How long can I stay outside United States without jeopardizing my permanent residency status?

To maintain the validity of a Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) in the United States and to keep one's status as a lawful permanent resident, it's important to understand both the validity period of the Green Card itself and the requirements for residency to avoid losing that status.

Green Card Validity Period

A Green Card is typically valid for 10 years for permanent residents. Before the card expires, the holder must apply for renewal (for permanent residents) or to remove the conditions on their residence (for conditional residents).

Requirements for Residency

To maintain lawful permanent resident status, Green Card holders are generally expected to live in the United States and make it their permanent home. However, there are no strict rules regarding the exact amount of time one must spend in the U.S. each year to keep their Green Card valid. The primary concern is not to abandon your residency. Indicators of potential abandonment include:

* Being outside of the United States for more than 1 year without obtaining a reentry permit or returning resident visa. Leaving for more than 2 years after obtaining a reentry permit without obtaining a returning resident visa can also be problematic.

* Moving to another country intending to live there permanently.

* Declaring yourself a "nonimmigrant" on U.S. tax returns.

Keeping Your Status

To avoid any implications of abandoning their status, Green Card holders planning to be outside of the United States for extended periods should take steps to maintain their residency. This can include:

* Filing U.S. taxes as a resident.
* Maintaining a U.S. mailing address, bank accounts, and a driver's license.
* Keeping property in the U.S. and having close family ties in the country.

For those who must leave the U.S. for more than 1 year but less than 2, obtaining a reentry permit before leaving can help demonstrate their intent to return. If planning to be away for more than 2 years, it's crucial to apply for a returning resident visa.

Legal Advice

It's important to note that the interpretation of these rules can be complex, and individual circumstances can significantly affect one's status. Therefore, it's advisable for Green Card holders to consult with an immigration attorney if they plan to be outside the United States for an extended period or if they have any concerns about maintaining their status.

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    Saya Niidashi

    QUESTION: OK! Should I stay in the United States for over 180 days as a trip?

    Answer: YES you should stay a minimum of 180 days a year in the United States to keep your residence status.