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How long can green card holders stay outside the U.S.?

I am the principal applicant in an EB-5 case. I just entered the U.S. with my EB-5 visa, and my family will join me this July. Our plan is to stay in the U.S. for two months, get our green cards and then go back to our home country, as my kids have to finish their last year of elementary school. We plan to come back next June. Will there be any issues when we try to enter the border next year?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you should get re-entry permits for everyone.

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you plan to travel outside the U.S. in excess of one year, you will need to apply for re-entry permits for each family member. You must be physically in the U.S. to apply for re-entry permits and also process for biometrics. You can have re-entry permits delivered to an embassy or consulate in your home jurisdiction for pickup. You should also continue maintaining ties to the U.S. during your absence, such as property, paying taxes, etc.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Any absence of over six months can be an issue. Completing school may be an acceptable reason but you are advised to apply for re-entry permits before leaving.

  • Avatar

    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    As long as you obtain a re-entry permit, you should not have any issues. This permit will allow you to stay overseas up to two years. That should give you plenty of time to have your kids finish elementary school in your home country.

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unless you plan on applying for a re-entry permit, plan to be back in the U.S. before 180 days pass.

  • Avatar

    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you become conditional U.S. permanent residents and then spend 10 months outside of the United States, then U.S. Customs and Border Protection may question if you have abandoned your U.S. permanent resident status. You need legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney about your situation and how to proceed.

  • Avatar

    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    We would strongly recommend applying for re-entry permits. They will allow you to stay outside the USA for up to two years without losing your green cards. You must be in the USA when you apply for them.

  • Avatar

    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have plans to stay abroad for extended period of time (such as more than one year) then you should file for a re-entry permit which declares your permanent resident intent in the U.S. If not, it is an assumption of abandonment of permanent residency in the U.S. Each member of your family who is a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. will have to separately file for the re-entry permit.

  • Avatar

    Sally Amirghahari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, there will be an issue on your way back to U.S. if you stay out for more than six months. If you plan to be out for a longer period, then you should apply for a re-entry permit which allows you to stay out for a year or more.

  • Avatar

    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    To maintain your residency status, you should apply for re-entry permits. These will allow you to remain of outside the U.S. for up to two years at a time.

  • Avatar

    Hassan Elkhalil

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In general you should not stay outside of the U.S. for more than six months at the time. This of course does not mean that you can come to the U.S., stay one week, and then travel for another six months! An important factor to consider is whether you do an EB-5 through a regional center or direct investment. If through direct investment, who will be managing the business in your absence? This may cause a headache for you. In summary, it is not recommended.

  • Avatar

    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once you have been admitted as a lawful permanent resident on your immigrant visa, based upon an approved EB-5 petition, you're free to travel abroad, but not for a continuous period, so long that you would be deemed to have abandoned your U.S. residency. Normally, any continuous stay out of the U.S. for less than six months is not a problem. So, if you and your family member return periodically to the U.S., you should simply remember that you're returning to your country of residency and you are overseas temporarily for your children to finish their last year of elementary school. Even if you're out for more than six months and less than 12 months, and you have a very good explanation as to why you were required to be out so long, you would probably be re-admitted without any difficulty. You should remember that you need to file an annual tax return as a U.S. resident and also remember when you return to the U.S., you should have your U.S. documents such as a driver's license, credit cards, etc. in your wallet, or in the case of your wife, her purse. If you may be out of the U.S. for an indefinite period of time, prior to your departure, you should file for a U.S. re-entry permit.

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