Woodbridge, VA asked in Immigration Law for Virginia

Q: With GC, you can travel outside the country not longer than 6 months,1 year. Is it per one trip or total trips combined?

Can you please explain? Seems like you can have multiple short trips outside, and supposed to be physically present at least half year per year. Is it per calendar year? If I travelled this year for 4 months already can I leave and January 1 the count will renew for the next year?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Agnes Jury
Agnes Jury
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Traverse City, MI

A: It is not clear from your question whether your concern is with abandoning Permanent Residency or being eligible for Naturalization/Citizenship. With respect to abandoning PR, USCIS reviews multiple factors when assessing whether an applicant objectively intended to abandon his or her LPR status, including: 1) Length of absence from the United States; 2) Purpose of travel outside the United States; 3) Intent to return to the United States as an LPR; and 4) Continued ties to the United States.

See: https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-12-part-d-chapter-2#:~:text=Abandonment%20of%20Lawful%20Permanent%20Residence,is%20not%20eligible%20for%20naturalization.&text=Abandonment%20of%20LPR%20status%20occurs,after%20departing%20the%20United%20States.

With respect to Naturalization, extended absences outside of the U.S. may disrupt an applicant’s continuous residence that is required to be eligible to apply for citizenship. Absences of more than six months but less than one year may disrupt an applicant’s continuous residence unless the applicant can prove otherwise. Absences in excess of one year or more may disrupt an applicant’s continuous residence. See: https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/continuous-residence-and-physical-presence-requirements-for-naturalization

Best wishes!

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