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Immigration Issues/green card holder I-131



Yesterday I asked you a question regarding how long a green card holder can stay outside the USA.
You answer was 6 moths was the limit. And I needed to fill and I-131 for reentry permit if green card holder planning to stay outside the USA more then 6 months.
After finding the form for I-131 in the instructing  page 2 is written:
If you stay outside the United States for less than 1 year, you are not required to apply for a Reentry Permit. You may reenter the United States on your Permanent Resident Card( Form I-551)

You said if more than 6 months I need to fill up I-131 form but form indicates that, this form for the trips more then 1 year.

What is correct?

thank you

ANSWER: Here is the rule,

1. If you leave the US as a green card holder for less than 6 months = no problem, no need for I-131

2. If you leave the US as a green card holder for more than 6 months but less than one year = might have a problem*, no need for I-131

*if you leave the US for more than 6 month, but less than one year, a rebuttable presumption arises that you have abandoned your green card status.  You can rebut the presumption by presenting evidence to the questioning officer that you did not intend to abandon your green card.  Such evidence includes work in the US, property ownership in the US, families in the US, bank statements in the US, tax return and other documentary evidence that would show your permanent residence is in the US and not abroad.

3. If you leave the US as a green card holder for more than one year, you need a re-entry permit.  With a re-entry permit you can stay outside of the US up to 2 years.

I hope this clears up your confusion.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you for clear answer.
here is the situation;
The person who is leaving USA for almost 10 months is my mother.
In the USA me as a son and my dad(her husband) are living together. I am a citizen and my dad has also green card. But in Turkey my sister lives with her daughter. MY mom  is going back there for 10 months to take care of  my niece.
SO what would you suggest. Should I go ahead and fill the form I-131 and put absence time as a 10 months or not.

She has a bank account here, W2 forms and she also works here in the USA..

I am very confused about filling up the form or not.

thank you for your help.

I would fill out an I-131 and get the re-entry permit.  It will increase the chance of her being able to come back to the United States.  She should also prepare documents to show that she is only temporarily visiting Turkey to take care of your niece.

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Jack Sung


Can answer: Immigration and visa issues Can't answer: Everything else


Been a practicing immigration attorney for 4 years.

Taiwanese American Lawyers Association. American Immigration Lawyers Association. Los Angeles County Bar Association

Southwestern International Law Journal

J.D. from Southwestern Univ. School of Law in 2007. Licensed attorney in California

Awards and Honors
LACBA 2011 Outstanding Public Service Award

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