Green Card holder who lived outside of the U.S. more than a year lost his Permanent Resident Status
You are a Green Card holder and for the future planning to get the U.S. passport and become the U.S. citizen, then you are no allowed to relax, always remember:
- Do not leave the U.S. for more than 180 days a year;
- At least 30 months for the last 5 years you must live in the U.S. if you intend to obtain the U.S. passport and become a citizen of that country.
Thus, having lived more than a year outside the U.S., it is equivalent to losing of the Green Card holder status. If you were outside the U.S. for more than 6 months, but at the same time less than a year, then when you cross the U.S. border, you will prove to the officer that you are a U.S. permanent resident, arguing for a long absence. If you were absent in the U.S. for less than 6 months a year, then problems with the return should not arise.
Once, my neighbor left the U.S. and unexpectedly across the established staying lines for 6 months, since there were not foreseen family circumstances. His brother who was seriously injured after the car accident needed care, and since the mother was not healthy, to ensure carring for almost immobilized adult man was properly, he had to stay. Since he did not plan to leave the U.S. for more than 6 months, he naturally did not apply for the Re-entry Permit.
Upon his return to the United States, were prepared all certificates because of his brother’s illness, as arguments for being forced to stay outside the U.S., but despite the fact that all documents were ready, the officer reserved the right to decide. And who knows what was the reason to refuse, the fact of the conditions violation of the Green Card holder or the fact that he considered that an elderly and not quite healthy woman could take care of a brother.
Green Card is confirmation that you are the U.S. resident. This card needs to be changed every ten years, but this is only if you are not going to apply for U.S. citizenship and undergo the Naturalization Process of the United States.