How long can I stay outside of the united states? I am a permanent resident ?
If you file a form I-131 and properly execute it, have your fingerprints taken, etc. you can then leave the country for up to two years. Please consult an immigration attorney if you have additional questions.
Debbi Klopman, Esq.
718 622 1208
The above information is general in nature and does not constitute a legal opinion and is not deemed to have created an attorney-client relationship
You can stay outside the USA for up to a year without automatically loosing your green card (so long as you did not get a reentry permit). That said, you can lose your green card if you are outside for a shorter period of time if you no longer intend to remain a permanent resident, which is someone who lives and works in the USA. Be careful with any absences of 6 months or longer.
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 absence 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. 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 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.wolfsdorf.com | Offices in Santa Monica, CA and New York City
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