Already Have a Green Card Overview

Dallas Permanent residency Lawyers at our firm help you to maintain your green card, and apply for Naturalization.

Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status is not a legal right but a revocable privilege. This means that an alien may lose his/her LPR status even after he/she has already received a green card, although he/she is a LPR, he/she remains an "alien." It is, therefore, possible for him/her to lose LPR status under certain circumstances. <Basically, loss of LPR status occurs when a LPR abandons his/her permanent residence in the U.S., or when he/she becomes deportable in the event he/she commits serious crime or violates other immigration laws and regulations. This article focuses on the topic of abandonment, i.e., maintaining LPR status by not retaining permanent residence in the U.S.  Many green card holders relax when they obtain a green card, believing that they can finally travel freely back and forth, or even relocate to their home countries, while maintaining the opportunity to reenter the U.S. willingly using their green cards as travel documents. Conversely, others believe that they have to stay in the U.S. for a certain period of time every year to keep their green cards. While a lengthy absence from the U.S. does not automatically cancel the LPR status of an alien, an extended absence may trigger an inquiry of the CBP (custom border protection)  as to the alien's intention to remain a permanent resident in the U.S.

Where Green card holders may become inadmissible at the time of entry to USA.

  1. More than 6 months of absence in USA

If a green-card holder leaves USA more than 6 months and he comes back to USA, he is seeking an admission to USA. Therefore he is subjected to the bars of inadmissibility.  Normally when green-card holders go outside of USA for less than a six month period, he is not subjected to the bars of inadmissibility, and he simply comes into USA as a returning LPR (legal permanent resident)

But most of time LPR will be admitted but will be questioned by CBP agents regarding his intent to permanently reside in USA.  If he is deemed to abandon his permanent residence, his green card will be taken away, and he will be paroled into USA, and will be asked to appear at local CBP office. It is important that LPR can demonstrate that he did not abandon his residence in USA by showing the ties he had with USA. Examples are his individual federal tax returns, ownership of his house, paying mortgages, property taxes, and ownership of vehicles, and family ties.  It is highly recommended to retain immigration attorney to accompany you to CBP office.  Dallas immigration attorneys at our firm have successfully represented many clients in these situations, and recovered their green cards from CPB.

  1. More than 1 year of absence in USA

If a legal permanent resident (LPR) go out of USA more than a year, it is difficult to come back to USA.  First, one of practical difficulties is that it would be hard for him to get an air plane ticket back to USA.  It is because some of airlines refuge to issue a ticket to LPR in this situation for the fear that it may be responsible for bringing him back to his county once he is deemed inadmissible at the port of entry.  Dallas immigration attorneys at our firms have successfully helped many of our clients in this situation.

  1. Crimes.

If any time LPR commits a certain crime of moral turpitude or drug-related crimes in or outside of USA, he may be inadmissible.   Since now LPRs entering USA are subjected to biometrics, if anytime LPR committed a crime of moral turpitude such as domestic violence or theft, etc., he will be deemed inadmissible. His green card will be taken away at the port of entry, and will be referred to the immigration court.  Dallas immigration attorneys helped many of clients who were in these situations.

Re-entry permit.

Therefore it is important that LPR plans to go abroad more than 1 year, he should apply for a reentry permit to make sure that he does not have an intention to abandon his Legal permanent residency.

Once Reentry permit (travel document) is issued, it is good for two years. LPR can stay out of USA as long as his reentry permit is valid.   Dallas immigration lawyers have helped so many of our clients to apply and obtain reentry permits. 

Importance of being a US Citizenship through Naturalization (N-400).

Furthermore, it is important to bear in mind that before LPR can apply for the naturalization, he has to accrue 5 years of continuous physical presence in US. Traveling outside of US for more than 6 months results cutting of the continuous presence.