Protecting U.S. Immigration Status

Any absence from the United States of 6 – 12 months raises a rebuttable presumption that an individual has abandoned Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status and may result in additional questioning from an immigration inspector at a port-of-entry. The presumption may be overcome by demonstrating maintenance of residence in the United States, filing taxes as a U.S. resident, working for a U.S. employer, maintaining a home, driver’s license, etc.

If an individual remains outside the U.S. for 12 months or longer, the green card is no longer a valid document for reentry, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may deem lawful permanent resident (LPR) status to be abandoned.

To avoid this outcome and instead maintain LPR status, individuals may want to consider obtaining a reentry permit.  The reentry permit is a travel document may allow the holder to remain outside of the U.S. for up to two years initially without losing LPR status. Subsequent re-entry permits are available.

The applicant must be physically present in the U.S. at the time the application is filed with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).  The applicant may travel abroad after filing, but will be required to attend a biometrics appointment in the U.S. following filing.

Please contact Hannah Little at [email protected] for further assistance.