if I have a green card and have been out of the US for 11 months because my mom is gravely ill, do I need to come back before it’s 1 year?

UPDATED: Apr 17, 2013

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if I have a green card and have been out of the US for 11 months because my mom is gravely ill, do I need to come back before it’s 1 year?

After living for 2 years in the US under asylum, I obtained my green card 18 months ago. Since receiving the green card I was in the US for 6 months when I found out that my mother is gravely ill (not in my home country). I have been taking care of her for the past 11 months as I am her only daughter. I don’t want to lose my green card but do I need to return to the US before it becomes 12 months? My life is in the US, but because of the extreme circumstances I really need to be with my mother for now, isn’t there a way to let the US government know of my special situation?

Asked on April 17, 2013 under Immigration Law, New York


Harun Kazmi / Kazmi and Sakata Attorneys at Law

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may voluntarily give up your US residency if yo do not return in 12 months. However, you can obtain and get it back as a "Returning Resident" by applying tot he Embassy and showing the extenuating circumstances on why you stayed out for a year.  It is best for you to come back and apply for a "re-entry" permit, which allows you to stay out for 2 years. However, you must file in the US and stay about a month for your biometrics appointment.

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