Sometimes Long Trips Cannot be Avoided
If a loved one is very ill and needs help, sometimes there is no way to avoid being outside the U.S. for an extended period of time. One way to help prevent the loss of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status due to an extended trip abroad is to apply for a special two year "Re-Entry Permit" before leaving the U.S. However, even though airport officials sometimes create the impression that they would not ask so many questions if an LPR had an approved Re-Entry Permit, this is not always the case. Often times my clients have reported that they have been aggressively questioned by airport officials during inspection even though they have an approved Re-Entry Permit.
What You Need in Addition to the Re-Entry Permit
There have been numerous instances of LPRs being found to have abandoned their LPR status even though they attempted re-entry on a Re-Entry Permit because they did not also show the Officer copies of the documents listed below proving their intent to return to America after an extended trip abroad.
Documents That Prove you Intend to Reside in America
Round trip ticket; Sold or transferred property or business abroad; Purchased car in America; Purchased property or a business in America; Maintained Bank Account in America; Filed Tax Returns in America; Maintained State I.D. or State Driver's License in America; Paperwork that proves you have a Doctor in America (saw a doctor before leaving and kept the receipt); Got a job or volunteer position in America before leaving (even for a few weeks); Learned the English language while abroad; Leased an apartment in the U.S.; Utility bill for apartment in U.S.; Enrolled in an American online training course in English or business while abroad; Kept a file of ill relative's medical progress or decline (doctor's reports, prescriptions, etc.), translated into English; and, Established a Facebook account based in America and visited it weekly while abroad using only the English language.