Alexus Paul Sham - Immigration Law Made Simple
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Maintaining Status as a Legal Permanent Resident

There appears to be a myth that  many foreign nationals believe about being a green card holder.  A common fact pattern is that a green card holder thinks that it is okay to enter the United States every 5 months for a few weeks and maintain status.

The reality is that if a foreign national is living less than 6 months a year, there is a presumption that the foreign national has abandoned the green card.  Being a permanent resident means that  the green card holder is in the United States. Evidence of residence includes  tax returns filed in the United States, employment in the United States and utility bills or bank statements in the United States.

If it is absolutely necessary for the green card holder to be outside of the United States for more than 6 months, it is necessary to file for a re-entry permit. This application must be filed in the United States before the foreign national leaves the United States. If the green card holder fails to apply for this permit there will be the presumption of abandonment of the status and can lead to removal proceedings.  


Alexus P. Sham [email protected] (281)  296-5770. The above information is only general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

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