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How long can an LPR stay outside of the United States without loosing his residency status??

West Palm Beach, FL |

I'm an LPR and would like to spend 16 consecutive months in my home country. What application do I have to fill out to request permission to stay overseas without jeopardizing my LPR status? Also, I have been told that now, USCIS is allowing LPRs to remain outside the U.S for up to 3 years, is this true?

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Attorney answers 5


If you plan on being absent from the United States for longer than a year, it is advisable to first apply for a reentry permit on Form I-131. Obtaining a reentry permit prior to leaving the United States allows a permanent or conditional permanent resident to apply for admission into the United States during the permit’s validity without the need to obtain a returning resident visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. Please note that it does not guarantee entry into the United States upon your return as you must first be determined to be admissible; however, it will assist you in establishing your intention to permanently reside in the United States.

Morales Law Firm P.A. 2100 Coral Way Ste 703 Miami, FL 33145 (305) 851-7856 This response is not offered as legal advice, but is only a general informational response for public interest. No one reading this is authorized to claim that an attorney client relationship exists with this writer or the writer's law firm.


6 months is the most you can be absent safely.

Do not believe the rumors you have heard about being able to use a re-entry permit for 24 months ... there are great risks with doing it that way ... especially if you have only recently become an LPR.

There is no such thing as a 36 month permit.

FORMER IMMIGRATION LAW PROFESSOR -- LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

Alexander M. Ivakhnenko

Alexander M. Ivakhnenko


Counsel Capriotti brought an excellent point: even if one uses a LPR Re-Entry Permit as a visa free entry device to live abroad for an extended period of time that person risks being denied entry as such modus operandi does not sustain his permanent residency status in the United States.


You can apply for advance parole to be able to stay out of the US for up to 2 years., not 3 years.


A re-entry permit allows an immigrant to stay out of the U.S. for 2 years maximum.


Check out form N-470 published by the USCIS and see if it applies to you. It is not a common form.

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