If you are a green card holder who will be abroad for a prolonged period of time, you should plan ahead regarding whether and how to maintain your lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. It’s a myth the you can preserve LPR status just by entering the U.S. once every 6 months and filing U.S. tax returns. Failure to follow the rules could lead to loss of your LPR status through abandonment and to ineligibility for naturalization. Planning ahead can save time, money, and frustration.
Our firm can help with:
- Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (Reentry Permit)
- Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)
- Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes
- Form DS-117, Application to Determine Returning Resident Status (SB-1 returning resident visa)
- Form I-193, Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa
- Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status
- Determining whether you are eligible for naturalization
- Gathering evidence of the reasons for and temporariness of your departure from the U.S. and stay abroad
- Planning for what ties to keep in the U.S. while you are gone, what ties to cut, and what ties would be good or bad to establish abroad, such as a home or other real estate, employment, bank accounts, investments, etc.
- Planning for Federal and state tax filing issues such as claiming a foreign-earned income exclusion or filing as a nonresident
If you are at risk of being charged by U.S. Customs and Border Protection with abandonment of LPR status, our firm can help you plan for seeking to reenter U.S., such as:
- Choosing a port of entry
- Deciding whether to enter alone or with others
- Carrying a proper entry document or applying for a waiver
- Carrying evidence for why you departed the U.S. and stayed abroad, as well as of your ties to the U.S., and perhaps a short legal memo from your lawyer
- Answering questions that may be posed to you by the CBP officer
- Anticipating potential problems, such as:
- Secondary inspection
- Deferred inspection
- What if the officer suggests signing Form I-407, Abandonment of Permanent Residence?
- Notice to Appear for a removal (deportation) hearing in Immigration Court
USCIS to Deliver Some ADIT Stamps by Mail
Some lawful permanent residents (LPRs) may receive temporary evidence of their lawful permanent resident status by mail rather than physically visiting a field office, USCIS announced on Mar. 16, 2023. This evidence is in the form of an Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunication (ADIT) stamp, also known as an I-551 stamp). An ADIT stamp’s validity……
Does a Short Stay Establish a “Residence” for Immigration Law Purposes?
The article addresses the question, does a short stay establish a “residence” for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)? This may seem like a trivial question, but it comes up in many contexts for U.S. immigration cases. For example, the following forms all appear to ask about residence history: INA § 101(a)(33) defines……
Green Card Holders Staying Abroad Over 6 Months Risk Abandonment
Contents1. Introduction2. The Judicial Definition of “Temporary”3. Is There a “Return Every 6 Months” Rule”?4. Keeping a Valid Entry Document5. Applying for A Reentry Permit6. Proving Ties to the U.S. Outweigh Ties Abroad7. A Note on Taxes8. What Will Happen in the Airport if the CBP Officer Suspects Abandonment?8. Keep in Mind the Separate Requirements……
USCIS Update: Biometrics Appointment Delays
In a December 29, 2020 Stakeholder Message, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided an update on biometrics appointment delays at Application Support Centers (ASCs) due to COVID-19. USCIS collects biometrics for certain kinds of applications, including but not limited to: Form I-485, Application to Adjust StatusForm I-131, Application for Travel Document (including reentry permit)Form N-400,……
Can USCIS Reuse Biometrics Submitted Previously?
If an individual previously submitted biometrics in connection with a prior application, can USCIS reuse those biometrics in connection with a new application? USCIS requires biometrics appointments in connection with various types of applications, such as for adjustment of status (Form I-485), reentry permits (Form I-131), employment authorization (Form I-765), and naturalization (Form N-400). Once……
Protecting Your Permanent Resident Status: Best Practices for Avoiding Abandonment
LPR status can be lost by making a trip abroad that's not "temporary." Learn best practices for keeping your green card and what to do if problems arise.
Guide to Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status
Contents1. Introduction1.1 Reasons for Abandonment1.2 Will You Be Eligible for a Nonimmigrant Visa?1.3 Will You Be Eligible to Re-Immigrate In the Future?2. Exit Tax Issues3. Procedures for Voluntary Abandonment3.1 Where to Apply3.2 Completing the Form3.3 Documents Needed3.4 Disposition3.5 Keep a Copy of the I-4074. Conclusion 1. Introduction Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident……
New USCIS “Travel Document” to Replace Reentry Permits and Refugee Travel Documents
USCIS has announced that a new “travel document” will replace reentry permits and refugee travel documents. The USCIS’ purpose is to have a document more secure against tampering, counterfeiting, and fraud. The new document went into production on Oct. 24, 2019.
Making a Congressional Inquiry for Help with Your Immigration Case
If you are having problems with your immigration case, a member of the U.S. Congress may be willing to inquire with a Federal immigration agency, such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) on your behalf.
Guide to Reentry Permits
If you are a U.S. lawful permanent resident (LPR), there are at least three situations where applying for a reentry permit may be beneficial: (a) if you will be abroad for one year or more; (b) if you will be abroad for more than six months for two consecutive years; and (c) if you have……
AmCham China Addresses U.S. Visa Policy in 2018 White Paper
2018 is a historic year for American companies operating in China: as China marks its 40th anniversary of economic reform and opening, AmCham China is issuing the 20th edition of its American Business in China White Paper. This paper is a comprehensive assessment of the operating environment for foreign companies in China. It was a……
LPR Living with a Citizen Spouse Employed Abroad by an American Company: Any Risk of Abandonment?
Karen writes to ask: I am a U.S. green card holder, but I live in Asia with my husband, who is a U.S. citizen employed here by an American company. Is there any risk that I may unintentionally lose my LPR status because I am spending too much time outside the U.S.?
Can a Green Card Holder Who’s Been Overseas for 6 Months Apply for Naturalization?
ContentsThe General RuleAbsences in GeneralAbsence for a Continuous Period of One Year or MoreAbsence for a Continuous Period of Between Six Months and One YearAbsence for a Continuous Period Shorter Than Six MonthsUse of the Form N-470 to Preserve Continuous ResidenceEndnotes A reader asks, “Can a green card holder who’s been overseas for 6 months……
Biometrics Appointments for Reentry Permit Applicants Living Overseas
Are you an U.S. green card holder living temporarily abroad who has applied for a reentry permit? You have several options for dealing with the hassle of attending the USCIS biometrics appointment: expedite, walk-in, reschedule.
Rights and Obligations of Lawful Permanent Residents
This memo summarizes the rights and obligations you have upon becoming a U.S. lawful permanent resident (LPR), also known as a “green card” holder.