How long can I stay outside of the US with a green card?

I have about the Green Card. How long can you be outside the US with a green card? If you are outside the US for almost a year, will my green card disqualify? Will it also disqualify if I go back for the allotted time but kept leaving the US? For example, I left to another country but I return to America for a period and return back, is that acceptable? Also, are there any special rules for people who are under 18 who left the country and kept returning like explained earlier? What if someone was a minor when they left the US but is 18 when returning back? I was told that if a minor leaves, they could be held longer period of time outside America even if they were to turn the age of an adult. By the way, how old will an adult be in this situation, would it go by the US age of an adult or the other country’s adult age?

Asked on April 29, 2016 under Immigration Law, Indiana


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A green card holder is a person who has intent to permanently reside in the US.  That means he/she cannot spend more than 6 months outside the US without possibly jeopardizing one's status.  If one does need to be outside the US for an extended period of time, one should apply for a reentry permit prior to departing the US.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.