Our attorneys can represent you in U.S. immigration matters regardless of where you are located because U.S. immigration law is federal: you can be in any state, or in any country in the world.

Contact Us | About Us

521 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1700, New York, NY 10175, U.S.A., Telephone: (212) 488-6899

Keeping your greencard

If you already have a green card, there are certain precautions you should take to keep it, i.e., not have the government take it away.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR GREEN CARD

Keep Your Greencard

This document describes certain precautions for U.S. permanent residents ("green card" holders) to take in order to maximize the chances of being able to maintain permanent residency status, i.e., "keeping your green card." Please note that the purpose of this document is to help law-abiding persons avoid common pitfalls that could cause them to inadvertently lose their green card. It is not intended for anyone who should not legally be able to keep their green card.

 

GENERAL RULE

It is very important to realize that U.S. Immigration law requires that a green card holder must NEVER abandon the INTENTION of continuing to reside permanently in the United States. Once, a green card holder abandons that intention, e.g., by intending to reside permanently in some other country, that person loses the right to keep their green card.

This means that ANYTIME a green card holder leaves the U.S., that person is subject to being accused by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (I.N.S.) of having abandoned the intention of living in the U.S., and is subject to having the greencard taken away--on the spot. Therefore, green card holders must always take certain PRECAUTIONS in order to be able to prove to the I.N.S. that they have never abandoned the intention of living in the U.S. permanently. However, simply returning to the U.S. once a year for several weeks to use the Green card is NOT enough!!! Many green card holders have lost their green cards--even though they returned to the U.S. once a year.

PRECAUTIONS

Consequently, it is very important that other precautions, such as the following, be taken:

1. OBTAIN A REENTRY PERMIT

  • If you will be leaving the U.S. for more than one year, but less than two years, it is advisable to obtain a reentry permit prior to leaving the U.S.
  • Note that if you continue to request a number of reentry permits (one after the other) the I.N.S. is likely to deny your application.

2. FILE TAX RETURNS

  • ALWAYS FILE A U.S. RESIDENT TAX RETURN, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER APPLICABLE STATE, CITY, OR LOCAL TAXES.
  • Be sure to file resident tax returns, e.g., 1040, and not a non-resident tax return!
  • Note that this does not necessarily mean that you must actually pay U.S. income taxes, it only means that you must file a resident tax return and declare your worldwide income on that return, even if most of this income is exempt from taxation. Consult a tax adviser where applicable.
  • Keep copies of all tax returns you have filed as a resident, and BRING THESE COPIES WITH YOU WHEN ENTERING THE UNITED STATES.

3. MAINTAIN A U.S. ADDRESS:

  • Maintain a U.S. Address, even if the address is the home of a friend or relative.
  • If possible, do not use "in care of" for your address.
  • DO NOT have a U.S. address which is a resort or hotel.

4. MAINTAIN U.S. BANK ACCOUNTS

  • You should leave open and continue to use U.S. Bank accounts.
  • For example, some employers, when assigning an employee overseas, will continue to pay the employee in U.S. dollars, depositing the amount directly into the employee's U.S. account.

5. MAINTAIN U.S. DRIVER'S LICENSE:

  • You should continue to RENEW your U.S. Driver's license.
  • Be sure that the address on your license is the same as that recorded on any immigration documents.
  • Carry your driver's license when entering the U.S.

6. MAINTAIN U.S. CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTS

7. OWNERSHIP OF U.S. PROPERTY

  • If possible, continue ownership of U.S. property, e.g., houses, condominiums, businesses, automobiles, etc.
  • For example, a person assigned abroad may want to rent, rather than sell, his or her U.S. residence.

8. DOCUMENT REASONS FOR LONG STAYS ABROAD

  • EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS: Before leaving the U.S. on long assignments abroad, it is advisable to obtain a written employment contract, or letter, from your employer.
  • The contract or letter should specify the terms and length of employment.
  • If the employment will lead to a transfer back to the U.S., or to a U.S. based affiliate of the foreign employer, the contract or statement should include this fact.

9. SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER

  • Be sure to maintain your social security card, and carry it with you on your return to the U.S.
  • If you have not yet done so, be sure to apply for the type of social security card which permits you to work in the U.S.

10. SELECTIVE SERVICE

  • For persons of applicable age, be sure to register with selective service.

11. KEEP YOUR GREEN CARD VALID:

  • Be sure to renew your green card when it expires.
  • Children who reach the age of fourteen (14) must file an application to replace their green card unless the prior card will expire before they reach age 16.

12. THINGS TO AVOID (which may unintentionally create the appearance of having abandoned the INTENTION of continuing to reside permanently in the United States):

  • DO NOT return to the U.S. using any form of non-immigrant visa. For example, if you stay outside the U.S. for longer than one year, without having obtained a reentry permit, do NOT return to the U.S. on a tourist visa; instead, apply to the U.S. consulate for a Special Immigrant Visa.
  • DO NOT arrive via a chartered air carrier where nearly all passengers are nonimmigrant.
  • DO NOT return to the U.S. with a spouse and or children who are neither citizens nor green card holders, especially if they will be in the U.S. only a short time.
  • DO NOT arrive at a port of entry functioning as a gateway to a resort area.
  • DO NOT enter the U.S. on a round-trip ticket which terminates outside the U.S.

---------------------

NOTE: That even if you take all of the above precautions, there is NO GUARANTEE that the U.S. immigration inspector will not exclude you from the U.S. for other reasons, e.g., such as for committing a crime involving moral turpitude. The above information is intended solely as general reference information. It is not legal advice. Consultation with an immigration attorney is recommended. In addition, please note that Immigration Laws frequently change.

Reader Comments

Study abroad and re-entry permit

Hi, I was wondering if I could apply for a reentry permit in order to maintain my greencard while studying abroad (my own country to go to a vet school) for 4-5 years... (I see some cases of employment...) Or are there any other ways that I can do like coming back to the US every 6 months? My husband will stay in the US for the next 2 years and keep address, bank account, etc... current, but he will try to come to Japan to join me for the next 3-4 years... would this make it worse? Please advise...

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Studying abroad is a legitimate basis for a Reentry Permit

Studying abroad is a legitimate basis for applying for a Reentry Permit.

If one intends to remain outside of the U.S. for an extended period of time, but intends to reside permanently in the U.S. after that period and to maintain U.S. permanent residency, then it is advisable to apply for a Reentry Permit because by law "A permanent resident or conditional permanent resident in possession of a valid reentry permit who is otherwise admissible shall not be deemed to have abandoned status based solely on the duration of an absence or absences while the permit is valid."

If one's spouse has also left the U.S. for an extended period of time and is no longer maintaining a U.S. residence, then that may lessen the evidence one would have available to show that one has never abandoned the intention of living in the U.S. permanently.

Re-entry permit

Thanks for your reply. So... I can apply for the reentry permit multiple times in order to maintain my green card? Does INS allow us to do it?

Thanks again.

One can apply for a Reentry Permit Multiple Times

It is possible to apply for a Reentry Permit multiple times. The USCIS often grants multiple reentry permits. However, at some point, the USCIS may grant the Reentry Permits for shorter time periods, or may question why the individual continues to request additional Reentry Permits.

Work abroad for 4-5 years

Hi,

I've been a LPR for 5 and a half years now. I'm planning to return to Europe for a few years to be closer to my Mom who is struggling with lung cancer. I found a job in England, where I could still earn enough to support her treatments, and at the same time be within a 2.5 hour flight from her. This way I could visit her every 2 weeks or so, be there quickly when urgent, etc. Should I apply for a citizenship before I leave (pbly. in April)? Is there any other way to keep my LPR status here? I do intend to return to the US after a few years! My girlfriend is a born US citizen and she is coming with me, and she'll keep visiting her family in New Jersey. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

Reentry Perm. does NOT stop breaking continuity for citizenship

If you are an LPR and are going to be outside of the U.S. for a few years, and are worried about losing your U.S. lawful permanent resident status, then it is a good idea to apply for a Reentry Permit, as well as to take other precautions, such as those stated on this page. This is because by law: "A permanent resident or conditional permanent resident in possession of a valid reentry permit who is otherwise admissible shall not be deemed to have abandoned status based solely on the duration of an absence or absences while the permit is valid." In other words, while a reentry permit does not guarantee that one will not lose LPR, it provides one of the best types of proof that one always intended to return to the U.S.

Regarding citizenship, however, a reentry permit will generally NOT prevent the breaking of continuity of residence in the U.S. for purposes of naturalization. Notwithstanding the possession of a reentry permit, absence from the United States by an applicant for naturalization for a continuous period of one year or more during the period for which continuous residence in the United States is required for admission to citizenship will break the continuity of such residence, except where, the applicant meets other exceptions. If you are interested in pursuing U.S. citizenship, it would be advisable to consult an immigration attorney to review all of the specific facts of your case to determine whether you should file for citizenship prior to leaving the U.S.

 

 

Thanks very much for your

Thanks very much for your reply! I'll follow your advice and contact an immigration attorney about the citizenship application. Thanks again!

Would I be needing a

Would I be needing a re-entry permit if I go out of the US for 2 trips a year totaling 3-4 months per trip? or Are they summarizing the length of stay in months no matter how many times you travel in a year? My stay here in the US is shorter compared to being out of the country.

Reentry Permit if staying outside of U.S. for large part of year

The reference on this page to "leaving the U.S. for more than one year, but less than two years" is referring to a stay of more than 12 months because the rule--that after staying outside of the U.S. for one year, one can not use one's green card to re-enter the U.S. as a U.S. permanent resident--counts one year as 12 consecutive months.

However, if one will be staying outside of the U.S. for a large portion of each year, then it may be advisable to obtain a reentry permit and take other precautions, such as those stated on this page, because the CBP may challenge one's intention of residing permanently in the U.S. under those circumstances.

hello gentlemen, MY quettion

hello gentlemen,
MY quettion is that i am a green card holder for 4 years 11 months,,i visit my country each year for a month or less,, but this time i have been here for 4 months and 11 days for some reasons.
do you think i will have a problem if i go to the usa after 5days.
the other quettion is that after i finish 5 years of living in the us with a green card ,can i apply for the citizen ship now?
thank you very much

Green Card Holders should always take precautions

In general, one should be able to use one's "green card" to return from trips abroad of up to one year. However, anytime a green card holder leaves the U.S., he or she is subject to being accused by the CBP of having abandoned the intention of living in the U.S., and is subject to having the greencard taken away--on the spot. Therefore, green card holders should always take certain precautions, such as those stated above, in order to be able to prove to the CBP that they have never abandoned the intention of living in the U.S. permanently.

It is not possible to say whether you will have a problem or not because that is always up to the individual Immigration Inspector. All that one can say is that you should be prepared to show proof of your intent to remain a U.S. Permanent Resident, such as discussed above.

Regarding citizenship, the general requirements (subject to exceptions) for naturalization include:

* a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;
* residence in a particular USCIS District prior to filing;
* an ability to read, write, and speak English;
* a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
* good moral character;
* attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and,
* favorable disposition toward the United States.

The particular period of continuous residence, physical presence, etc., vary depending upon your particular situation.

Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:12pm —

Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:12pm — Anonymous (not verified)
hello gentlemen,
MY quettion is that i am a green card holder for 4 years 11 months,,i visit my country each year for a month or less,, but this time i have been here for 4 months and 11 days for some reasons.
do you think i will have a problem if i go to the usa after 5days.
the other quettion is that after i finish 5 years of living in the us with a green card ,can i apply for the citizen ship now?
thank you very much

See Response above

Please see the response above "Green Card Holders should always take precautions" which replied to your previous post.

long-time absent green card holder re-entry to US

hi there,
my mom received her green card more than 3 years ago, but she could not stay in the US because of my brother. She's been absent for more than three years, now she wants to come into the US to see my sister and her grandson. however, she does not intend to live here. She wonders whether she can use her green card to re-enter the US, she doesn't intend to keep the green card, so if it's taken away from her at re-entry it would be OK. But she wonders if she can even get in with the green card? or would she have to apply for a visa of some sort?
thanks a bunch!

One can not use an invalid green card for one "free" entry

In general, if a U.S. Permanent Resident has been absent for more than one year from the U.S. without a reentry permit, he or she can not use a green card to reenter the U.S. Instead, one would either have to apply for "Returning Resident Status", which requires a showing that her stay outside of the U.S. beyond the limit was beyond her control; or, one would have to apply all over again for green card status through the usual avenues.

Second, if one does not "intend to live" in the U.S., then one does not qualify for U.S. Permanent Resident status.

It is not a appropriate to try to reenter the U.S. using one's green card if one has stayed outside of the U.S. for more than one year without a reentry permit because then one can be denied entry, and it is up to the CBP to decide how harshly to deal with the individual. It is basically like losing control of one's freedom, and hoping that the authorities will not be too harsh.

If one does not intend to reside permanently in the U.S., and does not want U.S. Permanent residency status, then if one wishes to visit the U.S. temporarily, one should apply through the usual avenues for visiting the U.S. applicable to citizens of one's country.

LPR trying to re-enter the US after more than 2 years

Greetings,

My mom and I got my green card in 2003. She has a job, and she will be retiring this April, and I have been staying in the US since then. Since 2003, she has only come back to the US for visiting and stayed no more than one month each time, each year. When she was entering the US at the port-of-entry, and the officer was asking her "how long have you been away for?", my mom would lie and tell him "2 weeks", and every single time the officer believed her and let her in.

Eventually she got sick of flying, and she believed that her lies worked very well. Therefore, she decided to not come back until she retires. The last time she came was in mid-2004. (I understand lying to an officer is *bad*, but try saying that to a mom who has had positive past experiences.)

So, April is near, she's all ready to come here and live in the US. I was going through your checklist and I would like to see how likely she will be let in (I'm not very optimistic at the moment).
1) and 8) - She's going to lie again, so it doesn't matter.
2) Has never filed a tax return
3) She has my address
4) She has a bank account, which has been kept "active" because I put $10 into it periodically
5) 6) No driver's license, no US credit cards
7) She has an annuity plan
9) She has an SSN card with her
12) Oh don't worry, she'll come alone and with a one-way ticket.

By the way, how does the border control determine how long a person has been away from the country?

Thanks in advance.

To clarify something - All

To clarify something - All citizens from our country-of-origin has an ID card. When my mom travels back, she is only required to show the ID card. Therefore, her passport is not stamped to say when she went back there. Hence I don't know what the US officials use to determine how long my mom is away for.

Lying to the U.S. Immigration Inspector has serious penalties

It is a mistake to lie to a U.S. immigration inspector. Since your mother had a green card in the first place, all that was required was a little care to maintain her green card. At this point, it is impossible to say whether she will be allowed to return to the U.S. or not. The best course of action is for your mother to seek a legal consultation with a U.S. immigration attorney.

Can still use old green card after re-enter US?

My Mom re-enter US by SB-1 visa.
Does she still use her old green card
or she has to apply a new Green Card?

Thanks in advance

-Frank

SB-1 and Green Card

Normally, someone returning on an SB-1 receives a notice with instructions, which often instructs the individual to file for a renewal of one's green card. However, because the SB-1 situation is quite unique, you should seek a legal consultation with an immigration attorney to analyze the specific facts of your case.

asylum

I came to the US in 1998 on an F1 visa; completed my education and secured a h1b which is about to expire. I am from africa and my town has been wiped off as a result of war and famine. Can I seek asylum this late in the game?

Applying from Re-entry permit while being abroad

Hi,

I have a greencard since March 2005. However, I left the U.S. on March 2006 (one year ago) and have only been back last September for a few days. Back then, I had no problem getting into the country but I am afraid I will be questioned next time I go back. For this reason I assume it would be safe for me to apply for a re-entry permit. Am I allowed to apply for the re-entry permit while being outside of the U.S.? or do I have to be physically present in American territory to do so?

Thanks for your help.

State taxes while PR abraad

My husband and I are permanent residents (green card) in the US and worked temporary in Canada (with temporary visa).

Do we have to file the US state taxes in addition to US federal taxes in order to keep our PR status?

The reason why we ask is that we found that in Canada provincial taxes are autmatically paid (even by non-residents of Canada like us) and cannot be returned to anybody. Basically, everyone who works in Canada and files the state taxes in the US as resident is always "double taxed". Note that federal is not an issue, as this one, we know, must be filed. We are not sure about state taxes tough.

Thanks in advance for your reply.

Alemda

Maintain GC while being abroad for education

I got my GC in Jan 2005, which means its been little over 2 yrs. My family is going back to India for good, and I am thinking of joining some college in India to upgrade my qualifications (MBA or MS). Is there any form by which I can inform uscis about this, so that I preserve my GC status, to be eligible for citizenship?

Travelling up to 1 year

Hello. I just got my Green Card. I am planning to leave USA for less than 1 year (probably 11 months) to backpack in Asia. I would be staying few weeks, sometime a month in different countries. Do you think that if I showed to the US Immigration Officer upon arriving back, the stamps in my passport proving that I was traveling all the time, would that be enough proof that I didn't intend to settle down anywhere, and that i have left US only temporarily? Would I have any problems with getting back to the US?
thank you
best
Tom

do i need a visa?

my friend has a bosnian passport and a green card. does he need a visa to go to bulgaria on vacation for a month?

Wifes GreenCard Status

Dear Sirs
I am a US Citizen living overseas. As I right this, my wife-a GC holder-is in the USA. On her arrival she was told by the inspector that she cannot be a resident of any other country while she is a greencard holder. The agent let her pass, but stated this is the last time.
I have her return every six months(this time was longer do to pregnancy). Since we do not want to live half a planet apart while we start our family, I think it may be best to let her GC lapse and try to get a 10 year visa for her. I do not plan on returning to the US for at least 5 more years. Her visa would be to see my family and our babies grandparents.
If we let the GC lapse, would we have any difficulties in the future getting a green card again for her when we decide to return to the US?
Thank you

On letting a green card lapse

The statement that "she cannot be a resident of any other country while she is a greencard holder" is not correct. What the inspector probably meant to say was that she can not intend to permanently live in another country while being a U.S. green card holder. This is because a green card holder must always intend to live permanently in the U.S., even if he or she is temporarily living abroad.

Regarding giving up one's green card: if one intends to live permanently in the U.S., then it is generally NOT a good idea to give up one's green card. Instead, most people in such a situation will apply for a reentry permit as the best evidence of their intent to return to the U.S. after their stay abroad.

Giving up one's green card and applying again in the future leaves one at the mercy of the future laws, procedures and backlogs.

Permanent resident conditional

Does a US permanent resident require a visa to travel to mexico or to the commonwealths eg Puerto Rico? I was granted green card by marriage almost 2 years ago and that is due for renewal in january. However, my husband and I want to take a trip to mexico over thxgiving so:
1) Do I need a visa or is the card sufficient for residents
2) Is there a time frame, ie by november my card will have about 2 monhts left on it, and I did not know if there needed to be more time on it eg 3 months. we will onyl be gone for 3-4 days

Visas for U.S. Permanent Resients

>1) Do I need a visa or is the card sufficient for residents

Whether a U.S. green card holder needs a visa from the foreign country that he or she will be traveling to, such as Mexico, depends on the laws of that particular country.  Specifically, it will be necessary to determine  whether that country requires a visa for citizens of the U.S. Permanent Resident's home country since a U.S. Permanent Resident is still a citizen of his or her home country.  Of course, for refugees and asylees different considerations come into play.  

On the other hand, Puerto Rico is a self governing commonwealth in association with the United States.  Emigration and Immigration is controlled by the U.S.  So, a U.S. Permanent Resident already possesses a permanent visa to enter.

>2) Is there a time frame, ie by november my card will have about 2 monhts left >on it, and I did not know if there needed to be more time on it eg 3 months. we >will onyl be gone for 3-4 days

This depends on the particular foreign country.

TIME LIMIT?

What is the time limit for a green card holder to visit a country, if they have a one year visa? Thank you.

Time limit for a green card holder to visit a country

If you're referring to a "time limit" imposed by a foreign country, then that would depend on the laws of that particular foreign country.

keeping green card

Hello,
My son received his green card in April 2007. He is now in the US for his second short visit. He has been warned at the entry point that next time he will not be admitted. If he abandons his green card, will he be granted a multi-entry visa in order to visit his family who lives in the US? What is the process to do this?

Thank you,
Vladimir.

Abandoning Green Card consequences

In general, if one intends to keep one's green card (i.e., if one intend to reside permanently in the U.S.), then one may wish to apply for a reentry permit while one is in the U.S.  The law firm which sponsors this website represents individuals in those applications.

If one abandons one's green card, then one has no assurance of obtaining any type of visa to reenter the U.S.  At that point, one has no special U.S. immigration benefits. 

reentry permit, biometrics appointment

How soon after a reentry permit filing is the biometrics appointment? I am mailing my reentry permit tomorrow and will be flying out of the US exactly 11 days from tomorrow. Can biometrics been done at a consulate in a foreign country, say South Korea?

CONDITIONAL GREENCARD PLANS

Hi, I am a conditional green card holder and i got it last June 2006 and this march 2008 we have to file to uplift the conditional status. My question is Im planning to go back to Philippines to finish my nursing, I need to stay there for 2yrs. but if that is not possible then i can stay for 1 year.I was planning I'll go there by June 2008 stay there for 5months and go back here in the U.S. for 2weeks for the sem break and go back there on NOv. for 6months to finish the 2nd semester.is that possible? because I read that it is not an assurance that you can enter the U.S. even if you have the reentry permit. I don't wanna lose my green card.

Thanks in advance for the reply

About no assurance of keeping green card

Someone who has a conditional green card can apply for a reentry permit.

Regarding the point that there is "no assurance that you can enter the U.S. even if you have the reentry permit":  what that means is that the U.S. Immigration Inspector always has the right to make his or her own determination regarding whether the individual abandoned the intention to reside permanently in the U.S., and therefore no longer has a right to the green card.

However,  a reentry permit is deemed to be the best evidence that one intended to continue to reside permanently in the U.S.  It would be a very rare situation in which a U.S. Immigration Inspector would take away one's green card if one has a valid reentry permit.

Likewise, the Immigration Inspector's right to take away one's green card would apply any time one leaves the U.S. regardless of how short the trip.  But, of course, the shorter the trip the less likely that such an action would ever occur.

The important thing is to take the precautions listed on this page, and to apply for a reentry permit for extended trips. 

Returning a green card

My wife is a U.S. legal permanent resident, but we have been living outside of the U.S. for 4 years. Once or twice a year we return to the United States (I am a US citizen) and we generally receive a grilling about why we are not living in the United States. The reason we live abroad is that my wife is completing a Ph.d, but this may take many years to finish.

My question is whether there are any adverse consequences (other than reapplying) if we turn in her green card. The country were we live is a European country which is part of the visa-waiver program so entering the U.S. would probably be easier for us, at least as far as the questioning by INS. Thanks.

Consequences of Returning a green card

This is a very broad question that can not be fully answered.  However, in general, one issue that should be considered is the tax consequences, both U.S. and foreign, since green card holders are taxed on worldwide income while nonimmigrants are subject to a different set of tax rules.

Second, while in theory there shouldn't be a prejudice to reapplying for a green card by voluntarily relinquishing green card status, nonetheless, it is impossible to say whether an official adjudicating a new petition could possibly draw some unfair conclusion regarding that action.  Likewise, it is not possible to say whether it will be more difficult to obtain a green card in the future, or how long it may take.

Finally, it seems odd that one would relinquish one's green card status just because of questions from the immigration inspector.  At best, the worst would be to have the green card lifted, so why should one surrender it.  Moreover, if one intends to reside permanently in the U.S. and would like to maintain one's green card, then it might make sense to simply apply for a reentry permit.

6 month rule

I am a US citizen living and working abroad and in May of this year my Pervuian wife received her LPR status from the consulate in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. Our original intent was just to make a trip home to visit family, and thus far we have entered the US twice, once on May 3rd for one day and and the other on July 3rd for three weeks. I understand that absences of six months or less pose less of a problem than 6-12, but the question comes up, "On which of the two departure dates does the clock start ticking, May 3rd or July 23?"

I have read elsewhere that "the law provides that there is a "presumption" that you have abandoned your permanent residence if you stay out more than 6 months continuously"*, so my assumption at the moment is that the July 23rd date applies, but I would appreciate your comment on the point.

*
http://www.immigrationlinks.com/discus/messages/7/296.html?MondaySeptember1320040249pm

When Clock Starts Ticking...

In general, each entry and departure from the U.S. should be counted as an entry which "resets the clock".  However, the use of the term "presumption" which is a legal term to describe what happens after 6 months is too strong of a term.  If a presumption were to be applied after 6 months, then that would mean that the Immigration Inspector would have to take away one's green card for any absence of 6 months--which is simply incorrect.  Further, many people confuse the requirements for U.S. Citizenship with the rules regarding how long one can remain abroad and still keep one's green card.

In general, if one is worried about keeping one's green card, then it would be advisable to apply for a Re-entry Permit--since a Re-entry Permit does create a presumption that the green card holder did not abandon his or her intent to remain permanently in the U.S. The law states "A permanent resident or conditional permanent resident in possession of a valid reentry permit who is otherwise admissible shall not be deemed to have abandoned status based solely on the duration of an absence or absences while the permit is valid."

Re-entry to the States

What are the consequences/penalities that one would have to face if you were a Permanent Resident who lived outside the states for more than 3 years?

If the States, consider this abandon of your Green Card, what steps would you need to take to reinstate yourself?

Keeping my green card

I am currently working in California with my green card and I've accepted a job offer in Toronto in a Consulting company that works in the US and they also have an office in the US, however they want me to relocate to Toronto.

I will be working the US from Monday to Thursday and returning to Toronto Thursday night and staying there Friday, Saturday and returning to US Sunday night directly to a hotel in the location that I will be working.

Is this a bad scenario for keeping my green card?

What are my options to keep my green card ?

Weekly departures from U.S.

Even this type of constant sporadic departures from the U.S. can raise questions by the Immigration Inspector, especially if one is living in a hotel when one returns to the U.S.  In such a situation, if one intends to reside permanently in the U.S., it wouldn't be a bad idea to apply for a reentry permit. 

RE-ENTRY

IF SOME ONE CAME INTO US ON A GREEN CARD CAN THEY GO BACK TO THEIR COUNTRY AFTER ONE WEEK OF ARRIVING THE US. DO THEY NEED GREEN CARD TO TRAVEL?. IF THEY PLAN TO RETURNTO US BEFORE 6 MONTHS DO THEY NEED TO GET RE-ENTRY PERMIT?.

Traveling with Temporary Green Card Stamp in Passport

A green card holder can leave the U.S. after one week of arriving in the U.S., provided that he or she has evidence of being in green card status.  If one just obtained one's green card status and has not yet received one's physical green card, then one has to be sure that one has the proper stamp in one's passport which serves as temporary evidence of green card status.  In addition, one should take the various precautions stated on this page if one intends to reside permanently in the U.S.

Regarding whether an individual needs a re-entry permit for trips of less than 6 months:  a green card holder actually can travel outside of the U.S. for trips of less than one year and return using one's green card and valid foreign passport.  However, even though one can technically use one's green card, the U.S. immigration inspector may question whether the individual in fact abandoned his or her intent to live permanently in the U.S., depending upon the individual's circumstances.  For example, if one has not followed the precautions on this page, and has in fact been outside of the U.S. for many years, but then returns every 5 1/2 months, or every 11 months, then the U.S. Immigration Inspector could decide to take away that individuals green card.  Therefore, in such a situation, if the individual actually intended to reside permanently in the U.S., he or she should have obtained a reentry permit, even though he or she was returning to the U.S. every 5 1/2 months or every 11 months.

Dear Sir, I am a

Dear Sir,

I am a green card holder.I left U.S in September 2003 to a country where I also hold a residency in.I met my fiance and got engaged one year later and made plans for the marriage 2004 April.Later he refused me going back alone to U.S
he was not granted a visit visa to U.S so he was unable to travel with me.
I am still outside the U.S and wondering how I can return now .We are seperated now and have been in court cases since Sept 2006.I have 2 children now and I cannot go back to U.A without them and before having their custody.If I do have their custody I cannot abandon them , how can I keep my green card and apply for my children to take them back to U.S ?
I do have a permenant address in U.S.no BANK account and i have never filed taxes sinceI was on family's support.

Thanks

Applying for Returning Resident Status

For green card holders who have stayed longer than 1 year outside of the U.S., it may be necessary to apply for returning resident status.  Under Section 101(a)(27)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, one may be classified as a special immigrant if the consular officer can clearly determine that:

  1. The alien had the status of a lawful permanent resident at the time of departure from the United States;
  2. The alien departed from the United States with the intention of returning and has not abandoned this intention;
  3. The alien is returning to the United States from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay abroad was protracted, this was caused by reasons beyond the alien's control and for which the alien was not responsible.

iam outside usa more than 2 years

iam a us permanant resident in 2005 iam resident in usa 6 month iam back to my country i think is no problem if iam stay outside usa more than 1 years .iam want to back to usa becouse iam rejistring with the selective service system my friend he tell me iam receive a many lettre from the selective service system

Remaining outside of U.S. for more than 1 year

In general, if a green card holder stays outside of the U.S. for more than one (1) year, he or she can not use the green card to re-enter the U.S. in permanent resident (green card) status.  Instead, one would have to apply for returning resident status, if one qualifies.

Search for H1B Visa Employers

You can search for "H1B Visa Employers" using this database, which was compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources. This database identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas in the past, or who have at least started the process by filing for the LCA. If you find an employer you are interested in, you can then contact them to inquire as to whether they have any current job openings in your field. Please tell your friends about this valuable resource.

Use this form to search for H1B Visa employers.

"FMG Friendly" Employers

Foreign Medical Graduates ("FMGs") should be aware that there are "FMG Friendly" employers, and "FMG Unfriendly" employers. This database (compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources) identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas for foreign medical graduates in the past (or at least started the process by filing for the LCA), and who can therefore be deemed "FMG Friendly". Please tell your colleagues about this valuable resource.

Use this form to search for "FMG Friendly" employers in a given state.

Recent comments

Antao & Chuang

AntaoandChuang.com

© 1996-2014 Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law

Important Notices/Disclaimers

This website located under the world wide web domain "AntaoAndChuang.com" ("website"), and any subdomains, are owned, and maintained by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law, whose practice includes U.S. Immigration Law. Since U.S. Immigration Law is federal in nature, Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law, serves clients who are located throughout the U.S. and the world in U.S. immigration matters, from their offices located at 521 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1700, New York, N.Y. 10175. Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law’s attorneys are licensed attorneys in the states where they practice. However, since said states do not recognize any specialization in U.S. immigration law (attorneys in said states are simply licensed in said states to practice law in general), Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law does not claim any such specialization, and nothing on this site should be deemed to constitute any such claim. Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law does not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. This website is an advertisement. This website is provided as a public service and not intended to establish an attorney client relationship. Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law does not accept clients on the strength of advertising materials alone but only after following our own engagement procedures. Any reliance on information contained herein is taken at your own risk. The information contained on this site is intended to educate members of the public generally and is not intended to provide solutions to individual problems. Readers are cautioned not to attempt to solve individual problems solely on the basis of information contained herein and are strongly advised to seek competent legal counsel before relying on information on this site. See Terms of Use.