Saturday, January 7, 2012

Maintaining Permanent Residence

Many people ask us whether they can stay in their own country (to make money) even after they get a green card. Of course, they come with a lot of hearsay too. Different people have different answers to them. 
Here is the standard explanation because this is what the law says: You may be considered having abandoned your green card and thus your green card will be forfeited at the entry of port if: 
  1. Move to another country intending to live there permanently
  2. Remain outside of the United States for more than 1 year without obtaining a reentry permit or returning resident visa. However, in determining whether your status has been abandoned, any length of absence from the United States may be considered, even if less than 1 year
  3. Remain outside of the United States for more than 2 years after issuance of a reentry permit without obtaining a returning resident visa. However, in determining whether your status has been abandoned any length of absence from the United States may be considered, even if less than 1 year
  4. Fail to file income tax returns while living outside of the United States for any period
  5. Declare yourself a “nonimmigrant” on your tax returns
Permanent resident is eligible to apply for US citizenship if, among meeting other requirements, he or she may establish that he or she has continuously stayed in US for 5 years or 3 years (if having obtained green card through marriage). Exception exists when he or she may establish the applicant did not disrupt the continuity of his or her residence in the United States during an extended absence.