+1-800-997-1228
Questions & Answers

How long do I need to stay in the United States to keep my CPR status?

How long do I need to stay in the United States each year to keep my conditional green card? My business is located in China, and I need to stay there for a long time. Also, how can my dependent go back to China to study without losing conditional permanent residency status?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is not recommended to remain outside the United States for longer than six months per year. However, a re-entry permit may be issued if it is necessary to be outside the United States for an extensive period. Please note that permanent residence requires a continuous physical presence in the United States. It is recommended to safely store documentation that demonstrates residence and binding ties to the United States.

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Excessive or long-term absences from the United States places your permanent residency at risk. Generally, leaving the United States for more than six months may result in a presumption that you intend to abandon your permanent residency. Establishing binding ties to the United States (home ownership, bank accounts, taxes, owning a business, attending school, etc.) is an important task to undertake while a conditional permanent resident.

  • Avatar

    Philip H Teplen

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The general rule is that you should be at least 50% in the United States; but that can be flexible depending upon your obtaining a re-entry permit, filing proper taxes, maintaining a residence, etc. I will be happy to discuss further.

  • Avatar

    Lei Jiang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need to spend at least one half year in the United States. For a longer period, you should apply for a re-entry permit. This is just a general rule.

  • Avatar

    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no required amount of time in the United States to maintain your green card. To maintain your green card, you must have the intent to permanently reside in the United States. Many people think that you should not spend more than 180 days at a time outside of the United States without a good reason. It is important to remember, however, that blind adherence to this 180-day "rule" does not guarantee that you will be considered to have maintained your permanent residence intention. If you have a U.S. residence, a job, family, and other indications that you intend to permanently reside in the United States and not anywhere else, then you should be fine. Also, there is a two-year re-entry permit available for lawful permanent residents who wish to spend an extended period of time outside of the United States (up to two years) and still be able to re-enter the United States as lawful permanent residents. Finally, keep in mind that simply maintaining your green card is different from the U.S. naturalization requirements; these are more strict.

  • Avatar

    Echo Meisheng King

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you intend to stay in China for over a year, but less than two years, you need to apply for a re-entry permit before you leave the United States. We usually recommend Chinese clients to come back to the United States every six months to show that you have strong ties in the United States and you have intentions to live in the United States permanently.

  • Avatar

    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As a conditional green card holder, you are supposed to permanently reside in the United States, which is the basis for seeking and obtaining a green card in the first place. However, if you need to go to China for a long time, you should seek and obtain a re-entry permit, which will allow you to go back and forth for up to two years. With regards to your dependent, it is advisable that the dependent also seek a re-entry permit. If you fail to obtain a re-entry permit, and you were to stay out of the U.S. for a long time, chances are you may lose your green card, and it would be considered to have been abandoned.

  • Avatar

    Gregory Romanovsky

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Thank you for your inquiry. Any permanent resident is supposed to reside in the United States otherwise, there is a risk of losing that status. That being said, there are way to keep your status (e.g., by filing for a re-entry permit). You should consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney.

  • Avatar

    Kyle Barella

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Becoming a permanent resident of the United States means you must not only intend to make, but actually make the United States your "permanent" residence. Any prolonged absence from the United States may jeopardize your permanent resident status. The government could accuse you of abandoning your permanent resident status and take away your green card. It is advised that you spend (at minimum) six months or more in the United States.

  • Avatar

    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Conditional permanent residency means it is your intent to reside in the United States and spend most of your time in the United States. It is also your intent to establish binding ties in the United States, such as a personal bank account, a car, a house, a business, etc. It is advisable that if you have to leave the United States, you are not away from the United States for more than six months. If you are away from the United States for more than six months and return to the United States, the USCBP inspectors may make the presumption that you have abandoned your residency, and you will have to show documentary evidence to show you have still binding ties to the United States.

  • Avatar

    Kripa Upadhyay

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As a lawful Permanent Resident, you must maintain "continuous physical presence" in the United States, generally understood by USCIS to be an continued absence of less than six months. By law, if you leave the United States and fail to return within one year of last exit, you loose the "green card." Generally speaking, continuous absences of more than six months are problematic, but continuous absences of less than six months should still allow you to preserve the residency. For your child, you can apply for a re-entry permit that would allow for a greater period of absence from the United States without affecting his/her residency status.

  • Avatar

    Michael E Piston

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should apply for a re-entry permit. As long as you are in the United States when you apply for it, and get your fingerprints taken in the United States when you are given an appointment (usually 1-2 months after filing), then you will almost always be granted a re-entry permit that will allow you to stay outside the United States as long as you want, so long as you return before the permit, which is good for two years, expires. However, if you have been outside the United States for more than four of the last five years, then the reentry permit will only be granted for one year. While there may come a time when you have applied for so many re-entry permits that the government doesn''t want to give you more, even this problem can be gotten around if you set up a U.S. corporation and make your Chinese business a part of that U.S. based business (of course there may be tax or regulatory reasons why you don''t want to do that you''d have to check with a business or tax attorney about that). If you do that, then you should be able to keep extending your re-entry permit indefinitely because now your work in China would be seen as assisting a U.S. based company. Likewise, as long as your dependent is studying, and keeps renewing his re-entry permit, he too should not be considered to have abandoned his residence. This is not legal advice. I am not your attorney. I have not done legal research to confirm the correctness of this answer. I may be engaged, for a fee, to confirm this answer, and my final conclusion may be different (or the same) as what is written above.

  • Avatar

    Marc Yelnick

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unfortunately, there is no yes or no answer. The threshold question is whether or not the individual has a valid document to re-enter the United States as a returning resident. A resident/green card (temporary, conditional or otherwise) is one such document, but is ordinarily valid for only up to one continuous year out of the United States. The individual may apply to extend this period to two continuous years. Under any circumstances, whether the individual has been out of the United States for two weeks, two years, or any other period, s/he must establish upon reentry that s/he did not give up his/her U.S. resident status.

  • Avatar

    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As a permanent resident, you need to establish and maintain residency in the United States and stay in the country for more than half of the time. However, if you must go back and stay out due to business and other reasons, you must apply for and obtain a re-entry permit before leaving United States, so as not to forfeit/abandon your residency. The immigration attorney you have used for I-526 petition and immigrant visa application should be able to guide you through this.

  • Avatar

    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The United States should be your primary residence, as evidenced by family, employment and property ties. You should not leave for over six months at a time. If your family cannot really live in the United States, you may wish to file this once you are ready to immigrate.

  • Avatar

    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is a question of intent. If you are absent from the United States for longer than six months, it may be presumed that you intend to abandon your conditional permanent residence. Speak with your attorney about obtaining a re-entry permit. This could solve your challenge.

  • Avatar

    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can always file a re-entry permit to insure you preserve your permanent residence intent in the United States. Once issued, you may travel and stay abroad for two years without having to return to the United States, and can continue to file re-entry permits (in two year increments).

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.