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How long must I stay in the United States to qualify for the I-829?

I am an EB-5 investor and have just received my two year conditional green card. Before applying for the I-829, can I live in my home country China for most of the time? How long must I stay in the United States to qualify for the I-829?

Answers

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A green card is for someone who intends to live in the United States. In order to maintain your green card, you should maintain the intention to permanently reside in the United States. You certainly can spend time outside of the United States, for business, to visit family, etc., but you should not stay outside of the United States for extended periods of time (over six months) because that appears to indicate that your intention is not to live here. If you have a need to spend more time outside of the United States, you may be able to apply for and obtain a reentry permit, which allows for absences of up to two years, while maintaining your green card. You must be physically present in the United States when you apply for a reentry permit. Also, keep in mind that you must timely apply for the removal of conditions (Form I-829) whether you are in the United States or not. It is better to be in the United States when you apply for the I-829.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once you obtain your conditional permanent residency it will be your intent to consider the United States your home and if you leave the United States you will be only visiting your country of origin. It is preferable that you spend most of your time in the United States and you take steps to clearly show you consider the United States as your home. For instance, you should open bank statements in your name, and pay joint tax returns and credit information in both names sent to your marital address.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should plan to travel to the United States at least twice a year during your conditional residency.

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    Steffanie J Lewis

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As a U.S. resident, if you are outside the United States for more than six months, you need to apply for advance parole that enables you to return to your residence in the United State for up to two years. You must be in the United States before your advance parole expires. While in the United States you may apply to extend your advance parole, but must stay in the United States until your fingerprint appointment where they take your fingerprint. If you leave before the prints are taken, you run the risk of having your extension denied. And you may not file another until you are once again in the United States. If you are absent from the United States for more than one year without an advance parole, you will lose your status by law. Just be careful to return before six months or obtain advance parole.

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    David Sheen

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Generally speaking, you are eligible to submit your I-829 petition during the 90 days immediately before your conditional permanent status expires. In order to maintain your permanent residence status (even while you are in your two year conditional period), you should not take trips abroad (i.e. China) longer than six months time. Absence abroad of more than six months but less than one year create a reasonable presumption that you intended to abandon your residence. If you need to stay in China for more than one year, it is recommended that you apply for a reentry permit. It will allow you stay out of United States for up to 2 years. However, you do still need maintain your ties to the United States to show that you are not abandoning your PR intent (i.e. family ties, property holding, business operations or employment, local community ties, etc.).

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    Oliver Huiyue Qiu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Between your conditional green card and the filing of I-829 to remove such condition, you are subject to the same residency rules applied universally to all green card holders. In other words, there is no separate or special rules just for the EB-5 conditional green card. In general, if you intend to spend more time in China during the two-year period, you should consider obtaining a re-entry permit, which pretty much eliminates the need to explain yourself at the U.S. airport''s immigration checkpoint. Otherwise, USCIS can assume you intend to abandon the green card, if any single trip outside the United States takes more than 180 days.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You will likely need to be in the United States for a significant amount of time or, rather, not be outside of the United States for a significant amount of time. The idea is that you actually want to be a permanent resident of the United States. Too much time spent outside of the United States may result in USCIS finding you to have "abandoned" your conditional permanent residency. In addition, there may be U.S. tax implications once you become a permanent resident (but consult with a U.S. Tax attorney, financial adviser, or CPA).

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is not a requirement to live in the United States a certain number of days for the I-829, but if you are gone more than 180 days at a time or fail to demonstrate the intent to maintain your green card, you could be considered to have abandoned your green card. If you anticipate being gone longer than 180 days then you should file for a reentry permit several weeks before you want to leave the United States. You want to always maintain sufficient ties here, be sure to file U.S. tax returns every year on your worldwide income, maintain a U.S. bank account and other indicia of your intent to make this your home.

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