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Extended Absences for Lawful Permanent Residents

For lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the United States, extended absences from the country can pose significant risks to maintaining their residency status. While there is no fixed period that definitively results in abandonment, absences exceeding 180 days can trigger scrutiny. The key consideration is whether the LPR intended to maintain their U.S. residency.


Key Factors in Determining Abandonment


The determination of whether an LPR has abandoned their residency include:


  • Intent at Departure: Whether the LPR intended to return to the U.S. when they left.

  • Duration and Frequency of Absences: Continuous absence of over one year presumes abandonment unless rebutted.

  • Employment Abroad: Working for a U.S. employer abroad is generally not seen as abandonment, but other foreign employment can be problematic.

  • U.S. Ties: Evidence such as property ownership, tax payments, family residing in the U.S., and community involvement.

  • Documentation: Maintaining U.S. bank accounts, club memberships, and other social ties.


Reentry Permits and Documentation


LPRs anticipating extended absences should obtain a reentry permit (Form I-327) before leaving. This permit, valid for up to two years, helps preserve their residency status. Documentation proving the intent to maintain U.S. residency is crucial, including:


  • Proof of temporary absence due to unavoidable circumstances (e.g., illness, family emergencies).

  • Evidence of continued ties to the U.S. (e.g., mortgage payments, employment with a U.S. company).


Legal Procedures and Advisory


LPRs returning after a prolonged absence may be questioned by Customs and Border Protection. They should carry documentation supporting their intent to maintain residency.If abandonment is determined, LPRs can still pursue re-immigration through family sponsorship or other means. 


Maintaining LPR status during extended absences requires careful planning, documentation, and legal compliance. LPRs should consult with an immigration attorney to assess their specific circumstances and assist with necessary forms and procedures. For professional assistance, contact Tran Flores Law to ensure all requirements are met and residency status is preserved effectively.


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