Duration of stay outside the country after getting a green card?

Asked over 2 years ago - Denton, TX

I'm a USC. How do I get my parents to come here?
Will they get a conditional/2 year green card, or an unconditional/10 year green card?

Without "abandoning" their green card:

How can they stay out of the US for extended period/s of time without any problem/s?
How many times can they do so?

Someone told me that they can remain outside the US [after getting the green card] for a maximum of 1 year, someone else told me that it can be for 2 years.
Please clarify.

Can they repeatedly visit the US and then stay outside the country for 1 or 2 years [1 or 2 years, depending on the answer from the previous question]?

What is the cumulative maximum duration [if any] that they can stay outside the US?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Gintare Grigaite

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree


    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . If you are a US citizen, and assuming you are 21 or older, you may petition for your parents, and they will be obtaining a permanent, 10-year green card, as immediate family members. After they receive a green card, they have to start making US their permanent home. Absences of 6 months or more will raise questions, and may subject them to questioning as to their intent to immigrate to the US. So be cautious about that, and always remember, it is all about their "intent." They have to prove to the Officer that when they are returning from an extended travel, that they do intend to make US their permanent home. Also, after they qualify and become citizens, they can live anywhere they want in the world.

    Contact immigration attorney Gintare Grigaite, Esq. at 646-407-2331, located in New York and New Jersey. Answers... more
  2. Kevin Lawrence Dixler

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It appears like they should not proceed with lawful permanent resident status processing. It seems that they plan to keep their permanent residence outside of United States.

    This means that they should consider a multiple entry B2 visitor visa. However, they should be careful not to abuse the privilege of visiting United States.

    For more information, I strongly recommend an appointment or teleconference with a competent and experienced immigration attorney, who can spend enough time to carefully answer all of their concerns.

    This is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.
  3. F. J. Capriotti III

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Good questions, best asked in private with an attorney.

    Bottom line, the GreenCard is a PERMANENT RESIDENT card ... they need to be living in the US MORE than they live someplace else.

    I recommend stays outside of the US be less than 90 days ... with an occasional 180 ... don't believe things you read about 1 year, or 2 years ... every time they come through the border they will be given a hard time.

    Talk to a lawyer for more details.

    Capriotti International Law

    FORMER IMMIGRATION LAW PROFESSOR -- LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It... more

Related Topics


If you want to visit or move permanently to the US, you'll want to learn about your different immigration options.

Green cards

A green card is a legal document which provides proof that the owner is a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

25,749 answers this week

3,224 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

25,749 answers this week

3,224 attorneys answering