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How long can I stay outside the U.S. while waiting for the I-826 to be processed?

I am a dependent of my mother who is the principal applicant of an EB-5 petition. We are currently waiting for our I-826 to be processed. I plan to study abroad but I am afraid of losing my status. How long can I stay outside the U.S. while keeping my I-829 eligible?

Answers

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are still considered a permanent resident, so no more than six months.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you plan to be abroad for longer than one year, you should file for a re-entry permit declaring your permanent resident intent in the U.S. so that you do not risk abandoning your lawful permanent status.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can apply for a re-entry permit to study abroad.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once you are a conditional lawful permanent resident of the U.S., you have all the rights of a permanent resident, including the right to travel abroad, as long as you're not deemed to have abandoned your permanent residency in the U.S. Therefore, there are no specific requirements with respect to the number of days you must be physically in the U.S. As a general rule, you should avoid being out for any continuous period longer than six months. You should always maintain evidence of your intent to maintain your residency in the U.S., which can include if possible, a home, a rented property, or at the very least, an updated driver's license, credit cards and other ties to the U.S. Under no circumstances should you be out for a continuous period longer than 12 months, unless you have filed and obtained the U.S. re-entry permit.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Prior to leaving for abroad, it is advisable that you should file and obtain a re-entry permit by filing Form I-131. This will actually save your immigrant visa from being considered abandoned should in case you stay overseas for several months. Lastly, file your re-entry permit application, Form I-131, well in advance of your planned trip.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    Just in case you might have to stay a long period overseas, it would be a good idea to get a re-entry period. Generally speaking, with your conditional green card and I-829 filing receipt, you are good for a year but if you expect to be overseas longer without coming back into the U.S., it would be a good idea to get the re-entry permit. Your plan to study abroad is a very legitimate reason to travel and is a good fact. It is a testament that you are not going overseas, intending to abandon your permanent residency but rather you have a short-term goal to be overseas for a temporary purpose while you are maintaining your long-term goal of remaining a permanent resident of the U.S. Depending on how long you expect to be overseas for your studies, and the length of time the I-829 takes, these facts could become somewhat blurry. It is always a good idea to seek specific advice on your particular case from an experienced immigration attorney.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should file for a re-entry permit if you plan an absence outside the U.S. for longer than one year. Please discuss with your immigration attorney.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The only way you can do this is to first apply for a re-entry permit while you are on U.S. soil, wait for fingerprinting and then leave (or fly back for fingerprinting after it is scheduled.)

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Being a student abroad will likely not affect your "resident" intent. Being a student is by definition considered temporary. We will recommend getting an I-131 and make sure you come back into the U.S. during the validity of your documents.

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    Hassan Elkhalil

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is very tricky. You cannot. You have to choose either or. You may be able to stay couple times outside of the U.S. for less than six months each time, but eventually the CBP will flag you and you will have to make a decision to either stay or leave.

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