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When you can lose the green card, and how to avoid it

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Living in the USA for many people is a huge opportunity to fulfil potential and improve the quality of life. However, from time to time, we all need to get back to our homeland or go for a long journey. If you are one of these people, you should be aware that staying outside the USA for a long time without being aware of the consequences that may affect their right of permanent residence or the right to obtain citizenship.

The right of permanent residence in the US is a valuable privilege, which should be carefully guarded because under certain conditions it can be lost. This is due to two main reasons: when a resident left the United States as his main place of residence, he broke the law or in other way became an undesirable person. However, in this article, we are going to explain how long trips outside the USA can contribute to the loss of a green card. Do not worry, however; we are going to give you the answer to what you can do if it already happened. With ImmigrationPath you will get to know how to Replace Resident Card.


How long you can leave the USA

The most common reason for losing a green card is to leave the United States for too long.
  • Absence in the US for up to 6 months does not cause any consequences.
  • A trip for 6 to 12 months may cause questions at the border, and it is better to be prepared for it.
  •  An absence of more than 12 months may be equivalent to the abandonment of the United States to an immigration inspector, and also interrupts the continuity of residency
The green card gives you the right to enter the US, but only if you are absent for less than a year. If you are planning to stay abroad for a longer time, try to get the so-called white passport (travel document). If unexpected circumstances stopped you in your homeland for more than a year, get a visa for returning permanent residents in the American consulate.

Conclusion: a more than the 12-month absence of a permanent resident in the US exposes you to the loss of a green card and interrupts the continuity of stay necessary to obtain citizenship.


Intentions to stay outside the USA.

Staying longer than a year outside the US does not automatically cancel the green card; it is only a factor confirming the intentions of abandoning the status of an American permanent resident. The second factor is intentions when you leave the country and during your stay abroad.

When assessing intentions, the immigration office is guided by objective facts indicating the existence of a strong resident relationship with the United States. They can ask about: length of stay outside the US, the purpose of departure, facts showing a planned return to the USA, tax returns, other relationships with the US such as: ownership of real estate, bank accounts, credit cards, driving license, housing of close family members and place of employment.

Your intentions may also affect the decision of the immigration office to take away your permanent resident status if you have not exceeded the limit of one year outside of the US.


How can you Replace Resident Card?

We know that the perspective of losing residential status may seem petrifying, so in ImmigrationPath we are going to help you Replace Resident Card. All you need to do is completing the form I-90 that you can find on our website and go through the process that will ensure your Eligibility to stay in the USA. 


How to avoid trouble on the border

If you return to the US after a long absence, be ready to prove on the border the following issues:
  • A temporary reason for your departure, eg, holiday, illness, or death in the family.
  • Originally planned length of the trip, e.g., month (keep the air ticket as a proof).
  • Unexpected circumstances that have kept you abroad and an uninterrupted intention to return
  • Your uninterrupted ties with the United States.
Here are some examples of evidence of having ties with the USA: waiting job (you are on vacation or free vacation), family, regular tax returns, owning a flat or a house in the US, US driving license, bank account, credit card.

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