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.
Originally Posted by octopus
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.
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.
No, it must be actively maintained.
C) Can simply be green card put on hold?
*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 at 12:06 PM.
PD: Jan 2003 (EB3 rest of world)
I-485 Approved: July 2007
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.