Allowable time outside of US for LPR

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There are several articles/explanations on how much time an LPR can spend outside of the US on a given visit. Some say less than 6 months, some say less than 1 year etc. It is also more of how much time outside versus how much time they have to stay at a minimum in the US. As usual.. so many opinions. I had some questions based on the reentry permit conditions for the stay :

1. A person is required to file a REP if they expect to be outside of the US for more than 1 year. Does that indirectly mean that one can stay outside of the US for more than 6 months and less than 1 year? and LPR status is intact?

2.  On reading the naturalization eligibility, there are specific cases for outside of US between 6-12 months and above 12 months with possible exceptions etc.

So if you combined # 1 and # 2,  Can the LPR spend time outside of US between 6-11 months and not risk status with the downside only being the eligibility for naturalization keeps in getting extended/pushed/reset?


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Any stay abroad by a PR less than 6 months presents no issues.

Any stay more than 6 months and less than one year leads to a rebuttable presumption of loss of PR. 

Any stay over one year without a Reentry permit leads to a loss of the PR.

As to how you rebut their presumption after a visit of 6 months to ONE year abroad, look at the link.

Chapter 3 - Continuous Residence | USCIS

Avoid all hassles by getting a Reentry permit for visits more than 6 months abroad.

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There are 3 different issues: documentary requirements of re-entry, abandonment of residence, and continuous residence for naturalization.

The documentary requirements for re-entry are pretty clear. A green card is sufficient for an absence of less than 1 year. A valid re-entry permit is sufficient. An immigrant visa (including returning resident visa) is sufficient.

However, abandonment of residence is a subjective determination that looks at many factors, not just the length of absence or what documents you have. Someone who meets the documentary requirements for re-entry (e.g. someone with a green card after an absence of less than 1 year, or someone with a valid re-entry permit) might be determined to have abandoned residence. In extreme cases, I believe that it is possible to find that someone abandoned residence even if their absences were less than 6 months. So to answer your question, there is no length of absence that has absolutely no "risk" to status.

Conversely, not meeting the documentary requirements for re-entry does not mean you have abandoned residence. A green card holder returning from an absence of more than 1 year without a valid re-entry permit or returning resident visa failed to meet the documentary requirements for re-entry, but this failure can be waived by the immigration officer or immigration judge if they determine that the person did not abandon residence. Basically, with abandonment of residence, there are no absolute guarantees that someone who has been absent a certain length of time has or has not abandoned residence. The longer the absence, the higher the chance of being found to have abandoned residence, but it's all a matter of degree.

Continuous residence for naturalization has its own set of rules. An absence of less than 6 months does not interrupt continuous residence. An absence of between 6 months and 1 year creates a rebuttable presumption that you interrupted continuous residence. Whether your evidence is sufficient to rebut the presumption is a subjective determination by the officer. An absence of more than 1 year definitely interrupts continuous residence (except people who worked for US government or research organizations abroad who filed N-470), but how long you have to wait after your return depends on whether you (again, subjectively) have enough evidence to rebut the presumption of interrupting continuous residence during your last year of absence. Of course, the prerequisite for all of this is that you did not abandon residence, because if you abandoned residence, you are no longer a permanent resident, and you cannot naturalize.

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