Permanent residents are often advised to ensure that they're spending a majority of their time actually in the US, meaning more than 6 months out of every 12 month period, and while longer absences may be allowed, they may result in a finding of abandonment.

Are there situations where an LPR who has spent more than 6 months in the US during every 12 month period was nevertheless found to have abandoned their residence in the US, and was removed from the US for this reason?

  • I can certainly think of fact patterns that would lead a judge to find that someone as you describe had abandoned residence in the US, but I don't know whether it has ever happened.
    – phoog
    Dec 13, 2020 at 22:17

1 Answer 1


I don't have the full answer, but I'll point out to two relevant elements I'm aware of.

Element 1: https://lawandborder.com/guide-to-reentry-permits/#14_If_CBP_Has_Warned_That_You_Are_at_Risk_of_Abandonment:

The officer may notice that you have been abroad for a significant period of time and advise you that you a non-temporary trip abroad will lead to abandonment of your LPR status. The officer may place a stamp that looks like this in your passport:

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An LPR friend of mine stayed outside the US for 5.5 months in a covid-safe country and upon reentry they got questioned on why they stayed so long outside the US. I assume that if you reply that you're just in the US for keeping the green card and that your house, kids, partner, job, etc. are in your home country, you might lose the LPR.

Element 2: Note that a stay of fewer than six months can disrupt the continuity of residence from the naturalization process standpoint (N400), as mentioned in https://www.ilrc.org/sites/default/files/resources/travel_abroad_-_natz_eligibility_and_abandonment.pdf:

Disrupting Continuous Residence – Travel Abroad for Six Months or Less When looking at any trips taken abroad, immigration officers will assess the length of time persons were outside of the United States during the five- or three-year requirement to determine whether a person has disrupted their continuous residence.8 The statute and regulations are silent on what happens if persons are absent from the United States for six months or less during the required period. Generally, an absence from the United States for six months or less at one time will not cause one to be ineligible for naturalization. However, USCIS’ Policy Manual states that USCIS officers can review whether an applicant with multiple trips of less than six months has become ineligible for naturalization due to breaking the continuous residence requirement. The ILRC is aware of a naturalization denial because a person was absent from the United States for six months or less, but it is not common. Essentially, the USCIS rationale for such a denial is that the applicant may not be able to establish that their actual dwelling place was in the United States during the absence(s) in question and thus disrupted their residence in the United States.


  • 1
    I would just underscore that the passport notation is a red flag leading to closer scrutiny. There is no length of time outside the US that automatically leads to abandonment of residence in the US.
    – phoog
    Dec 13, 2020 at 22:18

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