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Situation:

The person is a green card holder and went to India was in India from Jan 21, 2022 to April 11, 2022 i.e. 80 days.

The person wants to go to India again from Nov 14, 2022 to February 28th, 2023 i.e. 106 days.

Question:

Are the 6 months of stay outside the US based on

  • a) a Calendar year i.e. Jan 1st - Dec 31st, or
  • b) the total time between the trips, or
  • c) something else

Regarding

(a): if this is the case, then the person would only stay outside the US for 80 + 47 days i.e. 127 days which makes it all good.

(b): if the calculation is done for the total time (because of intersection of dates), the total stay would be 80 + 106 days = 186 days that is over the 180 day limit.

(c): Not sure what other scenarios are there...

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1 Answer 1

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If you are a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), you may leave the United States multiple times and reenter, if you do not intend to stay outside the United States for 1 year or more.

This means a year of continuous absence. So you do not forfeit your permanent residency by being absent for less than a year. (There are some things you need to do if you are absent for more than six months but less than a year continuously)

If you intend to apply for citizenship then you will require Continuous Residence of five years prior to naturalization. An absence of six months continuously will break residence (with some exceptions). Multiple absences of less than six months are reviewed by an officer. The only determining factor is whether you have "maintained continuous residence".

If you believe this may be a problem you can make an Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes.

In any case you can begin a new period of continuous residence when you return.

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  • "you do not forfeit your permanent residency by being absent for less than a year": indeed, length of absence has little direct bearing on loss of LPR status. There are fact patterns that would support a finding of abandonment of permanent residence immediately on departure from the US and others that would not support a finding of abandonment after several years of absence. Such fact patterns are fairly unlikely, but it's theoretically possible. A time limit of six months determines how the LPR is processed at the border; time limits of 1 and 2 years control which documents may be used.
    – phoog
    Nov 10, 2022 at 0:31
  • "There are some things you need to do if you are absent for more than six months but less than a year continuously": what things are those? There's no need to acquire any special documents. The only thing that happens between six months and a year is that the LPR is considered an "applicant for admission" on return, whereas one who has been absent for less than six months is not considered an applicant for admission. So between six months and a year there can be more scrutiny at the border, but there's nothing specific that one needs to do because of this.
    – phoog
    Nov 10, 2022 at 0:40
  • (and in fact one can be an applicant for admission after less than six months if one has abandoned or relinquished LPR status or has committed certain crimes or "engaged in illegal activity" and in certain other circumstances.)
    – phoog
    Nov 10, 2022 at 1:00
  • @phoog I would be fine if you wrote your own answer. I didn't want to get into too much details about naturalization because I assumed the OP was asking mainly about losing their PR status. Nov 11, 2022 at 16:47

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