What happens to my green card if I go abroad for an extended period?
- Published: Wednesday, 25 April 2007 12:02
Lately, we have received numerous inquiries about the effect of traveling abroad on the Green Card. The way to analyze your specific case is as follows:
If you will be out of the country for less than 180 days then you should have no problem with re entry and your Green Card alone should get you across the border.
If you will be out of the country for more than 180 days but less than a year, you can use your Green Card to enter without a re entry permit, however, always use caution when embarking on such extended stays as your intent may be questioned upon re entry (a permit is a good idea).
If you will be out of the country for more than one year and you do not obtain advance permission -- such as a re entry permit - you will be construed as having abandoned your permanent residence.
If you obtain a re entry permit, make sure you return before expiration of the period of validity to avoid suspicion. Remember, there is no absolute guarantee that even a re entry permit will preserve your residency as it is only considered an "application" for admission. In the worst case scenario, your re entry can be denied and you can be ordered excluded.