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How can my 21-month-old baby stay outside the U.S. for more than six months as a conditional permanent resident?

We came to the USA on an EB-5 visa in September of 2017. Currently, we are holding conditional green cards. How can my 21-month-old baby stay outside the USA for longer than six months without getting any issue while removing the condition or applying for citizenship? I understand that we might need to apply for travel documents, but I am wondering if there are any exceptions or special requirements since he is so young?

Answers

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The intent of a young child such as this is ascribed from the parent. To be extra safe, just file for a re-entry permit and explain why the child must be out.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you plan to stay outside the U.S. for longer than 12 months (including travel with your baby), then you must obtain re-entry permits for all family members and continue maintaining ties to the U.S. Re-entry permits will allow you to stay outside the U.S. during the validity of your re-entry permits which will be up to the validity period of your conditional green cards.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There should not be any problem just for the baby when removing the conditions. However, all of you must disclose the time you were out of the country on your application to remove conditions or an application for naturalization. Also, there is no need for travel documents for six months travel but, if you intend to stay longer, like more than one year, advisably, all of you should seriously consider filing for a re-entry permit. It is useful for up to two years to preserve your residency.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Will need a re-entry permit.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A 21-month-old baby may stay out longer than six months under a number of circumstances without being deemed to have forfeited or abandoned his or her conditional lawful permanent residency. Normally, the child would be staying with one or the other parent who would also be a conditional lawful permanent resident. In any event, upon being readmitted to the United States, the child, having stayed for more than six months but for less than 12 months, must show evidence that he or she did not intend to abandon U.S. residency and there were factors that required a longer stay abroad. Again, typically since a 21-month-old cannot make any of those decisions, that would be for the parent to explain some rational reason for the child staying out that length of time; perhaps the parents were travelling and had to leave the child with someone else. Yes, one could file for a U.S. re-entry permit on behalf of the child prior to departing. This is further evidence when the U.S. re-entry permit is issued, there was an intention to preserve one's conditional lawful permanent residency.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As long as you and your child do not stay outside for more than 12 months, you should be OK. Because he is so young, there should not be any complications unless the principal gets into jeopardy with the residency.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Certain exceptions exist, such as, for example, being a student (which unlikely applies to a 21-month-old). You should discuss with your attorney.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In order to maintain lawful permanent resident status, a green card holder must maintain his or her intention to reside permanently in the United States. A minor child likely will be deemed to have the same intention as one or both of the parents. While any reasonable U.S. immigration or customs official would not presume that a 21-month-old has the requisite mental capacity to hold or abandon such intention independently of his or her parents, it is of best practices for the parent and/or child to obtain a re-entry permit, which can be valid for up to two years (or up to the expiration date on the conditional green card). Such permit is valid for travel (and maintaining the lawful permanent resident status, assuming the person remains otherwise admissible) during its validity period.

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    Marisa Casablanca

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A resident of the United States must reside in the U.S. A baby may be forgiven from staying outside the U.S. more than six months because it is not their choice, but the parents would not be able to stay out that long. Individuals may request a re-entry permit to allow them to stay outside longer for certain circumstances, such as due to medical or educational reasons. Each absence is case-specific. A consultation with an attorney is essential.

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    Robin J Gray

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to the continuous residence and physical presence requirement for conditional residency for your child. The only time a child would qualify as an exception would be if the minor were a child of a U.S. government employee, the surviving child of a U.S. citizen or the surviving child of a person conducting U.S. intelligence. Your 21-month-year old cannot stay outside the U.S. longer than six months or he or she could lose the conditional residency.

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