Despite the title, becoming a permanent resident does not mean you have that status for life in all cases. There are things you can do to void it or have it taken away. One thing to note is that certain actions may cause you to abandon your status, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
While abandonment is usually done intentionally, it is still wise to know how it occurs if you want to keep your status. Here are the ways that it typically happens:
- You decide to live in another country on a permanent basis, and you physically relocate there with that intent.
- You file your tax returns in the United States and claim to be a “nonimmigrant.”
- You leave the United States for any amount of time and, while living there, you do not file your income taxes.
- You leave the country “for an extended period of time.” The only way around this is if you did intend the move to be temporary.
So, if you wanted to leave on a temporary basis, how do you prove it so that you do not lose your status? Factors that the government considers include:
- How long you plan to be away
- Why you are taking the trip
- Reasons your absence may have stretched on longer than you intended
- Related details regarding the trip
The government keeps this a bit vague, giving people some leeway to decide if you abandoned your status or not.
As you can see, it is very important to understand all of your rights regarding your immigration status as a permanent resident. Make sure you know what impacts your status and how to protect it moving forward.