What do Green Card Holders Need to Know?
Such problems arise primarily for those who have been continuously outside the USA for a year or more. Or if you go abroad permanently – for six months to a year. In this case, you may be referred to the immigration office. Where you will have to prove that your connection to America is in fact strong and reliable. Proof of this can be many facts. For example, you have real estate in the U.S., your family lives here, you study or work in America, and you file your taxes on time. It is also a good idea to submit your U.S. driving licence, credit cards and personal bank statements from American banks, insurance policies – in short, all documents that show that you are inextricably linked to America. If you are not successful in convincing immigration officials of this, you are likely to be stripped of your Green Card.
The Green Card is also a travel document that allows you to leave and return to the United States. However, if you need to stay outside the U.S. for more than a year for some reason, you must obtain a special return permit before you travel. To do this, go to the Northern Regional Immigration Center, no matter which region of the United States you live in. You must complete the application form (Form I-131) and pay the $70 fee. Do it at least one month before you plan to leave. If you are going abroad for some time – to rest, travel, or see your relatives – you do not need to apply for any additional permits. But we want to emphasize that it is better to come back not later than in six months. Otherwise, there will be reproaches, hints, suspicions…
The last, but perhaps the most important concern for you is not to violate American laws – criminal, tax, or any other – under any circumstances. If you end up behind bars after a hectic time, you will surely lose your Green Card once you have served your time.
Of course, it is almost impossible to understand all the intricacies of US immigration law at once, but you should know the basics and be prepared for it.