In today’s political climate, immigrants face many obstacles — obstacles that other Kentucky residents rarely stumble upon. Among these challenges lie the urgent questions surrounding green cards: how long are they effective? Does one need to reside in the country a certain amount of time to receive one? Do they expire? The following examines today’s green card regulations, as well as some approaches to help make the process a smoother one.
The website of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection outlines general laws surrounding green cards, noting specifically that lawful permanent residents may leave the country multiple times and re-enter without issues. However, the timeframe for this regulation is one year. Anyone who leaves the U.S. for a year or more must apply for a re-entry permit. Applicants may apply for re-entry through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service; they must also complete this form prior to leaving the country. Those who remain outside of the U.S. longer than the permit’s issue may be denied entry upon return.
Attempting re-entry into the U.S. after a permit has expired can certainly present many speed bumps. Forbes warns readers of violating a permit, stating that the intention of the green card holder is paramount to their re-entry. According to Forbes, border officials generally ask those returning to the U.S. where they live, how long they were away and the purpose of the trip altogether. Although there may be many steps to this process, officials usually allow re-entry to green card holders who comply with the law and have proof of travels and documents. Forbes concludes the piece by advising permanent residents to always file U.S. tax returns, to never allow a green card to expire, to own property in the U.S. and to have a job in the country. There are many other preventative steps one can take to avoid hassles down the road when it comes to green cards and re-entry into the U.S.