Absence from the U.S.: Permanent Residence: Scholars: Office of International Services: Indiana University (2023)

Absences from the U.S. for permanent residents

If you are a legal permanent resident, you are expected to live in the United States. You can still travel abroad and spend extended periods outside the country, but you may need to take steps to establish the trip as a temporary absence.

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Eligibility for U.S. citizenship

Eligibility for U.S. citizenship after permanent residence requires that you live in the United States for five continuous years, or three continuous years if you obtained permanent residence based on marriage to a U.S. citizen. If you are abroad for more than 365 days, this requirement starts over.

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Here is an example: You are married to a U.S. citizen, so your requirement is three years. You live here for one year without leaving the country. Then you spend 13 months abroad. When you return, you must live here for three more years before you are eligible to become a U.S. citizen.

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What happens if you file green card abandonment? ›

Green Card Abandonment Consequences

Upon abandoning your LPR status, you will lose all benefits and privileges afforded to you by your green card. You will not be allowed to have any documentation regarding your residence and you will not be able to apply for a permanent resident student loan.

How long can I be out of the US with a green card? ›

Absences of more than 365 consecutive days

You must apply for a re-entry permit (Form I-131) before you leave the United States, or your permanent residence status will be considered abandoned. A re-entry permit enables you to be abroad for up to two years. Apply for a re-entry permit.

What happens if I stay more than 6 months outside US? ›

An absence from the United States for a continuous period of 1 year or more (365 days or more) during the period for which continuous residence is required will automatically break the continuity of residence.

How long can you live outside the US without losing citizenship? ›

How Long Can A U.S Citizen Stay Outside The United States? If you aren't a U.S Citizen by birth and you seek and get U.S Citizenship, US immigration law assumes you are planning to live in the US permanently. Staying outside the U.S for over a year can result in loss of permanent resident status.

Can I return to U.S. after abandoning green card? ›

Abandoning your Permanent Resident Card and status does not affect your ability to apply to immigrate to the United States at some future time. However, you will have to begin the process anew and apply through the usual application process.

Can I enter U.S. after abandoning green card? ›

4. After you give up the Green Card and permanent residence status, you must apply for an appropriate visa or use Visa Waiver to enter the U.S. again. 5. Like all other foreign nationals, every time you want to come to the U.S., you will need to have a valid visa or be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program.

What happens if I stay more than 1 year outside US with green card? ›

If you stay outside of the United States for 1 year or more and did not apply for a reentry permit before you left, you may be considered to have abandoned your permanent resident status. If this happens, you may be referred to appear before an immigration judge to decide whether or not you have abandoned your status.

Can you be deported if you have a green card? ›

Even someone with a green card (lawful permanent residence) can, upon committing certain acts or crimes, become deportable from the United States and removed.

What is the 4 year 1 day rule for U.S. citizenship? ›

The 4 year 1 day rule mostly works as follows. Once you've broken continuous residency, a new period will begin to run on the first day you return to the U.S. Form the day you must stay in the U.S. for a minimum of 4 years and 1 day before you can apply for naturalization again.

How do I maintain U.S. residency while living abroad? ›

8 Steps to Maintaining Permanent U.S. Residence While Residing...
  1. Maintain and use U.S. savings and checking bank accounts. ...
  2. Maintain a U.S. address. ...
  3. Obtain a U.S. driver's license. ...
  4. Obtain a credit card from a U.S. institution. ...
  5. File U.S. income tax returns.

Can you lose U.S. citizenship living abroad? ›

No Longer Can One Lose U.S. Citizenship By Living in Another Country. At this time, no penalties exist if a naturalized U.S. citizen simply goes to live in another country. This is a distinct benefit of U.S. citizenship, since green card holders can have their status taken away for "abandoning" their U.S. residence.

What are the 3 ways a U.S. citizen can lose their citizenship? ›

Exceptions, or Actions That Can Cause Someone to Lose Naturalized U.S. Citizenship
  • Becoming a naturalized citizen of another country after age 18. ...
  • Joining the military of a foreign state. ...
  • Joining the government of a foreign state. ...
  • Performing some act to intentionally give up U.S. citizenship.

Can I get my U.S. citizenship back if I renounce it? ›

Renunciation of U.S. citizenship is final and irrevocable. You lose citizenship for the rest of your lifetime. There are no temporary renunciations or options to re-acquire U.S. citizenship. Once you renounce, you can never resume your citizenship.

What is the only way a person can lose U.S. citizenship? ›

You might lose your U.S. citizenship in specific cases, including if you: Run for public office in a foreign country (under certain conditions) Enter military service in a foreign country (under certain conditions) Apply for citizenship in a foreign country with the intention of giving up U.S. citizenship.

How do I reinstate my permanent resident status? ›

Your application to reinstate your green card is filed at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest to your current location abroad. You will be interviewed to determine that you are not inadmissible on health grounds or in criminal cases.

How long does it take to reinstate a green card? ›

Green Card Renewal Processing Time

Once U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives your renewal form, you can expect to wait 1.5–12 months for it to be processed.

Can a 10 year green card be revoked? ›

The physical green card must be renewed every 10 years (similar to a drivers license), but the individual's status is permanent. Having your green card revoked is actually quite difficult but not impossible. A green card may be revoked based on numerous grounds including: fraud, criminal activity and/or abandonment.

What is considered abandonment of green card? ›

The abandonment of a green card may arise when someone attempts to enter the U.S. after residing outside of the country for more than six months since becoming a permanent resident. Extended overseas travel or a long vacation can be considered “abandonment” of your green card and result in removal proceedings.

How can I regain my green card? ›

To replace a lost, stolen, or damaged green card, you need to fill out Form I-90 (officially called the “Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card”), provide supporting documentation, and, if required, pay a filing fee.

Can I stay more than 6 months outside US without green card? ›

As we explained above, the 6-month rule is one of the elements to show you have not abandoned your LPR status. If you are outside of the U.S. for more than 180 days (6 months) in a year, you could be regarded as having abandoned your LPR status. It isn't only consecutive days that count towards the 6-month rule.

Can I return to USA if I overstayed my visa? ›

If you overstay by 180 days or more (but less than one year), after you depart the U.S. you will be barred from reentering for three years. If you overstay by one year or more, after you depart the U.S., you will be barred from reentering the U.S. for ten years.

What is the six month rule for green card? ›

As a general rule, permanent residents should avoid any trips abroad of 6 months or longer. If you travel for over 6 months (but less than a year) at one time, USCIS will automatically presume that you've broken your continuous residence requirement for the purposes of naturalization.

What is the most common reason for deportation? ›

Some of the most common reasons for deportation are: An individual violates the terms of their immigration status (green card, nonimmigrant visa, etc.) An individual was inadmissible at the time where they entered the country or adjusted their status.

What offenses are deportable for permanent residents? ›

Any alien who at any time after admission is convicted of a crime of domestic violence, a crime of stalking, or a crime of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment is deportable.

Can you come back to the US if you get deported? ›

Once you have been deported, the United States government will bar you from returning for five, ten, or 20 years, or even permanently. Generally speaking, most deportees carry a 10-year ban. The exact length of time depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding your deportation.

Does it take 5 years to become a U.S. citizen? ›

In general, you may qualify for naturalization if you are at least 18 years old and have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years (or 3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen) and meet all other eligibility requirements.

Can I apply for U.S. citizenship after 3 years of green card? ›

You may file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, 90 calendar days before you complete your continuous residence requirement if your eligibility for naturalization is based upon being a: Permanent resident for at least 5 years; or. Permanent resident for at least 3 years if you are married to a US citizen.

How many years do you need to hold a green card before citizenship? ›

To become a U.S. citizen, you must: Have had a Permanent Resident (Green) Card for at least five years, or for at least three years if you're filing as the spouse of a U.S. citizen.

Can I renew my green card if I live in another country? ›

First, it's important to understand that green card renewal from outside the U.S. is not an option. You'll need to be physically inside the United States to renew a green card.

Does America allow dual citizenship? ›

Short answer: yes, the U.S. allows dual citizenship. U.S. law does not mention dual nationality specifically nor it requires a person to choose one nationality only. A U.S. citizen may naturalize in another country without any risk to his or her U.S. citizenship.

How much does it cost to lose your U.S. citizenship? ›

The State Department charges a flat fee for renouncing US citizenship, which is currently $2,350. Depending on your tax status, you may also have to pay additional taxes when renouncing your citizenship. With Greenback, you'll never be surprised by your tax prep fees.

Can a US born citizen be deported? ›

Immigration law is rarely cut-and-dry, but in this case the answer is clear. A US citizen—whether he or she is born in the United States or becomes a naturalized citizen—cannot be deported. When a US citizen commits a crime, due process and punishment (if convicted) takes place within the American legal system.

How long does it take to lose U.S. citizenship? ›

Your citizenship could be revoked if, within 10 years of naturalization, you refused to testify before a U.S. congressional committee investigating your involvement in an allegedly subversive act. Subversive acts include trying to harm U.S. officials or overthrow the government.

Is it worth giving up U.S. citizenship? ›

Aside from reducing the monetary burden of taxation, renouncing will also reduce the filing burden that all US citizens face. You will no longer have to file a US tax return, fill out Form 5471 for foreign companies, or report your foreign bank accounts with the FBAR form.

Do you get deported if you renounce citizenship? ›

If you are denaturalized, there is a chance that you will not be deported. You may just return to the same lawful permanent resident status (LPR) that you held before gaining citizenship. However, if the reason for your removal of citizenship is also grounds for deportation, then you will be deported.

How many U.S. citizens renounce their citizenship? ›

There were 235 renunciants in 2008, between 731 and 743 in 2009, and about 1485 in 2010; In 2011, there were 1781 renunciants. A total of 2,999 Americans renounced their citizenship in 2012–2013; in 2014, 3415 have renounced their USA citizenship or long term residency.

Can you live in the US after renouncing citizenship? ›

Myth 6: You Can Never Return to the US After you Renounce

Although you may still enter the US if you renounce your citizenship, you'll likely need to get a visa. However, this law really hasn't been successfully implemented.

How long can you be out of the U.S. without losing your citizenship? ›

Remaining outside the United States for more than one year may result in a loss of Lawful Permanent Resident status.

Who gets denied U.S. citizenship? ›

It's possible to be denied U.S. citizenship and go right back to being a permanent resident, with a green card. Common examples include when someone: fails the English exam or the U.S. government and history exam. cannot show having been continuously resident in the U.S. for the requisite number of years.

Can you fail U.S. citizenship? ›

F. Failure to Meet the English or Civics Requirements

If an applicant fails any portion of the English test, the civics test, or all tests during the initial naturalization examination, USCIS reschedules the applicant to appear for a second examination between 60 and 90 days after the initial examination.

How do I file for abandonment green card? ›

Mail Form I-407 to the Eastern Form Center. In very rare circumstances, a USCIS international field office or U.S. embassy or U.S. consulate without a USCIS international field office may allow you to submit a Form I-407 in person if you need immediate proof that you have abandoned your LPR status.

How do I cancel someone's green card? ›

You can easily cancel the green card of a spouse before it is approved by reversing the I-130 with a signed, notarized letter. If the green card has been approved, then the petitioner must contact the National Visa Center.

How do I get my green card back after being deported? ›

Following deportation, a foreign national would need to file Form I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal. This lets you ask USCIS for permission to submit an application to re-enter the United States.

What to do if your green card is missing? ›

If you need to replace or renew a Green Card (I-551) that has been lost, stolen or is expired, please call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 or visit USCIS.gov.

Can you be deported as a green card holder? ›

Even someone with a green card (lawful permanent residence) can, upon committing certain acts or crimes, become deportable from the United States and removed.

Can green card be revoked after divorce? ›

If you divorce and you have a permanent green card, there is typically no impact to the renewal process. When it comes time to renew your green card, you simply file Form I-90 (officially called “Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card”).

Is it hard to remove conditions on green card? ›

The removal process is generally straightforward. First, you must correctly fill out and file Form I-751 and all the relevant evidence to support your application. You must file the form within the period that applies to your situation, usually 90 days before your conditional green card expires.

Is it easy to revoke green card? ›

Revoking a Green Card

Having your green card revoked is actually quite difficult but not impossible. A green card may be revoked based on numerous grounds including: fraud, criminal activity and/or abandonment.


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