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Green Card Holder's Maximum Time Allowed to Stay Abroad

Los Angeles, CA |

How long can a US greencard holder stay abroad? I've checked the documents that USCIS give out to new residents & it says 1 year, but a recent immigrant told me that during first-time immigrant processing at the airport, the immig officer told them that if they plan to travel abroad after they get their greencards, they have to return within 6 months. My mom is abroad & can't come back till April (her 7th month abroad) due to personal reasons so I want to find out if USCIS will revoke her greencard if she's not here before then.

Attorney Answers 1


If an US greencard holder remains outside of the United States continuously for more than one year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) takes the position that residency has been abandoned. In addition absences from the United States for a period greater than 6 months but less than one year breaks the continuous residence requirement for purposes of naturalization. I would encourage you to gather all documentation reflecting the need for your mother to be outside the United States for more than 6 months such as (death or ilness in the family, emergency, etc.). There are several factors that must be considered before you mother is deemed to have abandoned her residency but I would caution your mother regarding her travels. In addition, if she anticipates to travel extensively, she should consider applying for naturalization.

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