Long-term Overseas Stay of Permanent Residents

There are many permanent residents who are staying abroad for a long time for personal reasons. To make matters worse, an increasing number of permanent residents are concerned about maintaining their permanent residency due to the coronavirus pandemic. We have summarized the issues facing these long-term overseas permanent residents.

– Is it a problem if a permanent resident does not return to the United States within 180 days of traveling abroad?

If you have traveled overseas for more than 180 days at a time, you will become an applicant for entry when you enter the country, just like a visitor or student visa holder. You should be able to explain why you stayed abroad for a long time when the CBP agent asks you a question when you enter the country. However, if you can explain the reason why you had no choice but to stay abroad for more than 180 days, there is no problem with entry.

– What happens if a permanent resident stays abroad for more than one year?

If a permanent resident stays abroad for more than one year, the permanent resident card is deemed to lose its effect. However, the permanent resident status does not automatically disappear, and it is presumed that the permanent resident has been given up. Even if the period of stay abroad has exceeded one year, entry is possible if the CBP immigration officer convinces the CBP immigration officer that this long-term stay occurred due to unavoidable circumstances and that the overseas trip was ‘temporary’.

– What determines that a permanent resident’s overseas travel was temporary?

When traveling abroad, you should have a clear itinerary. If you are traveling abroad without a clear schedule, your intention to return should be clear. The burden of proving that the permanent resident’s stay abroad was not temporary rests with the government claiming that the permanent resident has relinquished his or her permanent resident status.

-Is it possible to maintain permanent residency if I live abroad and enter the United States every 6 months?

There are several cases where permanent residency is maintained in this way. However, staying abroad and re-entering the U.S. within six months does not mean that you can maintain your permanent resident status. This is because whether or not you gave up your permanent residency is judged based on the overall facts.

– Can a CBP immigration officer deprive a permanent resident of his/her permanent residence at the airport when he/she returns from abroad?

First, even if the permanent resident stays abroad for more than one year, the CBP agent can grant entry without taking this into account. When entering the country, it may be helpful to show your tax return, proof of employment in the US, and documents related to US property. Even if the CBP immigration officer forces you to give up your permanent residence, if you want to keep your permanent residence, you only need to express your intention to maintain your permanent residence. During this process, you must not sign the Voluntary Resignation of Permanent Residence (I-407). When you sign I-407, you declare your intention to renounce your permanent residency. When the CBP immigration officer turns the case on to an immigration trial, the immigration judge will determine the nature of the overseas travel based on the testimony and the submitted evidence.

-Will the long-term overseas travel of permanent residents adversely affect their later citizenship application?

After November 2020, if there was a long-term overseas trip of 180 days or more during the citizenship screening process, the regulation was changed to explain that the overseas trip was temporary at the time. This is a process that has never been done before. A long time ago overseas trip was re-explained at the citizenship application stage, and even this could result in the citizenship application being dismissed and being sent to a deportation trial.

-What should I do if I lose my permanent residency while traveling abroad?

You must obtain a boarding permit. To get a boarding permit, you must first fill out the I-131A form and pay the filing fee.

MI Asian Staff
Author: MI Asian Staff