A lawful permanent resident is a non-citizen who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, a person is granted a permanent resident card, commonly called a "green card."
Lawful permanent residents may leave the U.S. multiple times and reenter, as long as they do not intend to stay outside the U.S. for 1 year or more. Staying outside of the country for more than one year (without a re-entry permit) may result in loss of permanent resident status.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
A non-U.S. citizen who has been given permission to make a permanent home (and work) in the United States. Permanent residents are given "green cards" (not really green) to prove their status. U.S. permanent residents may travel as much as they like, but their place of residence must remain in the United States and they must keep that residence on a permanent basis. Otherwise, they'll be said to have abandoned their U.S. residence, and could lose their right to the green card. A permanent resident who leaves the United States and stays away for more than six months risks having the U.S. immigration officials believe that he or she has abandoned residence.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:19 pm