Do I have to live in the United States permanently?
Once I get my I-526 approved, do I have to live in the United States permanently? All of my family is in China and I would like to be able to go back to visit them, as well as to check up on my business there. Do I have to wait a certain amount of time before I can leave the U.S./go on a vacation? Is there a limit on how long that trip can be?
Yes, you must reside in the Untied States. Once you receive a conditional permanent residence, you may travel. However, remaining outside the United States for a period longer than six months may put your green card at risk.
A green card requires the US to be your permanent home, however absences are permitted, preferably less than 6 months. Also, look at the aggregate amount of time you are out. If it is more than 50 percent, you want to apply for permission to be out via a reentry permit.
Yes, you do have to reside in the US. You can certainly travel back to your home country, but all the same restrictions apply. If you remain out of the country for more tha 6 month you risk losing your greencard.
Once you become a lawful permanent resident, you must maintain the intention to reside permanently in the United States. Of course, you may travel abroad, but you should not be absent from the U.S. for more than six months at a time (or you will need to obtain a "reentry permit"). There is no limit to the number of trips you take, but it is a good idea to make sure they don?t last more than six months. Also, please be aware that the physical presence rules for naturalization eligibility (to become a U.S. citizen) are more strict and you will have to spend more than half of the time in the United States with no long absences if you wish to qualify for naturalization. You should consult with an experienced immigration attorney, such as myself, if you have more questions.
The end result of a successful EB-5 Immigration process is, first, conditional permanent residency and, second, full permanent residency. This does not mean that you are completely prohibited from travel outside the U.S., but you will need substantial and permanent ties to the U.S. to keep the proper status (residence, taxes paid) and to limit travel outside of the U.S. to amounts acceptable to USCIS. Retaining qualified U.S. Immigration counsel, like the attorneys at our law firm, can help and assist you with creating an approvable immigration plan.
Once you have your 2 year green card following the I-526 approval you must enter the U.S to obtain your permanent residency status and card and then you are free to leave. If you will be gone longer than 6 months it is wise to consult with an immigration attorney to make sure you don-t require a Reentry Permit. The Reentry Permit allows you to remain abroad for up to two years but you must also take steps to demonstrate that you don''t intend to abandon your green card by leaving. Permanent residents are required to pay taxes on their worldwide income so this is a strong piece of evidence in your favor if you do file U.S. taxes as required even if you are spending substantial time abroad.
Once the I-526 petition is approved you will then have to attend an interview at the U.S.consulate to obtain your conditional permanent residency. Conditional permanent residency means it is your intent to permanently reside in the U.S. and spend most of your time to live and work in the U.S. You are permitted to leave the U.S. for temporary periods of time to visit family and friends, and for business trips. If you leave the U.S. for more than 6 months then upon your return to the U.S. the U.S.Customs and Border Protection inspectors at the airport may ask questions and ask for proof of your permanent ties to the U.S., as there is a presumption that you may have abandoned your conditional permanent residency. In addition, once you have obtained your conditional permanent residency you may leave the U.S. soon thereafter for a temporary visit to China.
If you are in the U.S., you need to file I-485 application after you obtain an approval on your I-526 application. Approval of I-526 itself does not grant you any right. If you leave the U.S.before you apply for your I-485 and the travel document, you will have a hard time to come back with a non-immigrant visa. However, once you obtain your travel document, you are free to travel during the pendency of the I-485 application.
Any physical absence from the U.S. more than six months may result in revocation of your permanent resident status. For longer periods of absence, you can apply for Travel Document which can be approved for a period of two years.
You may want to review carefully with an attorney your long term goals prior to committing to the investment visa. With the green card "lawful permanent resident status" you are required to permanently reside in the US. There is room to work with that requirement, and you can spend approximately half of your time outside the US, but doing so must be carefully planned and monitored to ensure you do not lose your status.
Once you are a permanent resident you must make the US your principal place of residence. However, you are free to travel and to visit other countries. Extended trips abroad may also be permitted. To discuss the rights and obligations of a permanent resident and how these may apply in a particular case you should contact an Immigration Attorney who will be able to advise in more detail.
You must maintain a "permanent residence" in the USA after receiving your green card. Short trips outside the USA are always OK. But a trip of over one year will cancel your green card (unless you receive a "Re-Entry Permit" from USCIS which allows you to stay outside the country for up to two years). We generally advise our clients not to stay outside the USA for more than 6 months, unless they obtained a Re-Entry Permit.
You can travel abroad after you obtain your Permanent Resident status (green card), however, there are limits on the time you can spend outside of the United States before you are deemed to have abandoned your status as a Permanent Resident. There are also exceptions to this general rule (ex. work related issues). You should discuss your plans with your attorney before you decide how to proceed.
Generally if you are out of the U.S. for 180 days or more, USCIS may think that you do not intend to live permanently in the U.S. and may take action to take your Green Card away from you. If you are out of the U.S. for 1 year or more then it will be considered that you have abandoned your permanent residency. There are ways that you can preserve your residency and overcome the presumption of abandonment. It is best that you have a confidential consultation with an attorney before taking any trips overseas for extended periods of time, so that you may take appropriate action prior to leaving.
As a permanent resident (green card holder), you must establish your main, permanent residence in U.S. However, you may travel freely to China or anywhere else for business or pleasure. As long as you do not stay out for more than a year at a time, there will not be any negative consequences to your permanent residency, but I would urge your trips to be less than 6 months at a timekey is to have your residency established in U.S. after getting the green card.
When you receive permanent residence after the I-526 approval, you are required to maintain your residence here and not abandon it. You are allowed to travel as you please, with the requirement that you not abandon your residence here. Staying outside of the U.S. for too long is the typical way that someone abandon their residence.