EB-5 investors who comply with all United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations can obtain permanent resident status for themselves and their families. Once an EB-5 investor is granted a green card, they can live and work in the United States permanently. These permanent residents are allowed to travel abroad, but they must be able to show clearly their intent to return to the U.S. Their travel frequency is not as relevant as the total time they spend abroad.
Permanent residents who travel abroad can show their intent to return to the U.S. in several ways. For instance, USCIS will examine factors such as the resident’s business ties, driver’s license, financial activity, family connections, travel history, and owned property to determine whether they truly intend to return to the U.S. and live there permanently. All this information should show that the permanent resident plans to live in the U.S. and not abroad.
In some cases, USCIS may conclude that a permanent resident has abandoned their permanent resident status. This might happen if any of the following circumstances take place:
- The permanent resident spent more than a year abroad and did not obtain a reentry permit. (Reentry permits are required when permanent residents leave the U.S. for more than a year.)
- The permanent resident did not file income tax returns while abroad.
- The permanent resident moved and evidently intends to live in another country.
Even if the permanent resident spent less than a year abroad, USCIS might still conclude that they abandoned their permanent resident status. Any absences from the United States for six months or more may arouse suspicion.
To avoid losing their residence status, permanent residents should avoid leaving the United States for prolonged periods (six months or more within the span of a year). Their financial and personal ties must show that they intend to stay in the country.