Is this enough to keep a green card?

I would be most grateful if you could possibly answer the following questions regarding US permanent residence. Thank you

Traveled to Spain 8/20 after I resigned from my job at the University of California San Francisco. I'm now in Spain to convalesce, will return to US (to my sister's home - who is a US citizen) in 5 months for a week or 2, then return to Spain, is this enough to keep my Green Card? Is there a minimum time that has to be spent in US after having been abroad for 5 months?

I moved out of my SF address and will use my sister's address in PA as my address in the US. Who do I need to notify about my address change?
-(USCIS)? what about:
the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)?
the U.S. Department of State (DOS)?
the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)?

For AR-11 change of address online, it asks about "The date when you last entered the United States". What does this mean? Before flying to Spain on 8/20/2011 I visited the same country, for vacation, a year ago, is this what they need in this question?

Does my employment status affect GC? I.e. when I return in 5 months to my sister's PA address, I will not have a job. Does this affect my permanent resident status?

What do I do re taxes?

Thank you so much in advance for your help.



Phil's picture

Abandonment of Residency Issues

Thank you for posting this question. Generally speaking trips outside of the U.S. of less than 12 months will not result in the loss of lawful permanent residency status but this is not a firm rule and depends on the facts of each case. However, in most cases a flag is not raised unless you have been outside of the U.S. for a year or more or have taken multiple trips outside the U.S. for long periods of time and only remained in the U.S. for a short period of time. Whether or not you are employed in the U.S. and have a permanent residence in the U.S. are also relevant. In your case it really depends on what you plan to do long term and when you ultimately plan to return to the U.S.

Anytime you change your address you must notify the USCIS.

Sir, many thanks for your

Sir, many thanks for your time.

I plan to return to the US in 5 months, but will stay there 2 weeks, then return to Europe again. Will this be a problem? Upon return to the US after 5 months, is there a time requirement one is expected to stay in the US before returning to Europe for another 5 months?

I'm ultimately wanting to live in the US permanently.

Thanks again

Phil's picture

Risks of Abandoning Lawful Permanent Residency

There is no bright line rule on this but if you have been in Spain for a while and then return to the U.S., stay for just a few weeks and then return to Europe and stay for any length of time you could run the risk of a finding that your residency was abandoned. You really should be cautious about this if you plan to retain your residency.

If you'd like me to help you figure out a plan that works for you and would help ensure you don't lose your residency send me an email and we can talk about what I can do to help.

Other Immigration Resources

NewsLetter Sign-up

Subscribe to our immigration law newsletter today and receive important updates about U.S. immigration law and information about great new resources we offer.