San Rafael, CA asked in Immigration Law for California

Q: How many days of the year do you have to be in the country to retain your green card?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Monica E Rottermann
Monica E Rottermann
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Santa Ana, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: A lawful permanent resident should not be outside of the United States for 6 months or longer in a single trip, or they could risk abandoning their status.

In terms of applying for naturalization, an applicant needs to establish that they have been continuously present in the United States and have the required physical presence for the past five years (or three years if based on marriage to a U.S. citizen).

For continuous presence, a trip of 6 months may break presence unless the applicant can overcome the presumption. A trip of 1 year automatically breaks presence.

For physical presence, an applicant must establish that they have been physically present in the United States for at least half of the last 5 years (913 days).

You can read more about the requirements for naturalization here:

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