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How long do I have to remain in the U.S. after receiving a green card through EB-5?

If I obtain a green card through the EB-5 program, how long do I have to remain in the U.S. to keep the status valid? I am managing my business in my home country. Thus, my ability to stay in the U.S. for an extended period is limited. My family will remain in the U.S. most of the time.

Answers

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    With the grant of a green card, you are expected to live, work and pay taxes in the USCIS will allow you time to wind down your overseas business, with the use of a reentry travel document which allows you to spend up to 2 years overseas at a time.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The issue in your case is not how long do you need to remain in the U.S. before you can travel. Rather, the issue is how long do you intend to be outside the country without abandoning your permanent residency. If you intend to be outside the United States to manage your business for less than a year, you can use your EB-5 permanent resident visa and re-enter without any further documentation. However, if you intend to stay outside the U.S. for more than a year, you should consider filing Form I-131 seeking a re-entry permit before you leave the U.S.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The requirement for an EB-5 immigrant is the same as any other U.S. lawful permanent resident. You must maintain the intention to permanently reside in the United States. If you depart the United States for more than six months on any given trip abroad, it raises a presumption that you have abandoned your intention to remain a permanent resident. One way to avoid this problem is to apply for a re-entry permit, which allows you to remain outside of the United States for up to two years while maintaining your green card. You should consult with an immigration attorney before making plans to travel abroad or to apply for a re-entry permit.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should apply for a re-entry permit and process for biometrics before you depart the U.S. for a longer absence, such as one year or longer. You may have a re-entry permit delivered to a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home jurisdiction for pickup once it is processed. You must also continue maintaining ties to the U.S. as your abode to avoid issues with abandonment of permanent resident status, such paying income taxes on worldwide income, family in the U.S., property and other assets, etc.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The requirement in order for you to maintain your lawful permanent resident status is if you plan to stay abroad for more than one year at a time, you should file for a re-entry permit declaring your permanent residency in the U.S. while staying abroad at length.

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    Sally Amirghahari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you need to stay out of U.S. more than six months then I suggest you apply for a re-entry permit prior to your departure, which allows you to stay out for one or even two years. Otherwise, you will be jeopardizing your green card and/or U.S. residency status.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Being outside of the U.S. for 180 consecutive days, or a total of 180 or more days out of any one year, may result in "abandoning" the green card. As long as you can be more in the U.S. than out of the U.S., you should be cool.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once you've obtained your lawful permanent residency, or so-called "green card", you do not have to remain in the U.S. for any specific period of time. Remember, you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States, but you may depart the U.S. and spend considerable time abroad. At the very least, you should return to the U.S. periodically and never be out of the U.S. continuously for longer than six months at a time. Always remember that you are an LPR and you're not visiting the U.S. You should also keep with you, indicia of the fact that you're an LPR, such as your driver's license, social security card and local credit cards.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If extended absences from the U.S., consider a re-entry permit before leaving the U.S.

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    Robin J Gray

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can leave and return to the U.S. several times as a green card holder, as long as you are not gone more than six months at a time. If you intend to stay outside the U.S. longer than six months during one trip, you could run the risk of losing your green card.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    To hold a green card you must live in the U.S. You can apply for a re-entry permit and be out for up to two years, and the re-entry permit can be renewed for another two years, and possibly in one-year increments thereafter. However, regardless, you should try not to be out from more than six months at any one time, as that breaks the continuity of residence.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    After obtaining your conditional green card, while there are no specific laws and regulations that explicitly state that you need to remain in the U.S., the understanding is that you intend to make the U.S. your permanent residence. If you are away for more than 180 days within a given year, this intent could become questionable. Having said that, by all means, you could travel in and out of the U.S. for business or pleasure purposes. Rule of thumb is not to be away on a given trip for more than six months and in a calendar year to be prepared to show continuous residency. As you state, if you must be away for business reasons for an extended period of time, then you need to apply for a re-entry permit before you leave the U.S. This way, not only can you stay outside the U.S. for an extended period of time but at the same time, you would avoid the risk of being categorized as someone who has abandoned their permanent resident status. The same rules apply to your family members, so it is a good fact that they plan to remain in the U.S. for most of the time.

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    Hassan Elkhalil

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A condition for receiving the green card is to live in the U.S. Extended absences and working overseas may subject you to immigration consequences. In general, if you stay outside of the U.S. for less than six months once or twice in the five years, preceding the citizenship application, you will be OK. However, if you stay less than six months once a year, you may have a problem coming back into the U.S. The CBP officer may consider you as abandoning your residency in the U.S. The fact that your family is here helps to convince the CBP that you do not have an intention to abandon your residency, but still you should follow strict guidelines to maintain your residency.

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