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Duration a Green Card holder can remain outside US?

Duration a Green Card holder can remain outside US?

Old Jan 1st 2002, 8:07 am
  #1  
Not4uinga
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My mother is a New Zealand citizen who recently acuired her Green Card. She went back
to NZ on 2/10/01. Questions for all you gurus out there:

(a) how long can she remain outside the USA without jeopardizing her Green Card?

(b) what must she do to keep her green card status while living in NZ?

(c) She is thinking of flying into Hawaii before the 2/10/02 for a weekend just to
validate her passport. How long must she stay in the USA and what kind of legal
paperwork must she process while she is in Hawaii to revalidate her Green Card
before going back to NZ?

She would really like to maintain her US Permanent Residency status while living
outside the USA. Please advise!

Thanks in advance,

AJ
 
Old Jan 1st 2002, 11:18 am
  #2  
Maarten W.G. Andries
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1 Year.

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Come back within a year.

Maarten
 
Old Jan 1st 2002, 12:34 pm
  #3  
David R . Tucker
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With rare exceptions, you cannot maintain permanent resident status in the US and
reside somewhere else.

===

In general, to reenter the US as a permanent resident, you must:

1. Be lawfully admitted for permanent residence

2. Be returning to an unrelinquished US residence after a temporary absence abroad

3. Possess one of the following entry documents:

a) "Green Card" (meaning _unexpired_ permanent resident card, passport w/I-551
stamp, or I-94 with I-551 stamp), AND you have been out of the US for less
than one year

b) Valid Reentry Permit ("Permit to Reenter the United States", must be
applied for in the US (but you can leave before it's granted), maximum
validity 2 years)

c) Returning Resident Immigrant Visa (if you can't use (a) or (b), you can get one
of these, no matter how long you have been outside the US - IF you can prove
your residence is unrelinquished AND there was never a time you did not intend
to return to the US AND you have a good reason why you have remained outside
the US for so long).

That's it. That's the rule.

Note that the answer to a very frequently asked question - "How long can a permanent
resident stay outside the US" - is "there is no real maximum" - *IF* you can convince
a consular officer to issue you the visa mentioned in (c). But it can be a big "IF".

Notice also that, if you move abroad, you instantly relinquish your US residence. So
there is no "minimum" time it takes to lose PR status, either.

===

In your mother's case, since she "lives" in New Zealand (or so you say), she does not
meet requirement (2) and needs a new immigrant visa to come live in the US.

Now, there are people who think they can get away with returning to the US every 360
days, staying a day or two, and going back. I can see how some of them get away with
that sort of thing, because it's a pain in the neck for the INS to go through the
procedure to deny reentry. But I don't see how they do it without lying to
immigration officers about what they're doing abroad (i.e., living there
indefinitely). Since I can't advise you to do that, I can't advise you to play the
"touch and go" game. It's pretty risky, anyway; the INS could wind up nailing you at
a very inconvenient time.

===

Given that, I would say if your mother wants to retain her PR status she should
return to the US immediately and live here. She should certainly return before she
has been out of the US for a year. Then she'd probably want to go to the INS and get
her passport stamp renewed, if her actual PR card hasn't arrived yet.

If she wants the permanent right to enter and leave as she pleases, she will have to
live in the US until she can obtain US citizenship. She has apparently been out over
6 months, meaning that the 5-year clock has reset in her case.

If she wants to live in NZ, she will probably have to settle for visitor status when
she visits here.

--
David R. Tucker [email protected]

"I may be wrong, but I'm not Clearly Erroneous."

- Judge Hillman
 
Old Jan 2nd 2002, 6:35 am
  #4  
Joachim Feise
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"Maarten W.G. Andriessen" schrieb:
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[usenetquote2]> > My mother is a New Zealand citizen who recently acuired her Green Card.[/usenetquote2]
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[usenetquote2]> > went back to NZ on 2/10/01. Questions for all you gurus out there:[/usenetquote2]
[usenetquote2]> >[/usenetquote2]
[usenetquote2]> > (a) how long can she remain outside the USA without jeopardizing her Green Card?[/usenetquote2]
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[usenetquote2]> > (b) what must she do to keep her green card status while living in NZ?[/usenetquote2]
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A bit more: she has to remain a resident of the US. And she has to pay taxes as a
resident. Contrary to popular myth, traveling to the US once a year is *not* enough.

-Joe
 

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