If someone is a U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder), and they need to spend a year or more outside the United States, they would be wise to get a travel document called a Re-Entry Permit for their return. But there are situations that a re-entry permit is needed in addition to the permanent resident card.
A re-entry permit can help avoid two types of problems:
- The permanent resident card becomes technically invalid for re-entry into the United States if the person is absent from the U.S. for one year or more.
- The permanent resident status may be considered as abandoned for absences shorter than one year if one takes up residence in another country.
After traveling abroad, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at a U.S. port of entry will need to determine if travel was “temporary” in nature. To be temporary, one must have had the intention to return to the United States at the time of departure and throughout the entire trip.