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How long do I need to stay in the United States after a 6-month absence?

What is the minimum required time I must stay in the United States after a 6-month absence that will not affect the validity of my green card? Thank you.

Answers

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can always apply for a Reentry Permit to allow you to stay away for up to 2 years in most cases. But you still need to keep enough ties to the United Statessuch as paying taxes and a permanent addressso it does not seem like you have abandoned your permanent residency.

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    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The United States should be the primary residence of a green card holder. Hence, you should stay in the U.S. at least 6 months every year. Previously, many green card holders stayed in the U.S. for less than 6 months and they did not encounter problems when they entered the U.S. again. However, we have received more reports this year from clients who stayed outside of the U.S. for more than 6 months and were questioned by the CBP officers at the point of entry.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once you acquire Lawful Permanent Residency, remember you are a permanent resident of the United States and eligible to travel abroad for reasonable periods of time. Any stay outside of the U.S. longer than 6 months will create a presumption that you intend to abandon your residency. As a general rule, you should never remain outside of the U.S. for more than 6 months at a time and, under no circumstances, more than 12 months unless you have filed U.S. Reentry Permit. In short, try to spend as much time in the U.S. as possible and try to make your departures shorter than 6 months at a time.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no minimum or statutory requirement of stay in order to preserve your permanent residence in the United States. However, on your next reentry, you may be asked to show evidence of the U.S. being your permanent residence if you travel for extended periods of time.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    So many people are confused about this. With a green card, you are required to live in the United States and need a good reason to temporarily stay outside of the U.S. From the question, I would advise you to file for a reentry permit or risk losing your green card. If you have several extended absences, you may lose your green card.

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