As a green card holder, one can't stay outside the country for more than 180 days. I'm trying to learn to count the days correctly.

>= 180 Days: A risk of being considered as an abandoner. 
>= 360 Days: Considered abandoner. 

Is my arithmetic below correct? For example, I boarded the flight on Dec 31, 2021, to exit the country.

The count starts from Jan 1, 2022. Is this a correct assumption?

Jan 2022 - 31 Days
Feb 2022 - 28 Days 
Mar 2022 - 31 Days
Apr 2022 - 30 Days
May 2022 - 31 Days
Jun 2022 - 30 Days (Total 181 Days by end of June)

Ok -> I should land in the US on Jun 28 and satisfy the condition < 180 days.

Not Ok -> If I land on Jun 29 or later.

P.S. In real life, I'll attempt to be on the safe side by returning much earlier, just trying to get my Math right here using this edge case.

  • "As a green card holder, one can't stay outside the country for more than 180 days.": That is incorrect. After 180 days, one is considered an applicant for admission, but that mostly just means that there may be additional scrutiny at the border. Even if you remain outside the US for more than one year, there is no automatic determination of abandonment based on the duration of absence. You can't use your green card to enter the US after being absent for more than a year, but that is not the same thing as abandonment.
    – phoog
    Dec 23, 2021 at 2:50
  • Noted, and thanks for the corrections. Besides, that is my counting for the number of days, correct?
    – Source
    Dec 23, 2021 at 4:17
  • I'm not sure. It's entirely possible that they count differently for different purposes. For counting absence from the US in determining eligibility for naturalization, you only count days during which you are never inside the US, so leaving on December 31 and returning on January 2 is one day of absence. Whether they count this way for determining whether you are an applicant for admission, I do not know. The consequences of exceeding 180 days are pretty minimal, so they probably haven't been in a situation where they had to be so precise about it.
    – phoog
    Dec 23, 2021 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


Days when you're in the US are, well, days when you're in the US. They don't count as absence.

As for abandonment... Just staying out of the US for 181 days once is probably not going to put you at risk if you have evidence of ties to the US and a good reason for staying outside for so long. You don't even have to ask for REP unless you plan to spend a whole year out of the country.

It will, however, reset your citizenship eligibility clock.

On the flip side, if you come to the US for a week every 179 days - even though you won't technically be absent for more than 180 days, the CBP may determine that you've abandoned your status and deny entry at some point.

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