Immigration Issues/Green card

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Question
Mr Arora:
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.

Alice Leong

Answer
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.

Regards,
Ajay K. Arora, Esq.
www.h1b1.com

Immigration Issues

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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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