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Karlam

Returning to home country

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If you are approved for Diversity visa, how long is the maximum time you are allowed to wait before leaving for the USA and if you want to return to your home country for a period of time, is this easy to do? How long would you be allowed to spend in your home country that you have come from, once awarded the Diversity visa? 

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Your visa will have an expiration date in it.  You have to 'activate' the visa by that date by entering a US point of entry (land, air or sea) border.

You can then turn around and go back to your own country for up to 1 year without losing your permanent residency.  BUT, you must comply with all requirements of permanent residency, such as filing tax returns, even if you aren't in the US.

Stay out of the US any longer than a year, or try to 'game' the visa by living and working in another country (and just visiting the US) and you'll lose your green card.  Bear in mind that the green card is for living and working in the US.  So make sure you are genuinely living and working here, otherwise don't bother with the green card.

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Just to add to what Emily said, it's common for DV winners to return to their home countries, often for months, after activating their green cards in order to wrap up things/sell homes/finish work responsibilities etc. If this is why you're asking, no problem staying out up to a year (subject to tax etc as she described) and then making your permanent move. If you're asking because you want to game the system by keeping your green card while actually living elsewhere, you're likely to lose your green card. If you're asking because you have some kind of longer term responsibility you need to finish up before moving - maybe you're part way through a university degree, for example - then you want to look into applying for a re-entry permit. This allows you to stay out for up to 2 years without losing your green card, but you must be in the US to apply and to do the biometrics for that - which could take a number of weeks, all in all.

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