A question we get all the time is: “how do I keep my Green Card? It was really hard to get, I want to make sure I am not going to lose it”. Is the answer a) Return to the United States once a year? Is it b) Make sure that you are here every six months? Or is it that that lawyerly answer, c) It depends! Well, it really does depend. If you want to apply for citizenship then you need to make sure that no one trip is over six months. If you are not applying for citizenship you still need to make sure that your trip is not over one year, so that you can re-enter on your green card alone. However, if you were to do
that year after year, chances are CBP is going to question you at some point. “What is your intent? Do you really intend to permanently reside in the United States?” And that is what it all hinges on: your intent. How do you show that intent? Having strong ties to the US, like a permanent address, paying your taxes on your worldwide income, US-based employment, and continuing finances in the US are all good ways to show intent.