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Can GC be put on hold?

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  • Can GC be put on hold?

    My friend has had his green card for over 10 years. For his personal reasons, he doesnt want to become US citizen. He got his GC trought an employer. He told me that he wanted to go live to Asia for, maybe, 5 years. After that time, he may eventually return to the United States to live.

    A) We all know that an absence of more than 1 or two years means revocation of the green card. Besides getting the citizenship, what options does he have?

    B) If he surrenders his GC now voluntarily, can he get it again in the future more easily? I think U.S. government might be lenient with people who at some point possessed the GC.

    C) Can simply be green card put on hold?

    I find this question very interesting.

  • #2
    Originally posted by octopus View Post
    A) We all know that an absence of more than 1 or two years means revocation of the green card. Besides getting the citizenship, what options does he have?
    Is he married to a US citizen or does he have a US citizen child who will be 21 or older in the next 5 years? Or does he work for US corporation or US government agency? If not, there really aren't any good** options for him to live outside the US for 5 years and expect to return ... unless he becomes a US citizen before leaving.

    B) If he surrenders his GC now voluntarily, can he get it again in the future more easily? I think U.S. government might be lenient with people who at some point possessed the GC.
    Having a green card before won't make it easier* to get a new one. He would be treated just like people who are applying for the first time -- he will have to face the same eligibility requirements as first-time applicants and go through the same process and same waiting period as people in the same family-based or employment-based category.

    C) Can simply be green card put on hold?
    No, it must be actively maintained.


    *there is one thing that makes it a bit easier -- if he's worked and paid taxes in the US long enough to accumulate 10 years of Social Security credits, the I-864 for his new green card application will be waived. However, it's not the prior green card that makes it easier, it's the working for 10 years. He would also be eligible for that waiver if he had worked and paid Social Security taxes for 10 years without obtaining a green card.

    **of course, there are some not-so-good options like trying to immigrate again via a new employer, or win the DV lottery, or keep visiting the US once or twice a year for 5 years and hope that the immigration officer's don't notice -- but I don't think you're referring to those long-shot scenarios, you're asking about simple ways to keep the green card or re-immigrate.
    Last edited by Jackolantern; 25th March 2012, 12:06 PM.

    EB3 ROW I-485 Approved: July 2007
    USC: July 2013
    I am a layman, not a lawyer. What I write here is not official or professional legal advice. In addition, my answers on this forum are specific to the scenarios discussed in each thread and should not be generalized to other situations.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by octopus View Post
      My friend has had his green card for over 10 years. For his personal reasons, he doesnt want to become US citizen. He got his GC trought an employer. He told me that he wanted to go live to Asia for, maybe, 5 years. After that time, he may eventually return to the United States to live.

      A) We all know that an absence of more than 1 or two years means revocation of the green card. Besides getting the citizenship, what options does he have?

      B) If he surrenders his GC now voluntarily, can he get it again in the future more easily? I think U.S. government might be lenient with people who at some point possessed the GC.

      C) Can simply be green card put on hold?

      I find this question very interesting.
      An LPR may apply for a reentry permit (REP) by filing form I-131. The LPR must be inside the U.S. to apply and wait around for the application to actually be received and accepted by USCIS. Most will wait around for fingerprinting (some go abroad and return for that--a big pointless expense if you ask me). BUT the actual REP may be delivered to a USCIS Office or Consulate abroad for pick up. The first REP is issued for two-years. A second one can be issued for another two-year period, however, the LPR must return to the U.S. to re-apply and wait around (or come back again) for fingerprinting while the actual REP may again be delivered to a USCIS Office or Consulate abroad for pick up. A third REP is applied for in the same manner but could be denied OR limited to only one year.

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      • #4
        Thank you very much guys for making this question clear!

        Unfortunately my friend is not married to a U.S. citizen, so there would be no possibility to reapply again if needed.

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