Immigrants seeking official, permanent residency in the United States must apply for a Green Card. With this document, foreign nationals can validate their status for ten years.
During this period of time, foreigners have the possibility to travel outside the limits of the national territory. However, these citizens may not be away from the country for twelve months or more than one year.
Green card holders have no difficulty traveling to other countries for less than 12 months. But it is important to keep in mind that the Green Card may be nearing its final expiration date.
In case the stay in other regions of the planet is prolonged and exceeds one year, then a return authorization must be requested. This application must be submitted to one of the entities of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The form authorizing the return
Departures to other lands of the world can be made as many times as the immigrant deems appropriate. It is also imperative that these individuals remember that the USCIS has the power to cancel the residency process if the laws are not complied with.
Prior to each trip, the interested parties will demand the Form I-131 that USCIS officials will require upon return. This permit is valid for 24 months and does not have extra deadlines.
This means that at the slightest oversight, the immigrant would lose the opportunity to return to the United States. The authorities would review and revoke the alien's right to legal residence on U.S. soil.
The government agency responsible for addressing these issues is the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Among other functions of CBP are combating drug trafficking, terrorism and preventing human smuggling.
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