What Can I Do to Keep My Green Card?

green card U.S.

Obtaining your green card is half the battle, and keeping it is the other half. In other words, it is important that you act accordingly so that you do not lose the United States citizenship that you worked so hard to achieve. Continue reading to learn what you can do to keep your green card and how an experienced green card lawyer in Milwaukee, WI at Sesini Law Group, S.C., can help you in doing so.

What should I do to keep my green card?

As a green card holder, you have the ability to travel outside of the U.S. However, the first thing you should do to avoid losing your green card is to remain in the U.S. for as long as possible. While there is no official rule for how long you can leave the U.S. without having your green card revoked, you must nonetheless demonstrate that you have every intention of being a permanent resident in this country. Otherwise, it may be concluded by immigration officials that you abandoned your permanent resident status.

With that being said, you can demonstrate your desire to remain a permanent resident in this country in the following ways:

  • You should avoid leaving the U.S. for at least one year after receiving your green card.
  • You should apply for a reentry permit if you plan to leave the U.S. for more than one year.
  • You should maintain U.S. family and community ties when you leave for more than one year.
  • You should file your U.S. income taxes as a resident when you leave for more than one year.
  • You should reenter the U.S. within at most six months of leaving.

Should I apply for a reentry permit?

If you are leaving the U.S., you will need to present your passport from your country of citizenship and your refugee travel document. You will need to verse yourself in the entry and exit requirements of the country you are traveling to, as well.

And if you anticipate that you will be outside of the U.S. for more than a year, then you should submit a reentry permit to the United States Citizenship Immigration Services. This permit is important because it will allow you to stay outside of the U.S. for up to two years. What’s more, it may serve as an entry document upon your return. Importantly, you should apply for a reentry permit before you leave the U.S.

In addition, upon reentering the U.S., you will need to present the following documents:

  • Your valid, unexpired green card (i.e., Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card).
  • Your passport.
  • Your foreign national identification card or your U.S. driver’s license.

For additional advice, do not hesitate in reaching out to a skilled family immigration lawyer in Milwaukee, WI today.

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