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Human Resources


The World Bank
1818 H Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20433

Absence from the U.S.

These are the implications to be considered when a staff member, who is a G4 visa holder or a permanent resident, decides to leave U.S. temporarily.

  • Immigration Issues / Considerations for G4 Visa Holders
  • Immigration Issues / Considerations for U.S. Permanent Residents

Immigration Issues/Considerations for G4 Visa Holders

These are the factors that G4 visa holders must consider for immigration:

  • Staff holding G4 visas should be aware that absence from the U.S. while on Temporary Assignment, Short Term Assignment (STA), telecommuting, or external service may affect eligibility for U.S. permanent residence under the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) Special Immigrant provision. Such assignments could affect eligibility for a petition for a staff member and spouse upon retirement or a petition for an eligible G4 dependent child.
  • STAs overseas for less than 12 months, will not affect a staff member’s eligibility to retain G4 visas for self or dependents. For telecommuting, while no change of duty station is processed, dependent G4 visas will be affected depending on the nature and duration of the telecommuting.
  • Temporary Assignments outside the U.S. affect a staff member’s eligibility to retain G4 visas for dependents, given that Temporary Assignments involve a change of duty station. G4 visas for the staff member remain available and should be used to enter the U.S. on official World Bank Group business only during the assignment.
  • Once a staff member holding a G4 visa is transferred outside of the U.S., any dependent family member who also holds a G4 visa must, within 30 days, either leave the U.S., or apply to the USCIS for a change of status to an appropriate visa. In particular, dependent children who are students should apply for F1—student visas— to remain in the U.S. to continue their studies. G4 dependent work permits are null and void from the start date of the Temporary Assignment, as are derivative G5 visas existing in the staff member's household.

    The Bank Group cannot provide driver's license letters to G4 spouses, dependents, or G5s during the Temporary Assignment. G4 staff and accompanying G4 family members may re-enter the U.S. for official travel with valid G4 visa stamps in their passports. If the G4 stamp has expired, contact HR Operations. G4 visas are not valid for unofficial travel to the U.S., such as personal visits or educational travel, for the staff member or his/her family members.
  • External service and telecommuting outside the U.S. ends G4 visa status for the duration of the external service and telecommuting for the staff member and any G4 dependent. However, the holder can keep the G4 visa to travel to the U.S. on official Bank Group business.
  • G4 visa holders are generally ineligible for external service without pay in the U.S.


For more information, refer to Request Change of G4 Visa Status due to ESWOP/LWOP.

Immigration Issues/Considerations for U.S. Permanent Residents

These are the factors that U.S. permanent residents must consider for immigration:

  • Under U.S. law, a permanent resident may use his/her Permanent Resident Card—‘green card’—as documentation to re-enter the U.S. after a temporary trip. This must be used within one year of his/her last departure. However, a permanent resident must continually maintain his/her intent to remain a permanent resident of the U.S. Returning to the U.S. once a year for a few days does not ‘automatically revalidate’ lawful permanent residency status, where the lawful permanent resident resides abroad.
  • For absences that last more than one year, if the permanent resident is not able to return within one year, s/he may apply to the USCIS while still in the U.S. for a ‘re-entry permit’. A re-entry permit may be used as documentation to re-enter the U.S. for a period of up to two years from the date of the permanent resident's departure from the U.S. Refer to International Travel as a Permanent Resident.
  • The permanent resident must obtain a ‘special immigrant visa’ from the U.S. Consulate to be re-admitted into the U.S. if s/he:
    • does not know in advance that s/he will not be able to return to the U.S. within one year.
    • acquires a re-entry permit but does not return to the U.S. within two years from his/her departure.
  • If the permanent resident applies for a special immigrant visa, s/he will have to prove to the U.S. Consulate that s/he:
    • had no intent to abandon and has not abandoned his/her permanent residence in the U.S.
    • intends to and has maintained such residence as evidenced by the factors described above.
  • The Bank Group cannot assist staff who are permanent residents or who have staff with U.S. permanent residency status with regard to these issues. Staff with questions or issues should obtain legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney.


In case of conflict between this guidance and the applicable staff rule, the staff rule prevails.