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I am a US-GreenCard Holder, what will happen if I stay outside the United States for more than 6 months?
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I am a US-GreenCard Holder, what will happen if I stay outside the United States for more than 6 months?

Hello my lovely friends,
I am a US-GreenCard Holder. I am planning to stay outside the US for more than 6 months but less than 1 year (educational purposes). Is this considered "abondaning my permanent residency"? Thanks!
Will the US Immigrantion/Customs let me back in the United States after staying out for more than 6 months? Thanks for your help!


It happened with me, I mean I stayed 5 months outside USA, for educational purpose too...when I went back, they stopped me at the air port and kept asking when I left the USA..etc...so I asked the officer, why all of that? and he told me, because you shouldn't stay outside for more than 6 months.!!...Although I know in the website..it was saying that we can't stay out for more than a year..and I told him that...so he said, "the immigration laws keep changing from time to another"..and then he let me go, since i stayed out for 5 months...

Another thing, You can apply for travel document (I guess it is I-131, or I-130..I'm not sure which one)...it will give you the permission to stay out for 2 years..but it will delay your time to get the citizenship later..

so just be careful
((By the way, this was 3 years ago...I don't know what are the laws now..so check that)

Yak Rider
1. Your Green Card is NOT abandoned until after 1 year.

2. After 6 months you WILL break your "continuous residence." This means the 5 years you need to have a Green Card before applying for American Citizenship will start over when you get back.

verne k
No problem. The resident card is valid for reentry for absences up to
one year.

If you contact the US Embassy and secure a Permit to Re-Enter you'll will be fine.

The form looks like a Turquoise passport

You have to convince at Port of Entry that you still have permanent residency in US. Another factor is that you have restart counting continuous residence requirement for US Citizenship if you stay more than 6 months.


bug z
You will finally be obeying the law.....Congratulations

To be sure, call the INS (Immigration and Naturalization
Service). I think you need to return within 1 years.

It is technically a year outside the country, but anything over 6 months can raise flags with them and you could be questioned, denied entry and have your green card revoked.

While that's worse-case-scenario stuff, you should apply for a re-entry permit to be on the safe side.

Good luck!

i am more than 5 years out of u.s. and not even a citizen yet. i went back to my homecountry and got pregnant and didn't have a chance to take care of documents due to my weak condition. what can i do to go back to u.s. i am sure i will be questioned a lot and worse is revoking my green card. any advise?

I married my American wife in the US in 2002,she moved to the UK where we both worked until 2003 when I emigrated to the US,our son was born there in 2005 & after being made unemployed in the US in 2008, in 2009 we all moved to the UK.I have not worked since being back in the UK & not happy here,but i have been out of the US for exactly 2 years now & also my old Passport has expired & I now have a 2011 issued passport.What should I do? Contact the US Embassy in London, afterall my LPR(Green Card) is valid until 2018 & my Driver's License is still valid or should I just travel? Will i be denied entry? I need to make sure everything is okay.As my son holds a US Passport,does this make a difference?

I overstayed out of US for an year will there be a fine or what will happen at the time of entry into US

sarah r
what happend if i stay out the usa more than one year in the permenant resident card

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