Keeping your United States green card while working abroad

Keeping your United States green card while working abroad

US immigration officials can revoke a green card if the holder abandons their intention to live long-term in the United States. This issue has become particularly relevant in recent years due to the economic downturn in the United States. A growing number of green card holders are leaving the US in search of economic opportunities elsewhere, such as China. Even though they are leaving the US, green card holders want to keep their hard-earned cards for greed if possible. This article provides advice for immigrants in this dilemma.

1. Time requirement. Immigration authorities often question a green card holder’s intent to reside long-term in the US if the holder remains outside the United States for more than six consecutive months (180 days) or in a one-year period. Returning a few days before the six-month mark can lead to similar difficulties, especially if the holder takes long trips outside the US several years in a row. For example, annual four-month trips abroad can lead to difficulties.

2. How to travel with less anxiety. When you spend a significant amount of time outside the United States, the safest approach is to apply for advance parole, also known as a reentry permit. This strongly signals an intention to maintain permanent residence in the US.

Unfortunately, early parole may not be enough. If long-term stays outside the US are required, the green card holder must be prepared to present additional documents to immigration officials upon re-entry into the US. Documentation must demonstrate the holder’s long-term ties to the United States. Examples include:

A. The immigrant’s tax return for the most recent year.

B. Evidence that the holder maintained an address in the United States during his absence.

C. Records showing that the holder has a US bank account.

D. US driver’s license or ID card.

E. One or more US credit cards.

F. US Social Security Card.

G. Unexpired Green Card.

H. Documents showing that the green card holder is not entering the United States on the first leg of a round-trip ticket. Instead, the documentation must suggest that America is the holder’s final destination.

3. Important mistakes to avoid. Avoid the following when traveling abroad:

A. Do not apply for a nonimmigrant visa. If a green card holder leaves the US for more than a year without prior parole or is denied re-entry, he or she must absolutely not attempt to re-enter the US on a nonimmigrant visa. Apply for a special immigrant visa instead.

B. Husband and children. A green card holder should avoid bringing their spouse and children when traveling abroad for long periods.

° С. Travel tickets. Do not use the first leg of a round-trip ticket to re-enter the United States if the ticket’s return destination is outside the United States.

This list of tips is not exhaustive, but should help most green card holders work abroad with more peace of mind.

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