View Full Version : how to maintain Green Card status
01-07-2001, 10:09 AM
I heard, but never found any writing anywhere, that a green card holder needs to be physically inside US more than half a year for every year, otherwise he may lose his status. But I have been outside US once(to Canada) since I got my green card stamp(I551?), I am wondering how could INS know how long I stay outside US? Because for my above mentioned trip to Canada, INS did not mark anything for my departure, they only stamped my passport for entry. So how INS know how long I have been outside.
Is there anywhere, like in Immigration and Nationality Act, enforce that a green card holder should stay inside US half of the time each year in oder to keep his green card status?
Immihelp, could you please spend some time here and give your insight?
The law says that you have to maintain your residence in the US. So legally, your GC becomes invalid as soon as you take residence somewhere else, regardless of the time you are out of the US.
If you are outside the US for less than 6 months, INS would need to show that you abandoned your US residence. Since that is hard to do, they don't even try.
If you are outside the US for more than 6 months, but less than 1 year, you may need to show that you did not abandon your residency, e.g., by owning real estate, having a bank account in the US, etc.
If you are outside the US for more than 1 year, you automatically loose the GC, unless you have a re-entry permit, which increases the limit to 2 years.
If you stay outside longer, there still is a possibility that you can get your GC reinstated, but you need good reasons to convince a US consular officer.
01-07-2001, 04:10 PM
But do you know how INS keeps track of how long a person stays outside US for each leave?
They might ask you when you come back. And lying to an immigration officer is a really bad offense that could cause you to loose the GC altogether.
In addition, if you are more than 1/2 year out of the US, you usually have to file a non-resident tax return. INS could just get this information from IRS.
In most cases, this will only come up when you apply for citizenship, since INS doesn't really have enough resources to investigate, and it is probably low on their priority list. I would not count on that, though.
01-15-2001, 12:07 AM
Can you maintain dual residency? Canada & USA?
03-23-2009, 06:22 PM
Actually, I had a question if I have green card and I enter US every six months, but I don't stay in US for atleast six months can I get in trouble?
Last time I was entering US, the US customs wrote in my passport (international) "2nd res. requirement advised", do you know what does that mean? Also, they questioned me for 3 hours on the border until they finally let me in.
03-24-2009, 12:15 PM
I received my GC in 2004. I've being studying outside US for the last 5 years and have being spending less than 6 months in the US a year for that 5yrs period. Last time I entered the US (03/17/2009) border officer said that the next time I try to enter with less than 6 months spent in the US they will consider that situation as abandoned US residence and cancel my GC. I need one more year to finish my diploma.
I cannot afford that rank of degree in the US educational institution because of the high price of the alike programs in the US. A lot of the graduates from my university go to the top 20 US Ph.D. programs which is much easier to get financial aid for. Further Ph.D. in the US was the main reason for continuing my education abroad. I'm going to stay in the US and work here. I even tried to find a job in the US related to the field of my education.
The time I spent in the US I've being working and got TAX return copies. I got a valid US driver license and I possess car in the US. I have open US bank account. I have a record in the US Selective Service System and a Social Security number valid for work. Also I have a valid permanent residence address - my family's house who all are GC holders too.
Do factors mentioned above ensure my willing to maintain the US residence?
12-06-2012, 11:49 PM
I have used re-entry permits for the past 10 years to keep my green card. It's a pain as you need to apply while in US, then be there whenever they schedule a fingerprint interview, then have it shipped overseas.... with a good company lawyer its easier. If you don't have any, you have to question if you are ready to lose the GC (and therefore the privilege to re-enter easily and stay as much as you like.... and as a bonus also file your taxes every year