+1-800-997-1228
Questions & Answers

How often can I travel out of the U.S. with my green card?

I am interested in participating in the EB-5 program. However, I have a rotational working schedule with 4 weeks abroad and 4 weeks in "home country". Considering the travel days, I would live in the U.S. about 5.5 months every year. Would I be able to maintain by green card?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    To maintain your green card, you must be able show that you intend to live in the United States. Paying taxes, holding bank accounts, maintenance of a residence in the United States, maintaining a driver's license or state ID are all factors that can help you establish an intent to remain. However, this could be an issue when applying for citizenship. Leaving for a period longer than 6 months may be problematic as you will not satisfy the physical presence test. You may apply for a re-entry permit which will allow you to be outside the United States for a period of up to 2 years. However, use of such a permit will affect your eligibility for citizenship as you will need to satisfy the physical presence requirements.

  • Avatar

    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Maintenance of U.S. lawful permanent resident status depends upon your intention to permanently reside in the United States. If you intend to permanently reside in the U.S., but you need to spend significant time outside of the U.S., you may consider applying for a reentry permit, which allows green card holders the ability to travel to the U.S. during the validity period (two years) of the permit. The fact that you have extended absences outside of the U.S. should not prevent your reentry as long as you have this permit. If your intention changes, however, then your LPR status might be considered abandoned and you might start to get requests from CBP officers at the airport for you to turn in your green card and get a visitor''s visa. Also, please note that if you remain outside of the United States for more than 180 days in a single visit, this might affect your eligibility for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen.

  • Avatar

    Shahzad Q Qadri

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    The purpose of the green card is to retain residency in the United States, where you are outside the U.S. for more than six months, there is a presumption of abandonment. You may be able to get a reentry permit, but that only allows you to be outside the U.S. for two years. Based on your scenario it will be very difficult for you to maintain the green card.

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should obtain a reentry permit that is valid for 2 years and this would allow you to be absent up to this period of time. However, lawful permanent residents must maintain home in the U.S. and prove other ties to the U.S., including filing taxes on worldwide income. Absences of over 1 year without a reentry permit may cause you to abandon your permanent residence. You should consult an immigration attorney and obtain a reentry permit.

  • Avatar

    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As a green card holder, you must maintain your primary home in the U.S. Frequent travels from and to the U.S. might be problematic. You may be asked to prove that you do not have intent to abandon your U.S. residency. While brief trips abroad generally are not problematic, the officer may consider criteria such as whether your intention was to visit abroad only temporarily, whether you maintained U.S. family and community ties, maintained U.S. employment, filed U.S. income taxes as a resident, or otherwise established your intention to return to the United States as your permanent home. Other factors that may be considered include whether you maintained a U.S. mailing address, kept U.S. bank accounts and a valid U.S. driver''s license, own property or run a business in the United States, or any other evidence that supports the temporary nature of your absence.

  • Avatar

    Margo Chernysheva

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can travel during your time as Legal Permanent Resident (informally known as Green Card). As long as your trips are not longer than 180 days each trip, your Green Card is not expired, and you do not violate any other laws. You should be good to go.

  • Avatar

    Rachel Lew

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can apply for a reentry permit or travel document after you are granted conditional resident status. It is good for two years and your absence from the U.S. during that period of time will not not be used against you by USCIS in revoking your conditional permanent resident status. However, you must be physically present in the U.S. when you apply for removal of condition.

  • Avatar

    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once you become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), if you have business/personal reasons that requires you to travel abroad at lengths, you can always file to preserve your LPR status (which is assumed abandoned if you are abroad >1 year continuous period) by filing for a Travel Permit before you depart the U.S. This is your disclosure to the USCIS that even though you are abroad at lengths, you still maintain permanent residence in the U.S. The Travel Permit is granted in 2 year increments. You can continue to reapply as needed. Hope this information is helpful to you.

  • Avatar

    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    While we recommend that green card holders live in the U.S. for at least 6 months, it is not an absolute rule. Especially given that your work requires the travel, you could also obtain a reentry permit before you go out to solidify that you do not have any intention of giving up your green card when you are out for a long time.

  • Avatar

    Teodora Purcell

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In order to maintain your lawful permanent resident (LPR) status/ green card, you must be able to show that you intend to live and reside permanently in the United States, despite the need or desire for journeys outside of U.S. borders. When reentering the U.S. after a trip abroad, it must be shown that the trip abroad was temporary and that you are returning to an unrelinquished permanent residence in the U.S. While the individual''s intent is a subjective factor, it must be discernible from objective manifestations of conduct. One important factor is the continued payment of United States taxes as a tax resident for each year in which the individual claims lawful permanent resident status. Other factors to indicate a continuing intent to maintain your green card status include: maintenance of a residence in the United States (the ownership of property in the United States is a persuasive factor, and it is particularly important to keep a residential address in the U.S., or even better, to own a residence in the U.S.), maintenance of a U.S. driver''s license or state identification card, maintenance of bank or investment accounts (with activity on such accounts, such as drawing on those accounts to pay U.S. incurred liabilities such as credit card bills, property taxes, etc.), maintenance of U.S. credit card accounts (which are used within the United States), and maintenance of membership in any U.S. organizations or associations. In addition, close relatives continuing to reside in the United States are also an important consideration. Thus, for purposes of keeping your LPR status, it is not only the time you spent in the U.S. that is important, but also the home ties that you maintain in the U.S. You need to also keep in mind that if you wish to become a U.S. citizen after obtaining your green card the law requires, among other things, to show physical presence in the U.S. as a U.S. lawful permanent resident for an aggregate total of at least one half of the statutory five year period of residence, so your trips outside the United States may impact your ability to naturalize.

  • Avatar

    Jeffrey E Campion

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may be able to keep your Green Card. There''s no hard and fast rule. You''d need to be able to document your temporary travel and your intention to reside in the U.S. i.e. house, business etc. in the U.S.

  • Avatar

    Lei Jiang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need to stay in U.S. for at least 6 month.

  • Avatar

    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, its not a problem.

  • Avatar

    Philip H Teplen

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, a rotational schedule can be accommodated to preserve a green card.

Add your comment

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.