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How long can a green card holder stay out of usa?

Los Angeles, CA |

I am a permanent resident (green card holder) and would like to stay for 10 months in my country. Now I am already 4 months out of usa. I need to do some procedure while i am out asking to extend my permition to stay here without problems with my status?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. United States permanent residence requires that you live in the U.S. If you are out of the U.S. for more than six months this can break your accumulation of residence for the purpose of applying for citizenship. Furthermore, an extended absences can result in you losing your permanent residence status.

    If you plan to be out of the U.S. for more than 180 days, you should explore the option of a re-entry permit. However, you would need to return to the U.S. asap as this must be filed with USCIS prior to your departure, while you are still physically present in the U.S. As part of the reentry permit application, the Immigration Service must take applicant's biometrics/fingerprinting in the U.S. This permit can be valid for up to two years. You must return to the U.S. prior to the expiration of the Reentry Permit.

    Please keep in mind that regardless of whether you have an re-entry permit, it is critically important to continue to maintain your permanent resident status. Factors that USCIS considers are, for instance, whether you have maintained a U.S. residence, a state driver’s license, a U.S. bank account and most importantly whether you continue to file as a “resident” (as opposed to “non-resident) for U.S. income tax purposes.

    I recommend that you contact an immigration attorney asap to discuss your possible options.

    Avi Friedman| Attorney at Law | Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group | 1416 2nd Street | Santa Monica, CA 90401 | (T) 310-570-4088 x249 | (F) 310-570-4080 | afriedman@wolfsdorf.com | www.wolfsdorf.com | Offices in Santa Monica, CA and New York City

    This message is provided for general informational use only and is not specific legal advice. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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