Green CardGreen Card

Immigrant Visas or Green Cards grant Legal Permanent Residence in the U.S.  The Green Card holder may work in the United States, but also has obligations.  If the Green Card holder remains outside of the United States for extended periods of time and/or departs the U.S. for a period of more than one year without applying for and receiving a Re-Entry permit, he or she will be deemed to have abandoned their Legal Permanent Residence in the U.S. and this is despite the fact that the date of validity on the Green Card may appear to be valid for several more years.

In essence, Legal Permanent Residence is a Status and the Green Card is evidence of the Status in so far as the Green Card holder maintains his or her actual residence in the U.S., or has a very good reason for remaining an extended period of time abroad.  Actual residence is usually proved by where a person physically resides, where the person’s immediate family is located, where the person works, maintains accounts, etc,

Reinstating Legal Permanent Residence (Green Card) may be possible under certain circumstances.  You should consult an Immigration Attorney if you think that your Green Card may no longer be valid or if you have been questioned on a previous visit to the United States and you believe that you may be denied entry on a future visit.

In some cases, Legal Permanent Residency may be granted conditionally as in the case of spouses of U.S. Citizens who have been married for less than two years at the time that they became permanent residents or in the case of Entrepreneur Investment Visas.

All Green Card holders are presumed to be Permanent Residents of the U.S., however this presumption is rebuttable and if the Permanent Resident does not take steps to show his or her intent to reside permanently in the United States, he or she may be deemed to have abandoned the Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card) status, and they may be asked to surrender their Green Card.  You should consult an Immigration Attorney if you think that you may have a problem reentering the United States with your Green Card.

 See also Frequently Asked Questions


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