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Summer Travel: Is it Safe?

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on July 24, 2011

Vacation and travel season is upon us once again, and while U.S.citizens may think about their physical safety going abroad, U.S. Green card holder (permanent residents who are not citizens) may be worried about a different kind of safety.

For Green card holders, there are issues that can affect their permanent residence status and any application for citizenship.

First, if a permanent resident stays outside of theU.S.for more than 180 days, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) will presume that they have abandoned their Green card status here.

Second, if a permanent resident spends too much time out of the country, they risk losing or delaying their ability to apply for U.S.citizenship. You need to be present in this country for more than half of the minimum five-year residence period that is a prerequisite to filing a naturalization application.

Of course, a return to trip to the U.S.could also prove difficult if you travel with any outstanding criminal warrants or convictions, but that could also be true of U.S. citizens in some cases (depending on the terms of any outstanding warrants or parole, etc).

If you need to be a frequent traveler for business or family reasons, it might be wise to apply for a permit to re-enter the U.S. before you leave.

If you are an individual with an immigration law concern pertinent to you or your family, please feel free to call our offices for an appointment at (847) 564-0712 or check out the pertinent section of our Website for more information.