When you receive a Green Card, you become a U.S. resident; a legal permanent resident of the United States, and not a tourist or temporary resident. Accordingly, you must live, work and pay taxes in the United States. By observing these requirements, after a certain time you will be able to apply for U.S. citizenship, if you have violated them you risk losing your status as a Green Card holder.
If you are a Green Card holder and plan to obtain U.S. citizenship in the future, then you should follow the following requirements:
- You must be in the U.S. for at least 180 days a year;
- To apply for citizenship, you need to live in the U.S. for at least 30 months in the last 5 years.
Thus, if you have not been in the U.S. for more than a year, this is equivalent to automatically losing your Green Card, your status in the U.S. If you have not been in the U.S. for more than 6 months, but less than a year, then at the point of crossing the U.S. border, you will need to prove to the officer that you are permanently resident in the U.S., justifying your long absence. If you have not been in the U.S. for less than 6 months a year, then you probably will not have problems with returning to the U.S.
What is Re-entry Permit and how to get it?
If you have the status of a permanent resident of the United States, you are a Green Card holder, then to maintain your status you should follow certain rules. One of the frequent reasons for the loss of permanent resident status in the United States is the long absence from the United States. Such an action may be regarded by the immigration service as a waiver of permanent residence in the United States. After the attack on September 11.2001 emigration officers at border crossings began to check more closely people with permanent resident status for their continued absence in the U.S.
As a rule, a reentry permit is necessary for Green Card holders, who plan to leave the United States for a period from one to two years, without losing their status.
Re-entry Permit is usually issued for a period of 2 years, but sometimes they are issued for 1 year only. By receiving this document, you informing the immigration service that you are a Permanent Resident of the United States and plan to reside in the U.S. and beyond, but for certain reasons, you need to be absent from the country for a long time.
If the period of your Re-entry Permit has expired, you can not extend it, but you can apply for a new Re-entry Permit. However, there may be exceptions, for example, you are a student of a foreign university and you need to finish your studies.