Immigration Issues/Green card
I am asking this question for a friend who is limited in English. She has a green card, as i am browsing the immigration site, i realize that green cards are valid for 10years, which in my time (i am currently a US citizen) 26 yrs ago, when I came to the US green cards had no expirations. Anyway, my question is within the 10yrs if the green card has not expired, can the greencard holder leave the country to visit her country of origin, how many times can she go back and forth? without having her greencard taken away. What law applies. Is there any other
information that you can suggest me to read on the website that may be helpful to me. Thank you very much and I appreciate your answering my question.
Hi Ms. Leong,
Your friend can travel outside the U.S. for up to one year at a time. If she will be traveling between one year and less than two years, she will need a reentry permit by filing form I-131: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a
The following excerpt from http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a
is useful: International Travel
A Permanent Resident of the United States can travel freely outside of the US. A passport from the country of citizenship is normally all that is needed. To reenter the US a Permanent Resident normally needs to present the green card (Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551) for readmission. A reentry permit is needed for reentry for trips greater than one year but less than two years in duration.
You can find more information about travel documents from "How Do I Get a Travel Document?"
Maintaining Permanent Residence
Maintaining Permanent Residence You may lose your permanent residence status if you commit an act that makes you removable from the United States under the law in section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. If you commit such an act, you may be brought before the immigration courts to determine your right to remain a Permanent Resident.
You may be found to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you:
Move to another country intending to live there permanently.
Remain outside of the US for more than one year without obtaining a reentry permit or returning resident visa. However in determining whether your status has been abandoned any length of absence from the US may be considered, even if it is less than one year.
Remain outside of the US for more than two years after issuance of a reentry permit without obtaining a returning resident visa. However in determining whether your status has been abandoned any length of absence from the US may be considered, even if it is less than one year.
Fail to file income tax returns while living outside of the US for any period.
Declare yourself a “nonimmigrant” on your tax returns.
Ajay K. Arora, Esq.