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 that 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 the following types of planning:
- Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (Reentry Permit)
- Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes
- 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:
- 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 (if you lack a valid entry document)
- Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)
- Filing Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes, and applying for an appropriate nonimmigrant visa
- Choosing a port of entry
- Deciding whether to enter alone or with others
- 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