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Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Old Feb 17th 2014, 7:07 pm
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Default Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Can anyone let me know the chances of keeping my US 10yr permanent resident card valid in the UK? I'm sure I read somewhere a while ago that in reality it will be treated as abandoned after a short time living abroad. Is that true?

Or a link to previous threads on this subject would be handy. I did a search but nothing specific came up for me (using my search terms anyway).

thanks
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Old Feb 17th 2014, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

If you are returning to the UK to live, then you are into the abandoning your US resident status arena. If you are going back for an extended visit, then apply for a reentry permit. http://www.uscis.gov/i-131
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Old Feb 17th 2014, 7:15 pm
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Thanks for that. We are intending to leave for good, but nothing in life is certain. It would have been nice to keep the option open, but I doubted it would be possible.

My wife had two years max to live abroad before her UK residency was revoked, and that seems fair. Pity the US doesn't do the same
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Old Feb 17th 2014, 7:54 pm
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Originally Posted by guitarmaan View Post

My wife had two years max to live abroad before her UK residency was revoked, and that seems fair. Pity the US doesn't do the same
If you file the I-131 that I think gives you a max of 24 months out of the US. But you would have to be returning to stay. US and UK both do not allow flying visits to keep status.

One good reason most of us get citizenship, or USC spouse gets UK citizenship before they leave there. Come and go as you please then.
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Old Feb 17th 2014, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Originally Posted by guitarmaan View Post
Thanks for that. We are intending to leave for good, but nothing in life is certain. It would have been nice to keep the option open, but I doubted it would be possible.

My wife had two years max to live abroad before her UK residency was revoked, and that seems fair. Pity the US doesn't do the same
Are you eligible for US citizenship? If so, this can be obtained in about 6 months so if you are not leaving immediately then something to think about.

You can come and go as you please then.
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Old Feb 17th 2014, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

I've only been in the US about two years, so no citizenship for me. I suppose if we wanted to return I'd just go through the same process all over again.
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Old Feb 17th 2014, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Originally Posted by guitarmaan View Post
I've only been in the US about two years, so no citizenship for me. I suppose if we wanted to return I'd just go through the same process all over again.
Annecdotally I have heard from a reliable source (to the extent that I know it is somewhat documented) of someone who reportedly has kept his green card "alive" with annual trips to the US .... for 17 years!
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Old Feb 17th 2014, 11:45 pm
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Annecdotally I have heard from a reliable source (to the extent that I know it is somewhat documented) of someone who reportedly has kept his green card "alive" with annual trips to the US .... for 17 years!
Obviously his stay in the US each year must be significant and not just a two week holiday. I heard that you can do it but you have to be present in the US for a specific amount of time each year.
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Old Feb 17th 2014, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Originally Posted by lgabriel73 View Post
Obviously his stay in the US each year must be significant and not just a two week holiday. I heard that you can do it but you have to be present in the US for a specific amount of time each year.
No, only a few days, perhaps a week tops. I know it sounds bizarre, but I have every reason to believe it to be true. I wish I could say more, but I am uncomfortable doing so. ..... What I can say is that he is employed full time in an office job outside the US, so extended trips to the the US would not be possible for him.

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 17th 2014 at 11:53 pm.
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Old Feb 18th 2014, 12:04 am
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Originally Posted by lgabriel73 View Post
Obviously his stay in the US each year must be significant and not just a two week holiday. I heard that you can do it but you have to be present in the US for a specific amount of time each year.
There are TWO things a person must normally do to keep permanent resident status:

1. Maintain a U.S. "residence" (howsoever defined); AND
2. Not let each single trip outside the U.S. exceed 12 months (can be extended to 2 years with a re-entry permit).

An observation. Many people on forums like this take a narrow, literal interpretation of the law without making any allowance for nuances of interpretation, enforcement (or lack thereof), processing culture etc.

Many people can and do succeed in keeping green cards active for many years. Important to file U.S. tax returns of course. After that, it's highly fact dependent and mileage can be variable.
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Old Feb 18th 2014, 12:57 am
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
There are TWO things a person must normally do to keep permanent resident status:

1. Maintain a U.S. "residence" (howsoever defined); AND
2. Not let each single trip outside the U.S. exceed 12 months (can be extended to 2 years with a re-entry permit).

An observation. Many people on forums like this take a narrow, literal interpretation of the law without making any allowance for nuances of interpretation, enforcement (or lack thereof), processing culture etc.

Many people can and do succeed in keeping green cards active for many years. Important to file U.S. tax returns of course. After that, it's highly fact dependent and mileage can be variable.
You didn't post the whole requirement though:

Remain outside of the United States for more than 1 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 United States may be considered, even if less than 1 year
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Old Feb 18th 2014, 1:41 am
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Originally Posted by lgabriel73 View Post
Remain outside of the United States for more than 1 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 United States may be considered, even if less than 1 year
I repeat the post made:

There are TWO things a person must normally do to keep permanent resident status:

1. Maintain a U.S. "residence" (howsoever defined); AND
2. Not let each single trip outside the U.S. exceed 12 months (can be extended to 2 years with a re-entry permit).


It should be quite clear that "2" on its own isn't sufficient. BOTH "1" and "2" must be complied with.
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Old Feb 18th 2014, 1:46 am
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

My post included the full regulation as per the USCIS. Absences even under a year can be seen as abandonment. Maybe read the full regs before jumping on people.
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Old Feb 18th 2014, 1:59 am
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

Originally Posted by lgabriel73 View Post
My post included the full regulation as per the USCIS. Absences even under a year can be seen as abandonment. Maybe read the full regs before jumping on people.
Sigh.

Nothing I said suggests otherwise. Although "can be" is much more subjective than "will be".
And it's usually enforced by CBP, or State Department - not really USCIS, most of the time, at least not in first instance.
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Old Feb 18th 2014, 2:06 am
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Default Re: Leaving the USA... possible to keep permanent resident card alive?

sorry if I think its important to let people know what ALL the possibilities are. Yes there are many people that get away with it but for each person that does another one doesn't. Better to give people the FULL information so they can make their own informed decision about whether they want to risk it or not.
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