Travel Documents, Application to Preserve Residency, Abandonment of residency and the Continuance of Residence

If a Permanent Resident is out of U.S. continuously for more than one year, DHS takes the position that residency has been abandoned. The criteria in determining whether a LPR abandons his residency include purpose of departure, existence of fixed termination date for visit abroad, and objective intention to return to U.S. as place of permanent employment or actual home.

When a Permanent Resident seeks to be out of U.S. for more than one year, he must apply for a re-entry permit (Form I-131). However, possession of re-entry permit does not prevent DHS from inquiring as to whether holder abandoned his residency. It simply prevents the DHS from relying solely on the duration of the holder’s absence as a basis to determine abandonment.

When applying for citizenship, one must show a continuous resident subsequent to LPR status. An absence between 6 months and 1 year raises a rebuttable presumption that continuity of residence has been interrupted. With certain statutory exemptions, an absence of 1 year or more shall disrupt the continuity of residence.

Employees who work for the U.S. government, an American research institute, a U.S. firm engaged in the development of foreign trade and commerce, or a public international organization of which the U.S. is a member can file form N-470 to preserve their residency for naturalization purpose. N-470 is not a re-entry permit.