How to maintain your legal permanent residence status

After many months of processing and forms, you finally have your green card and are now a legal permanent resident (LPR) or the United States.

This is an exciting time in many immigrants’ lives as they have finally achieved something they have worked long and hard for.

However, obtaining a green card and LPR status is only half the battle. You now need to maintain your status if you wish to remain in the U.S.

In this article, we’ll explain how to maintain your legal permanent residence status and review some of the requirements for doing so.

File tax returns as an LPR

It is imperative that any person living in the U.S., regardless of their status, file their tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Filing a tax return shows that you are committed to the U.S., her well-being, and know how to follow the law.

If you are an LPR, there are two very important requirements you should be aware of when it comes to filing a tax return.

First, you must claim all of your income, including income you obtained outside of the U.S.

Second, you must file your tax return as a resident alien and not as a non-resident alien. This is a very important distinction, as filing your tax return as a non-resident alien gives the impression that you are abandoning or have abandoned your LPR status.

Create strong ties to family in the U.S.

If you are an LPR with family in the U.S., you must always show strong ties to them while you are inside and outside the U.S.

For this reason, if you travel outside of the U.S. for a considerable length of time due to employment, it is recommended that you have your family stay in the U.S. That includes your spouse, children, parents, or other family that may also be in the U.S.

By having your family remain in the U.S., you are demonstrating that although you are spending time outside the U.S., your intention is to maintain you LPR status and return to the U.S.

Create strong ties to your U.S.-based employer

The most common reason for an extended stay outside the U.S. by an LPR is for employment.

In such a situation, it is imperative that you show you are still strongly tied to the U.S. through your employer. You can do this by documenting the specific reason for traveling overseas and the length of time you plan to be abroad in a written statement from your employer or in your employment contract.

By obtaining such documents, you are showing that you are outside the U.S. on a temporary basis and fully intend to return to and stay in the U.S.

Create strong ties to the U.S. through other means

Family ties and employment are not the only ways to show that you have strong ties to the U.S. You can also establish ties to the U.S. through a

>U.S. mailing address: You should always maintain a U.S. mailing address, regardless of your physical location. If you do not have a residence, designate the home of a friend or relative as your mailing address.

>Driver’s license: A driver’s license is another form of I.D. showing that you have embedded yourself into U.S. society. Once you have a driver’s license, it’s important to not let it expire.

>U.S. bank account: As an LPR, one of the first things you should do upon arriving to the U.S. is open a U.S.-based bank account. You should then actively use this account to deposit and withdraw money.

>Credit card: Like a bank account, you should also open and maintain a credit card from a U.S. bank. Consistently use the card, not enough to create debt, but enough to show you are engaging in similar activities to others in the U.S.

>Mortgage, rent, or other note: Make sure that you always pay your mortgage, rent, or other notes which demonstrate your desire to set-up a life in the U.S.

>Membership: You can also create strong ties to the U.S. through your participation in professional or social memberships. Such memberships can include your local gym, work-related group, or study group. Make sure you maintain your membership by paying dues, attending meetings, and demonstrating you are an active participant.

Document your strong ties to the U.S. if you are traveling abroad

Outside of the ways listed above, if you are planning to travel outside the U.S. for an extended period of time, you should clearly document why you are doing so, the length of your trip, and when you plan to return. This documentation is especially important if your travel is not related to your employment.

Remember, these are just some of the ways you can demonstrate your strong ties to the U.S. The important thing is that you are actively creating and maintaining strong ties to the U.S. If don’t, you are in danger of losing your LPR status.

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Disclaimer: Nothing in relation to the enclosed information should be construed and or considered as legal advice for any individual, entity, case, or situation. The following information is prepared for advertisement use only. The information is intended ONLY to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. For legal advice on your specific situation, we encourage you to consult an attorney experienced in the area of Immigration Law.