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Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
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I am a us permanent resident since 2009, i have my greencard

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I am a us permanent resident since 2009, i have my greencard valid for 10 years. I left the USA in Dec 2012 to come to Canada, as I am a Canadian Citizen. How long can i legally remain outside the USA as a Permanent Resident with out losing my Greencard?
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Unfortunately, the answer is not as easy as one single time frame. Did you leave with a re-entry permit?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


No I did not reneter since Dec 2012

Walter,

I am asking you if you got a Re-Entry permit from the USCIS before you left. Not if you re-entered.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


no i never got a renerty permit because i didnt know i was leaving for that long, because my temporary job in canada that I was going for in canada was going to take longer.

Walter,

Thanks for the clarification. 

Note, that at any time, the USCIS can question an alien's intentions as to is permanent resident status, and can request that the alien provide proof that he never intended to abandon his status as a permanent resident.

Now, generally, an permanent resident who leaves the US for 1 year or more, without a re-entry permit issued by the USCIS, is subject to automatic termination of his permanent resident status, by operation of law.

An alien who leaves the US for 6 months, but less than a year, raises a rebuttable presumption against him that he intended to abandon his status, and may be required to show that he did not intend to abandon his permanent resident status, and provide proof of the same.

So make sure you return before you have been outside of the US for 1 year or more. And be prepared for the possibility of being asked why you left for so long, and to show that you never intended to abandon your status by providing proof of strong ties to the US, even while you were away for an extended period of time.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

waht permit can i apply for if i want to leave for more then one year? Can i get a commuter greencard?

Walter,

You can apply for a Re-Entry permit, but you can't request that from outside of the US. You will have to return and apply for it here in the US. You mgiht apply for a communter gren card, but that' sfor those people who live in another country and work in the US opn a daily basis. It doesn't sound like that's what you are doing.

Note that working in Canada is a strong indication that you intended to abandon your green card. I would be very careful about this.

I hope I have answered your questions. If you need more help, please use the reply button to continue our conversation. If you do not require further assistance, kindly rate my satisfactory customer service (not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control) with a top-three rating, as this is the only way I receive credit for assisting you.

A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you want me to answer questions in the future, just go to Ask Expert James an Immigration Question! and make sure you write "FOR JAMES" in the subject or at the beginning of your question. This is the only way to ensure that I will assist you.

Thank you!
Expert James and other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you

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