When a legal permanent resident of the U.S. leaves the country, they must return within 365 days or face the possibility of denial of entry should they try to reenter the country. If a Georgia green card holder has been outside of the U.S. for more than a year, they might have follow certain proceedings if they are attempting to return to the country.
If a resident is outside of the U.S. and cannot return due to medical issues, there may be a few ways to be able to return. The surest way is to apply for a returning resident visa. In order to receive this visa, the applicant must meet certain requirements. First, the person must have been a legal resident when they left the U.S. Furthermore, they must have intended to return, and their return must have been delayed due to circumstances outside of their control. The resident can apply for this visa at the U.S. embassy in the country that they are in prior to returning to the U.S.
Some experts believe that this particular visa is not necessary, however. If the person returning to the country can produce documentation of their illness or other extenuating circumstances to Customs and Border Protection officers upon arrival, those officers may let them back into the country. In situations where this does not work, though, they must argue their case during the deportation process.
For most permanent residents, it may be better to go through the process of obtaining a returning resident visa. An attorney familiar with U.S. immigration law may be able to assist them with the process.