To avoid problems at the airport, your wife could have applied for a Re-Entry Permit prior to leaving the U.S. She can do so the next time that she is in the U.S.
Mr. Shusterman's (former INS Trial Attorney, 1976-82) response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
There are a few possibilities, one is a re-entry permit. Another is to spend less time abroad. Technically, she will successfully maintain LPR status if she resides in the U.S. more than 6 months per year, but even so, she might undergo difficult questioning at the border or be asked to prove where she actually resides.
This message is intended as general information and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested to speak with me directly, please contact me at 604-671-7600.
She likely is eligible to naturalize into a US citizen. Once she is a US citizen, she can stay out of the US as long as she wants without her right to re-enter the US being in danger.
Since she apparently is already gone from the US, she cannot apply for the re-entry permit without being in the US.
She likely should not stay outside the US longer than 6 months at a time. She should get documents such as bank account statements, property tax records, income tax returns, etc. to show that she is maintaining ties in the US and is planning to return to the US soon.
She needs to keep her trips abroad to less than 6 months per year. If she needs to stay abroad for longer than 6 months, she needs to apply for a reentry permit. If she obtains her US Citizenship, then she will no longer have to worry about this issue.
Due to the nature of this forum, Attorney Maria J. Marty does not have all the information required to provide legal advice. Accordingly, her responses on Avvo are intended as general and not legal advice.
You should have consulted with an attorney before she left! She needs to get a re-entry permit, but she must apply before she leaves. In addition to the re-entry permit, there are additional steps to take. It depends on her actual intentions and reason for being gone so long. This is a big one that will fine up. It will also affect her eligibility for citizenship. She may have to start over from scratch if she doesn't handle this properly
This reply is intended only as general information and does not constitute legal advice in any particular case. This reply does not create an attorney/client relationship.