Canadians who plan to remain outside of the U.S. can apply for a re-entry permit or returning resident visa
Do Canadians need to live in the United States full-time after they get their green card?
Canadians who are approved for green cards are expected to reside in the United States on a full-time basis. If you don’t reside in the U.S. for most of the year, or if you are outside the U.S. for more than 1 year, you may be considered to have abandoned your green card and lose your residency status.
I am a Canadian with a green card but I plan to live outside the U.S. for an extended period
Canadian green card holders currently living in the U.S. and who plan to reside abroad for more than 1 year should apply for a re-entry permit before leaving. You have to be physically residing in the U.S. at the time the re-entry permit is submitted, and you will also need to get your biometrics done. With the re-entry permit, you will be permitted to reside outside of the U.S. up to 2 years.
Can a Canadian green card holder who has been living outside of the U.S. for more than a year without a re-entry permit apply for a Returning Resident Visa?
Canadian green card holders who have been residing outside of the U.S. for more than a year without a re-entry permit may be denied entry to the U.S. later on if the CBP officer concludes that they abandoned their residency. In such cases, you may need to apply for a Returning Resident Visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad. To qualify for a Returning Resident visa, you need to demonstrate that there were circumstances beyond your control that prevented you from returning to the U.S. within a year of leaving.
Applying for a Returning Resident Visa or Re-Entry Permit because of the COVID-19 pandemic
Canadian green card holders who are currently in the U.S. and who plan to temporarily move back to Canada because of COVID-19 should apply for a re-entry permit before departing.
Canadian green card holders who are currently outside the U.S. and cannot return to the U.S. because of COVID-19 should document their efforts to return, as well as their ties to the U.S. If you anticipate a prolonged absence outside of the U.S., you should be prepared to apply for a Returning Resident Visa at a consulate later on.
Email us if you are a Canadian green card holder with questions on Re-Entry Permits or Returning Resident Visas.