID”.

We could come back to our adopted country easily, but going back to the motherland, not so much.



Stella Guan

Digital nomad designer and entrepreneur between the US, Europe & Asia | CEO of Path Unbound, UI/UX design school | |