I am a green card holder, I left the United States on January 3rd, 2020 @ 4:00 PM Houston time. I want to return to the States on July 1st, 2020 @ 8:00 PM. Will I be within the 180 days or not?

Possible combination:

  1. leaving day in, arrival day in it will be 179 days.
  2. leaving day in, arrival day out it will be 180 days.
  3. leaving day out, arrival day in it will be 180 days.
  4. leaving day out, arrival day out it will be 181 days.

If the answer is 180 days, will that be acceptable or will it be considered as having overstayed outside the States?

  • 3
    Can you give a reference for rules about 180 days for returning Green Card holders? Commented May 22, 2020 at 14:13
  • 2
    Being absent for more than 180 consecutive days changes your legal status at the border: if you've been away for a shorter time you're not considered to be an applicant for admission (8 USC 1101(a)(13)(C)(ii)).law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1101
    – Sam
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 14:32
  • 3
    Rather than trying to resolve this uncertainly, consider avoiding the issue by returning to the US earlier, for example, on June 25. Commented May 22, 2020 at 20:44
  • 2
    @DJClayworth the consequences of remaining outside the US for more than 180 days are not for the most part particularly serious.
    – phoog
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 16:12
  • 2
    @DavidSupportsMonica what of it? Being an "applicant for admission" may require a little more time at the border than otherwise, but it shouldn't cause much trouble in and of itself.
    – phoog
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


USCIS > Policy Manual > Volume 12 - Citizenship and Naturalization > Part D - General Naturalization Requirements > Chapter 4 - Physical Presence (mirror) (thanks to user102008 for pointing to it) states:

USCIS will count the day that an applicant departs from the United States and the day he or she returns as days of physical presence within the United States for naturalization purposes.

[3]: 3. USCIS will only count residence in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on or after November 28, 2009, as time counted for physical presence within the United States for naturalization purposes.

I'm not 100% sure this also applies to the 180-rule from the LII U.S. Code Title 8. ALIENS AND NATIONALITY Chapter 12. IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY Subchapter I. GENERAL PROVISIONS Section 1101. Definitions (mirror) that you mentioned though, but I'm hoping the USCIS counts days outside similarly for green-card-related rules.

  • Assuming we're counting integral days, which is probably a good assumption, any day with even one second of presence in the US is not a day of absence. Therefore, the day of departure should not count. But at the border, the returning LPR is probably not yet "present" for this purpose. I suspect therefore that the LPR must be considered an applicant for admission on the 181st day after departure, not counting the day of departure. But, once the LPR is admitted, that day does count as a day of presence for naturalization, so the duration of the absence decreases by a day.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 14:42

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