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What happens if a conditional permanent resident leaves the U.S. for six months?

I am EB-5 investor and have conditional permanent resident status. I went on a trip and stayed outside of the United States for more than six months. Will USCIS now deny my I-829 petition? If so, is there any way to appeal? What are my options if I stay too long outside the United States as a conditional permanent resident?

Answers

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Staying outside the United States does not mean you will automatically lose your conditional permanent residency. The USCIS may make the presumption you no longer have the intent to be a permanent resident, but this presumption can be overcome by you. That is, you may show that it has always been your intent to be a permanent resident by showing U.S. bank accounts, the filing of tax returns, and your lease or ownership of homes and a car etc.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Absences of longer than 6 months raise a rebuttable presumption that you do not intend to reside in the United States permanently. This presumption may be rebutted (overcome) by evidence of your ties to the United States (main home in the United States, business ownership or other employment in the United States, family living in the United States, bank accounts, filing tax returns, etc.). If you intend to depart the United States for a period of longer than one year, you should obtain a reentry permit. Please consult an experienced immigration attorney.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would obtain a letter from an attorney or business associates stating that your business interests (i.e. your livelihood) required your extended absence.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS may consider you to have "abandoned" your permanent residency. This may be an issue at the I-829 stage as well. Matters like this are best handled by qualified immigration attorneys.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The rule for conditional permanent residents is the same as the one for those with permanent green cards. In order to maintain your lawful permanent resident status, you must intend to permanently reside in the United States. Long absences from the United States, those of over one year, would be a strong indication that your intention is not to permanently reside in the United States. Absences of more than six months but less than one year might raise a presumption that you abandoned your conditional green card, but if you are able to overcome that presumption by showing evidence of your continuing intent to permanently reside in the United States, you should be able to keep your green card. Strong evidence of such intention would be property ownership or having your main home in the United States, employment, bank account, driver''s license, memberships, family residing in the United States, and other indications of your intent to reside here. Once you become a permanent resident, you should apply for a reentry permit, which allows you to reenter the United States within two years. This is a good document to have if you need to spend an extended period of time outside of the United States, but do not want to risk abandoning your green card.

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    Oliver Huiyue Qiu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As a conditional resident, if you are outside the United States for more than six months on one trip, you are at risk of losing the conditional green card. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection could assume you have the intention to abandon the residency in the United States. You will need to come up with evidence to establish such assumption does not exist. If you survive the airport "interrogation," then there is no impact on your I-829. So get prepared.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As long as you can show strong enough ties to the United States you will be fine. Do not exceed one year out of the United States without first obtaining a reentry permit (this can only be obtained while in the United States and you need to be fingerprinted before leaving). An absence greater than 180 days may break continuous residence for citizenship purposes as well.

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    Wilka Toppins

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The rules apply equally to conditional residents as to folks with permanent residences. The rule is that if you leave for more than six months and less than a year, there is a "presumption" that you have abandoned your residency. It is possible that the officer may let you in by simply coming in through a port of entry, although this is not recommended. Another option would be to hire an attorney and help him compilie a packet in which he explains the reasons why you left for longer than six months and why you did not abandon your residency (and did not intend to do so). If you left for more than a year, then it is more difficult as officers do not have discretion to allow you to come back. The rule is that you have "abandoned" your residency. For either option above, you may be able to apply for an SB-1 visa in which you would need to prove: (1) you were an LPR when you left; (2) you left with the intention of returning; (3) you are returning from a "temporary" visit abroad, i.e. beyond your control and for which you were not responsible. You also must show unbroken ties with the United States throughout your time abroad. This is a complicated area and I think you definitely need to consult with an attorney.

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    Denyse Sabagh

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No. A conditional permanent resident is allowed to travel. A conditional permanent resident should make sure to establish a residence in the United States. You can use the card to travel within one year of departure, but you should try to stay in the United States as much as possible and try to travel to the United States within six months of departure.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The regulations governing extended absence from the United States during your permanent residence (does not matter if conditional or not) is that any absence greater than one year is a presumption of abandonment of permanent residence in the United States unless you first filed and have approved a travel permit before your extended stay abroad. As long as you are not absent for greater than one year, you are not presumed to have abandoned your permanent residence; however, you may be further questioned at the port of entry or sent to secondary inspection to show evidence of your residence in the United States.

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    James Zhou

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Staying outside of the United States for more than 6 months but less than 12 months creates a rebuttable assumption that the permanent resident is giving up his or her permanent resident status. It shall not affect your I-829 petition, but may affect your ability to come back to the United States. It is very likely that you will be asked about your prolonged absence, when you try to reenter the United States. You will have to give a reasonable explanation and present supporting evidence if possible.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you leave the United States for over six months, you abandon your status.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Staying out of the United States for more than six months is not a ground for denying the I-829. If you had stayed out more than a year without first obtaining the reentry permit, they may consider that you had abandoned your permanent residency, but if that is not the case, you will be okay. The immigration lawyer you work with should be able to walk you through this.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    When you attempt to reenter, you may experience difficulties if CBP thinks that your intent when you left was to leave permanently (e.g. to take a job somewhere or take up residence somewhere). If your stay outside of the country was just over 6 months, and under one year, CBP many not conclude that you have abandoned your green card. If your stay outside the United States is more than one year, you will have a problem. You should think of the conditional green card as a regular green card except that it has a condition of creating jobs in line with the EB-5 program. The other features of the green card (e.g. the rules for leaving the country and how long you can stay outside of the country for) are the same as for a normal green card.

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