How long may a holder of a green card stay abroad?

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Non-citizens with green cards are able to remain and work in the US as legal permanent residents. However, if you stay outside of the country for an extended period of time, you risk losing your Green Card as well as all associated rights.

A Green Card holder is deemed to have left their residency and loses the Green Card and resident status if they spend more than one year and one day away from the country in a single trip, according to the legislation.

Re-Entry Is At Customs Officer Discretion:

1. Remove your Green Card, first. If this occurs, you might be required to attend an immigration court hearing where you can demonstrate your strong connections to the United States and demonstrate that you did not give up your residency.

2. Offer you the option to renounce your Green Card. You will be forced to transfer to your home country if this occurs and you agree.

3. Issue a caution to you. The officer might notify you that you must visit the United States more regularly but still permit your re-entry if they consider that you run the risk of having your entrance rejected owing to prolonged absences from the country.

It might be time to consider whether you actually need to hold a Green Card if you are encountering issues each time you try to re-enter the country. Instead of keeping dual residences here and overseas, you can stay out of problems by living in the US and traveling abroad just for vacations if you do wish to keep your Green Card and permanent resident status. If you are willing to surrender your Green Card, you may do so at the American Embassy in your area and then request for a B1 or B2 visas to meet your needs for entering the country.

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