Atlantic City, NJ asked in Immigration Law for District of Columbia

Q: How long can I stay outside the US if I am a Green-card holder?

My husband and I have the Green card which we obtained in April 2017 and will expire in 2027. I cannot leave Jordan right now and live permanently in the US because I have a mother with Alzheimer's back home whom I'm taking care of. We came to the States in April 2017 and again in October 2017. Both times we stayed for two weeks each.

Do we have to come to the Unites States every six months or can we extend the period out of the US to one year?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Hector E. Quiroga
Hector E. Quiroga
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV

A: Any trip outside the US every six months is a break of continuous presence. In addition, you must show be physically present in the US for at least half of the 5 years prior to applying for citizenship.

Even if you obey these rules, you run the risk of losing your permanent residency by being gone so long. The question of where you are really living will come up, and if you maintain the pattern of six months out and two weeks in, at some point customs officials may not let you enter. If the US is where you ultimately want to be, you will need to make other arrangements. There are some options. We strongly recommend that you consult with an immigration attorney with regards to your circumstances.

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