Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
toefies

Greencard question

Recommended Posts

I am in the process of moving back to Cape Town and wondered if anyone knows how I keep my greencard active.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there is a rule that you have to be in the US for a certain amount of time each year or couple of years. Dont know exactly though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Toefies. You have raised an interesting question. Many people are confused by the requirements that must be met to retain permanent resident status while outside the U.S.

 

The bottom line here is that there is no precise rule that can or must be complied with or relied upon. From a practical perspective, the issue is largely discretionary. Different ports of entry impose differing standards, so there is no precise answer to your question.

 

Do watch out for the misperception that setting foot on U.S. soil for a few weeks each year will preserve permanent residence. It won’t, and that commonly held belief is incorrect. I know of a South African who had his permanent residence status canceled last month coming into Atlanta for his annual two week visit, although some other ports tend to be more reluctant to take such action.

 

What you should look out for are the following general rules. Continuous absence from the U.S. of more than one year is perceived by the USCIS as abandonment of permanent residence unless the visit is temporary. A temporary visit is usually regarded as one of short duration or a stay that has a specific end date (e.g. completion of a narrowly defined work-related project; or caring for a sick relative). Factors that are reviewed to determine if the visit is temporary include family ties, property holdings and business/employment ties in each of the U.S. AND the other country.

 

From a practical point of view, it is important if and how U.S. tax returns are filed (i.e. continue to file; and never as a non-resident). Also, it is helpful if a residence/mortgage and an employment/business relationship in the U.S. is maintained, but these are not dispositive factors. It is also helpful to actively maintain bank and credit card accounts, to retain household possessions in the U.S., and to maintain relationships with friends and associations which all tend to demonstrate that residence has not been abandoned.

 

You can also consider applying for a reentry permit, but this does not provide a complete safeguard against your permanent residency being abandoned.

 

If you have read all of this and have a sinking feeling in your stomach, you should probably realize that you are about to expose your status as a green card holder to chance and risk. Perhaps, with careful thought and planning, you could accomplish most of your objectives while retaining your permanent resident status for at least the next couple of years.

 

Incidentally, I am about to respond to another thread on the boards concerning the usefulness of attorneys in immigration matters. I think that questions such as yours, Toefies, do help to shed some light on that debate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Txs for the advice SAVILLE. I think a lot of us did not understand it. It certainly cleared my concerns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...