What happens if someone stays outside of the US after their alien card expires? 7 Answers as of June 21, 2013

What happens if he stayed outside the USA for more than 365 days and his alien card expires?

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Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
Depends on the facts of the case and why he stayed away more than a year, did he continue to pay U.S. taxes and maintain other contacts with the U.S. There is an option for a Returning Resident Permit in some cases. Or he may need to re-file for permanent residency.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office | Jack C. Sung
Most likely the alien card is considered revoked already. Immigration law says that if you have a green card and live outside of the US for more than one year, your green card is presumptively abandoned. Green card holders are required to reside permanently in the United States, and if you do not live in the US then you may have effectively abandoned your green card.

The person must explore other options to get the green card back, for example, if s/he is married to a US citizen or have US citizen children above the age of 21, a new petition can be submitted to get the green card back.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/17/2011
Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC
Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC | Kirk A. Carter
One who has been outside the US for more than 365 consecutive days is presumed to have abandoned their residency whether their card is valid or has expired. Having an expired card just makes matters worse. When an individual returns after such a long absence, with a valid card or an expired card, they will be put in secondary inspection and questioned about their actions and their intent to determine whether they were properly maintaining residency in the US and whether they in fact intended to relinquish residency in the US. There are a number of factors that would suggest that a person has abandoned their residency - an extended absence is just one of them. Employment abroad, family abroad, the lack of contacts here in the US, such as an apartment, bank accounts, family, etc. , the failure to file US resident tax returns, are just some of the others considered. Factors that might help to overcome the presumption of abandonment might include: an extended illness, involuntary military conscription, family tragedy or commitments, foreign studies, arrest, detention, inability to leave the country, etc. If a decision cannot be made at the conclusion of secondary inspection the individual may be admitted under "deferred inspection" which requires that he return to continue the inspection bringing back with him or her additional documentation to detail his argument that his residence has not been abandoned. Alternatively, he or she might be placed in exclusion proceedings and be required to appear before a judge and present his case for why he should not be denied admission into the US, it being understood that he or she has not yet been legally admitted. The law of abandonment is a complex area of the law where it is critical that you consult a qualified immigration attorney, preferably one who belongs to AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, a group of professional attorneys who specialized in immigration law.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 1/17/2011
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
Generally, if an LPR remains outside the U.S. for more than 1 years they are considered to have abandoned their LPR status unless they obtained a Re-entry Permit before leaving or they can prove that unforeseen events prevented them from returning. If their Green Card is expired, then they will have to obtain a SB-1 visa from the U.S. Consulate in their home country. However, if the consulate believes that they abandoned their Green Card, they will not issue the visa.

This is the type of matter that you should schedule an consultation with an immigrant attorney to discuss since the issue of abandonment involves many factors.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/17/2011
Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A.
Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A. | Carlos Sandoval
This person is going to have to obtain a permit to enter the United States, and show that he did not intend to abandon his residence.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/17/2011
    Calderón Seguin PLC
    Calderón Seguin PLC | Ofelia L. Calderon
    Technically speaking, staying outside the U.S. for more than one year means a person has abandoned their permanent residence. You can try to apply for a renewal using form I-90, and then if the greencard is issued, the person can try to re-enter the U.S. and argue here that he or she has not abandoned their residence. Generally, you need a valid greencard to re-enter.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
    What alien card are you referring to?
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/21/2013
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