• Abandonment of Green Card for Temporary Absences or Residence Abroad
  • May 7, 2010
  • Law Firm: Fowler White Boggs P.A. - Tampa Office
  • A lawful permanent resident (LPR) normally may travel outside the United States and return if the trip was brief, casual and innocent and did not meaningfully interrupt the alien’s status. However, there are some limitations. Your Permanent Resident Card becomes technically invalid for reentry into the United States if you are absent from the United States for 1 year or more. Your U.S. permanent residence may also be considered as abandoned for absences shorter than 1 year if you take up residence in another country, regardless of duration and intent not to abandon your U.S. permanent resident status.
    Ongoing ties to the U.S. should be maintained to the degree possible, such as:

    • The applicant's immediate family remained in the United States;
    • The applicant must expect to return to the United States as an actual home or place of employment. He or she must possess the requisite intent to do so at the time of their departure, and maintain it during the course of their sojourn;
    • The applicant did not terminate his or her employment in the United States or did not obtain employment while abroad.
    In order to avoid a determination of abandonment, a special travel document, called a Reentry Permit should be applied for 6-8 weeks prior to departure from the U.S. A reentry permit establishes that you did not intend to abandon status. Reentry permits are normally valid for 2 years from the date of issuance.

    Regardless of the protection of a Reentry Permit, LPR’s who voluntarily claim nonresident alien status to qualify for special exemptions from income tax liability, or fail to file either federal or state income tax returns because they consider themselves to be nonresident aliens, raise a rebuttable presumption that they have relinquished the privileges of permanent resident status in the United States.