Abandonment of green card

Ang green card o permanent resident card ang patunay na ang isang indibidwal ay may lawful permanent resident (LPR) status sa U.S. Subalit ang LPR status ay hindi talagang permanente sapagkat maaaring magkaroon ng determinasyon na tinalikuran ng green card holder ang kanyang LPR status. Ang pag-abandona ay maaaring maging isyu kapag ang LPR ay bumabalik ng U.S. pakatapos ng mahabang biyahe sa labas ng U.S. Ang LPR na papasok sa U.S. pagkatapos ng matagal na panahon na pagkawala dito ay maaaring tanungin ng Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officer tungkol sa kanyang matagal na pagkawala. Ang CBP ay maaaring magkaroon ng determinsayon na tinalikuran na ng LPR ang kanyang LPR status. Ang mga tanong tungkol sa pag-abandona ng LPR status ay kadalasang lumilitaw kung ang LPR ay nasa ibang bansa ng mahigit na isang taon.

Ang LPR na nagbabalak na manatili sa ibang bansa ng mahigit sa isang taon ay kailangang mag-apply ng re-entry permit. Hindi siya makakapasok ng U.S. sa pamamagitan lang ng green card. Maraming LPR ang naniniwala na kapag sila ay may re-entry permit, ito ay garantiya na sila ay hindi na matatanong tungkol sa pag-abandona ng LPR status. Ngunit mali ang paniniwalang ito. Ang pamantayan sa determinsayon ng isyu ng pag-abandona ay kung ang LPR ay may objective intention na bumalik ng U.S. pagkatapos ng maikling biyahe. Ang mga sumusunod ay maaaring maging batayan nito: (1) family ties – ang LPR ba ay may family ties sa U.S.? O ang pamilya ba ng LPR ay nasa labas ng U.S. at wala silang intension na tumira sa U.S.? (2) trabaho – ang LPR ba ay may trabaho sa U.S. na maaari niyang balikan? O ang trabaho ba ng LPR ay nasa labas ng U.S.? (3) tax returns – ang LPR ay nag-file ng tax returns bilang U.S. resident? (4) club memberships at iba pang community ties – ang LPR ba ay may mga kaugnayan sa ibang club o organisasyon sa U.S.? (5) mga ari-arian – ang LPR ba ay may-ari o umuupa ng mga ari-arian sa U.S.? O ang mga pag-aari ba ng LPR ay nasa labas ng U.S.?

Ang LPR na gustong manatili sa labas ng U.S. ng isang taon ay kailangang magpakita na hindi pa siya nag-abandona ng kanyang LPR status sa pamamagitan ng paggawa ng ng mga sumusunod: (1) kailangang magbayad siya ng buwis bilang resident alien; (2) kailangang may bahay siya o umuupa ng apartment; kailangan ding bayaran niya ang mga utility bills ng mga ito; (3) kailangang mayroon siyang U.S. credit cards at bank accounts na kanyang ginagamit (4) kailangang may babalikan siyang trabaho sa U.S.; (5) kung ang trabaho niya ay sa labas ng U.S., kailangang ipakita niya na ang trabahong ito ay pansamantala lamang.

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A green card or permanent resident card is proof that an individual has lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the U.S. However, LPR status is not necessarily permanent as there can be findings that an LPR has abandoned his LPR status by failing to maintain permanent residence in the U.S. Abandonment may be an issue when re-entering the U.S. after a long trip abroad. An LPR who attempts to reenter the U.S. with his green card after prolonged absences may find that Customs and Border Patrol Officers (CBP) believe that he has abandoned his residence. Questions regarding the abandonment of LPR status usually arise when the LPR is abroad for at least one year continuously.

An LPR who plans to be outside the U.S. for more than one year must apply for a re-entry permit as he will not be able to enter the U.S. with the green card alone. Many LPRs believe that having a re-entry permit is a guarantee against a finding of abandonment but this is not the case. The standard in abandonment is whether or not the LPR had an objective intention to return to the U.S. after a relatively short trip abroad, fixed by some early event. Factors to consider include the following: (1) family ties – does the LPR have family ties in the U.S. with whom he is in regular contact or are his close family members in another country with no plans to move to the U.S.? (2) job – does the LPR have a job in the U.S. which he can return to or is he working outside the U.S.? (3) tax returns – is the LPR filing taxes as a U.S. resident? (4) club memberships and other community ties – is the LPR actively connected to clubs or other organizations in the U.S.? (5) property – does the LPR own or rent property in the U.S. or does the LPR own or rent property in another country?

An LPR who wants to spend time outside the U.S. may show that he has not abandoned his status as LPR by doing and retaining relevant documentation on the following: (1) he must pay U.S. taxes as a resident alien; (2) he must own or rent property in the U.S. and pay utility bills and other bills for that property; (3) he must have and use U.S. credit cards; (4) he must have an use U.S. bank accounts; (4) he must maintain close ties with family members in the U.S.; (5) he must maintain employment in the U.S.; (6) if working abroad, he must be able to document that the work abroad is temporary.

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ATTY. RHEA SAMSON is the principal of SAMSON LAW FIRM, P.C. She has been a member of the State Bar of California for over 15 years and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for over 20 years. Atty. Samson received her Legal Management degree from the Ateneo de Manila University and her Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo Law School. She was a Professor for over 10 years, teaching Obligations and Contracts, Labor Laws and Social Legislation and Taxation Law. Atty Samson is the author of The Law on Obligations and Contracts (2016), Working with Labor Laws-Revised Edition (2014) and Working with Labor Laws (2005).

SAMSON LAW FIRM, P.C., 3580 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1710, Los Angeles, CA 90010; Phone: (213) 274-4561; Email: info@samsonlawfirmpc.com.

Atty. Rhea Samson
Atty. Rhea Samson

ATTY. RHEA SAMSON is the principal of SAMSON LAW FIRM, PC. She has been a member of the State Bar of California for over 15 years and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for over 20 years. Atty. Samson received her Legal Management degree from the Ateneo de Manila University and her Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo Law School. She was a Professor for over 10 years, teaching Obligations and Contracts, Labor Laws and Social Legislation and Taxation Law. Atty. Samson is the author of The Law on Obligations and Contracts (2016), Working with Labor Laws-Revised Edition (2014) and Working with Labor Laws (2005). Visit our office at SAMSON LAW FIRM, P.C., 3580 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1710, Los Angeles, CA 90010; Phone: (213) 381-5710; Email: info@samsonlawfirmpc.com.

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