Do you lose your immigration status if you leave the United States?

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2022 | US Immigration Law

You want to stay in the United States long-term, but you’re in the process of applying for a green card right now. You would like to go home and visit your family back in your original country.

What you’re worried about is that leaving the United States is going to hinder your change of status. Are you going to be denied entry when you get back? Are you going to lose your status entirely? You don’t want a simple trip home to ruin everything that you’ve been working toward for so long.

Long-term travel is usually the problem

The USCIS does note that you can face severe consequences if you are in the process of getting a green card and you travel outside of the US. It is incredibly important that you get the right documentation in advance so that you make sure you will be admitted back into the country when you return. You also want to make sure that leaving is not going to qualify as abandoning your application. Both of these situations could make it impossible for you to proceed.

That being said, the problem often comes with those who leave the United States for an extended period of time, such as more than a year. If you’re just traveling home for a week, you can usually get the right paperwork so that you can visit your family and come back to the United States. If you leave for 12 months and then try to come back and pick up where you left off, however, you may be unable to do so.

As such, it is very important to exercise caution whenever you’re leaving the country. You also need to know exactly what legal steps you can take to protect your status and your future.