What is an abandonment of a green card?

If a green card holder remains outside the United States for more than a year, the regulations require invalidation of his green card (legal permanent resident status). The Department of Homeland Security takes the position that residency has been abandoned. Residency can be deemed abandoned even where a person lives and works abroad and visits the United States every year. What is relevant to determine if the green card was abandoned is the purpose of the departure, the existence of a fixed termination date for a visit abroad, and the objective intention to return to the United States as a place of permanent employment and actual home. A person may be abroad for several years and not abandon his residency if (s)he has a continuous uninterrupted intention to return to the United States. For example, a child is out of the United States for six years due to father’s heart condition.

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice.  We simplified the law to provide only general information about the abandonment of a green card.  If you would like to discuss if you have abandoned your green card and what can be done in your situation, schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer in Phoenix at TODAY or call our office at 480-425-2009.