Before 1985, an alien who lived in U.S. and had no definite intention about the length
of his stay was considered a U.S. resident. However, an alien whose stay was limited
by the Department of Homeland Security laws was not considered a U.S. resident.
The length and nature of his stay determined whether an individual was present in
U.S. temporarily. An indefinite intention to return to another country at some time
was not enough to establish his stay was temporary.
Although a temporary visit abroad did not result in a loss of U.S. resident status,
an extended trip (e.g., more than 6 months) was usually not considered temporary unless
there was evidence of a more or less permanent attachment to the U.S. and an intention
to return and make a home in the U.S.
An alien not lawfully admitted for permanent residence was considered to lose his
resident status when he left the U.S.