For how much time can a green card holder travel outside the US? 5 Answers as of June 20, 2011My mom is a permanent resident of USA. She is 63 years old, and lives in Bulgaria with my dad and the entire family. My sister and I are US citizens, married and live in the US. My mom received her green card recently. My question is: is there a minimum of time my mom needs to stay in the US to maintain her green card status? Our immigration lawyer said she needs to enter US every six months. Is this true? I also called USCIS, and all they said was that my mom shouldn't stay out of USA for more then a year, or she'll need a permit-document. My mom can stay in the US for six months, but entering exactly every six months would be very inconvenient. So which one is true: should she enter USA every six months, should she stay in the US six months per year, or is it OK for her to just come visit?
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
If her primary time will be spent overseas I recommend she file a Reentry Permit to have more flexibility on having to return. You need to be very careful that she doesn't inadvertently abandon her green card that you worked so hard to obtain. This is a factual determination on her ties to the U.S. - is she filing U.S. tax returns, does she have a domicile in the U.S., bank account in the U.S. etc.
Answer Applies to: California
Law Offices of Caro Kinsella | Caro Kinsella, Esq.
If she files a re-entry permit while inside the U.S. then she is permitted to stay outside the U.S. for up to 2 years. Otherwise, permitted to stay outside the U.S. for up to 180 days without abandonment issues arising.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law | Theresa E. Tilton
If your mother is not intending for the USA to be her permanent residence, she should give up her green card. If she stays outside of the USA for more than six months at a time, or if she stays out of the USA for six months of every year, she is in danger of losing the green card. If she is really a tourist, she should be using a tourist visa, not a green card.
Answer Applies to: Washington