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Guillermo Senmartin
Guillermo Senmartin, Attorney At Law
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 135890
Experience:  Over 12+ years of experience in various areas of U.S. Law and 15+ years of experience in U.S. Immigration Law..
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With the change of President, are there any changes to the

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Hi, With the change of President, are there any changes to the Green card rule of losing residency if you have been out of the US for more than 6 months?
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any paperwork with the UK government? What country do you live in? What is your citizenship?
Customer: I hold a green card but have been out for almost 12 months.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about the green card?
Customer: Not about this problem no.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I first entered in May 2020, to activate the Green card, left came back in six months, left again until now. I have filed tax with the IRS.

Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. If I do not respond quickly, I promise I will reply as soon as I can. It may take a little time to research and write your answer, I could be helping other customers, or I could be attending to personal clients as I have my law practice.

There has been no change. Anyone that is a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and is outside of the U.S. for 180 days or more within any 12 months (not necessarily a calendar year) creates a rebuttable presumption of abandonment of residency. Rebutting the presumption is possible by submitting evidence to the contrary, such as filing U.S. taxes, maintaining a home in the U.S. and paying that mortgage or rent, maintaining a U.S. driver's license, U.S. bank accounts with significant movement, etc.

Someone that has been outside of the U.S. for more than one year without first having an approved re-entry permit has abandoned their residency, and only in very few exceptions (such as serious illness) can they get it back.

Here is an official link:

That may become a problem in a trip back into the U.S. when applying to renew the residency card or applying for U.S. Citizenship.

So basically, you need to spend more time in the U.S. than outside of the U.S. If that will not be possible, at least at the beginning, you can apply for a Re-Entry Permit on form I-131. That will allow you to be outside of the U.S. for up to 2 years. You can use it for multiple trips. If you need more time, you come back before the two years ends, and then you can apply for one more Re-Entry Permit for two more years. If you still need more time, you can apply again, but after four years, they get harder and harder to get and often only grant them for one year at a time. At some point, you will need to start living in the U.S. and spending more than 180 days per 12 months inside. Here is a link to the I-131:

What else may I answer for you?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Is there anyway to know before traveling to US whether I will be allowed in or not? Like a pre-approval?

Under "normal" circumstances, if you come back after six months but before a year of being outside of the U.S., the CBP Officer often gives you a warning not to stay out so long anymore. They will inform you to get a Re-Entry Permit (on form I-131) before leaving the U.S.

If you end up staying outside of the U.S. for longer than one year, then you can apply for an SB-1 Returning Resident visa, and here is a link:

Now that being said, these aren't "normal" circumstances, so probably they will be even more understanding than usual, which is a good thing. I believe immigration will come out with something to help, but even if they do not, the SB-1 is the solution.

Just check the following links daily for updates:

What else would you like to know?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
At this point I am just under 12 months, what do you think the chances are? Also, if I am denied entry will I be deported or will I still be able to enter on a tourist visa (ESTA)?

You should have a good chance if you come back like NOW. Don't wait until after 12 months. If you do, then you are probably looking at having to get an SB-1 visa. What other U.S. Immigration Law questions do you have for me?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
That's all I have to ask you. Thank you.

You are very welcome. Thank you for being a valued customer. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – but that does NOT mean we finished if you need to continue. If you feel you have received anything less than quality service or have additional questions, please reply. I am happy to address 1 or 2 follow-up questions for you. There is no additional charge for that. For any different cases in the future, please post a NEW session and remember to use FOR GUILLERMO in the subject line and message box so that no one else grabs the question. That way, I can become your exclusive immigration consultant.

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