Alice is a green card holder. After a 5-month international travel, she is trying to re-enter US using her green card. However, at the passport control, the USCIS officer decides (based on some evidences) that she has abandoned her permanent residence. So what will be the worst consequence for her in this situation? Could she be put in custody? Could she be denied entry and forced to fly out of US immediately?
1 Answer from Attorneys
A U.S. Legal Permanent Resident is not required to obtain a re-entry permit if they will be outside the U.S. less than 6 months. If this set of events has already occurred, I would recommend retaining experienced counsel & fighting the matter in immigration court. She should not be taken into custody & she should not sign anything relinquishing her U.S. Permanent Residency. She could be denied entry, however, she could return abroad & address the issue at the U.S. Consulate.
If this scenario is just a hypothetical, then do yourself a favor & just apply for a re-entry permit now!
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