A Boutique Immigration Law Firm Serving the Bay Area

What Are the Reasons for Losing Your Green Card?

A very common reason for losing permanent residency (i.e. your green card) is remaining outside the U.S. for a long period of time. Staying outside the U.S. for more than 6 months could raise questions upon your return. Generally, though, you may be found to have abandoned your residency if you have been absent from the U.S. for 1 year or more. If you know you will be out of the U.S. for 1 or more years, then you should apply for a Re-Entry Permit.

A Re-Entry Permit is a travel document issued by USCIS to permanent residents who need to reside outside the U.S. for an extended period of time, but who intend to return to the U.S. to resume their residency. Re-Entry Permits can be issued for as long as 24 months with subsequent extensions possible. Even with a Re-Entry Permit, you should still maintain close ties to the U.S., such as by maintaining active bank accounts and filing taxes. Note, however, that a Re-Entry Permit does not preserve residency for Naturalization purposes.