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Thread: how long can we stay out of US if have Green Card

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default how long can we stay out of US if have Green Card

    Hi, How long can a person stay out of US if they have a green card. I remember it used to be 1 year, but I thought it got changed. Also, what is the process to extend that to something like 2 years.

    Thanks,
    AJ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    -Murali
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Thanks. The problem I see is that I see two variations. Here is what I see on the website

    On site
    http://www.path2usa.com/immigration/...rgreencard.htm
    I see :
    "Do not remain outside of the US for more than one year without obtaining a reentry permit/returning resident visa."

    On site
    http://www.path2usa.com/immigration/...ntrypermit.htm
    I see :
    "If you a Permanent resplendent( Green card holder) and planning to travel outside of USA, and remain outside for more then 6 months, you must get a Re-entry permit to keep your Green Card alive and prevent any issue to re-enter into USA."

    So which one is correct? 1 year or 6 months?

    Thanks,
    AJ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,502

    Default

    ---------------
    Quote Originally Posted by itsmealso
    Thanks. The problem I see is that I see two variations. Here is what I see on the website

    On site
    http://www.path2usa.com/immigration/...rgreencard.htm
    I see :
    "Do not remain outside of the US for more than one year without obtaining a reentry permit/returning resident visa."

    On site
    http://www.path2usa.com/immigration/...ntrypermit.htm
    I see :
    "If you a Permanent resplendent( Green card holder) and planning to travel outside of USA, and remain outside for more then 6 months, you must get a Re-entry permit to keep your Green Card alive and prevent any issue to re-enter into USA."

    So which one is correct? 1 year or 6 months?

    6 month, if u know that u r gonna stay for more then 6 months but if lets say there is an emergency then till 1yr its ok if u can explain ur situation with valid docs @ the POE then IO will let u in.

    Thanks,
    AJ
    ________________________
    Note: Its not a legal advice. Please consult a attorney.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,384

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by itsmealso
    Thanks. The problem I see is that I see two variations. Here is what I see on the website

    On site
    http://www.path2usa.com/immigration/...rgreencard.htm
    I see :
    "Do not remain outside of the US for more than one year without obtaining a reentry permit/returning resident visa."

    On site
    http://www.path2usa.com/immigration/...ntrypermit.htm
    I see :
    "If you a Permanent resplendent( Green card holder) and planning to travel outside of USA, and remain outside for more then 6 months, you must get a Re-entry permit to keep your Green Card alive and prevent any issue to re-enter into USA."

    So which one is correct? 1 year or 6 months?

    Both are correct. You need to look at the overall context of those two articles. Don't try to find meaning line by line. That's will be futile. Please read the whole articles and try to find the overall meaning.

    Yes, by law, you can stay outside less than one year but more than six months without re-entry permit. However, the moment you stay outside more than six months, POE officer can assume that you have abandoned your perm residentship. In that case, you need to prove that you did not abandon US residentship. How to prove that?
    - have your home in USA (not renting to someone else).
    - have family members in USA (spouse, children).
    - have job in USA.
    - Not having home outside USA (for example, if you recently bought a home in Bangalore that can work against you).
    - Not taking any job outside USA (e.g. if you take an offer in Microsoft, Hyderabad and join there, that can work against you).

    Now, let's assume you are returning after 8 months. Can you prove any of the above? If so, you are not going to have problem at POE.

    This is what the second article all about. Basically, the laws are not a collection of words or sentences. You have to understand the whole meaning and intent of the law.

    Now, coming to first article. The line you mentioned ("Do not remain outside of the US for more than one year without obtaining a reentry permit/returning resident visa") is what law says. If you remain outside USA more than one year, your green card will be considered abandoned automatically - even if you can prove ties to USA mentioned above.

    Bottomline, each case and circumstance is different. Laws are applied accordingly - based on the facts why you were absent such a long period of time outside USA. Are you absent for taking care of your ill parent? If so, probably you are fine. Are you absent for taking up a job in India? If so, probably you are in trouble.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,384

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by itsmealso
    Hi, How long can a person stay out of US if they have a green card. I remember it used to be 1 year, but I thought it got changed. Also, what is the process to extend that to something like 2 years.

    Thanks,
    AJ
    There is no change in law recently.

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