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How long do I have to stay in the U.S. during the conditional permanent resident status?

My mom and I were granted conditional green cards recently but I am still attending high school in my home country with two more years before graduation. The only time I can travel to the US would be during the summer and winter breaks which give me 6 weeks in total. Will this limited time of staying in the U.S. jeopardize my conditional permanent resident status and my chance of successfully removing the condition in two years?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should obtain a reentry permit that will allow you to stay outside the US up to 2 years or expiration of your conditional green card whichever is earlier in order to finish schooling outside the US.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Technically, once you receive your conditional green card, you could still return home to finish high school in your home country. The key is that you are never out of the U.S. continuously for more than 6 months and remember that when you return to the U.S. you are not visiting, but rather returning to your country of residence. To the extent possible, you should maintain an address in the U.S. and you should always have in your wallet or purse your U.S. ID cards like a local driver''s license or credit card. If questioned, you should emphasize that you are required to return to finish your high school but always with the intent of maintaining your permanent residency even though it was granted on a conditional basis.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no rule about how long a permanent resident (conditional or not) must be physically present in the United States in order to maintain his or her permanent residency status. If you are absent from the United States for longer than 180 days, this will raise a rebuttable presumption that you have abandoned your intention to permanently reside in the United States. If you plan on being absent for more than 180 days, it is advisable to apply for a reentry permit while in the United States. This document will allow you to re-enter the United States while it is valid (usually two years, but maybe less depending upon when your conditional green card expires) and you can finish your schooling in your home country. Since you have a legitimate reason for being out of the United States, it is unlikely that you will be considered to have abandoned your intention to permanently reside here. You should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for the details about how to apply for and obtain a re-entry permit.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As a conditional permanent resident, it appears you need to seek a re-entry permit which will allow you to stay outside of the country for as much as two years, which should be enough duration for your situation. Generally, with a permit to stay outside the country for the type of situation you are experiencing is a good idea because you won''t lose the time. You will be out of the country and you can count the period as part of your residency requirement for naturalization purposes.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    if you have plans to stay abroad for lengthy periods at a time, you should file for a re-entry permit declaring your permanent resident intent. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services considers any stays abroad greater than one year as abandonment of permanent residence in the United States and any travel greater than 6 months there is a rebuttable presumption of abandonment. It is best is to file for the re-entry permit, which is granted for 2-year increments.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, as long as you enter the United States at once in a 12-month period, you will not be considered to have abandoned your residency. If it is too much trouble coming at least once a year, you may also apply for the re-entry permit that will allow you to stay out for two years without having to keep coming back if you do not want to. These are issues that your immigration lawyer, who helped you to get the conditional green card, should be able to advise you about.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You cannot leave for six months, nor can you establish a pattern of travel that demonstrates that you are merely visiting the U.S., but that you have no permanent residence in the U.S.

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    Tomas Resendez

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no physical presence requirement in order to remove the conditions on your permanent residence card. However, one can abandon his permanent residence card by doing the following: (1) Move to another country, intending to live there permanently. (2) Remain outside of the United States for an extended period of time, unless you intended this to be a temporary absence, as shown by: the reason for your trip, how long you intended to be absent from the United States, any other circumstances of your absence, and any events that may have prolonged your absence. Note: Obtaining a re-entry permit from USCIS before you leave, or a returning resident visa (SB-1) from a U.S. consulate while abroad, may assist you in showing that you intended only a temporary absence. (3) Fail to file income tax returns while living outside of the United States for any period. (4) Declare yourself a "nonimmigrant" on your U.S. tax returns. Talk to your immigration lawyer to come up with a plan and avoid abandoning your permanent residence card in the US.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I recommend filing for a Reentry Permit. The time abroad may delay your citizenship filing as well assuming the I-829 is granted.

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