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Immigration Issues/Green Card status and trip abroad

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Question
Hi Ajay,

My father and mother in law, both have Green Cards. They are not living in the United States but visit every year. Last year, they arrived in the US on March 23rd 2011 and left for Pakistan on May 16th 2011.

My question is, when does the clock starts ticking counting their absence from the US, is it March 23 or is it May 16?

The reason I am asking this question is that it is a common belief among people with Green Cards that one has to be back in the United States within a year to keep the status current. So, my in laws would not like their Green Card and permanent status to lapse.

Thank you for your prompt advice.

Regards,

Mansoor

Answer
Hi,

The one year clock for time spent outside the U.S. for any trip starts from date of departure, in this instance on May 16, 2011. Your parents should ensure their return no later than May 15, 2012 unless they have been issued reentry permit, which allows for a trip outside the U.S. for up to 2 years.  

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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