U.S. immigration law assumes that beneficiaries of Immigrant Visas will live permanently in the U.S.
Immigrants who depart the U.S. with the intention of returning and have not abandoned that intention, but have stayed out of the U.S. for more than twelve months due to circumstances beyond their control, require a new IV to return to live in the U.S. If you have lapsed immigrant status, you may be eligible for status as a returning resident or you may seek to be the beneficiary of a new immigrant visa petition.
The burden of proof to show evidence of continuing U.S. ties is on the applicant. Any legal permanent resident who expects to remain out of the U.S. for an extended period should obtain a re-entry permit from CIS by filing Form I-131 by mail with the CIS while still physically present in the U.S. as an immigrant.
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