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Mad_Scottish

Green Card/Citizenship Question: Just need information

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Filed: Timeline

Good Evening Everyone,

I hope you are all well.

I have a quick question in regards to the whole green card to citizenship process along with remaining in the US.

My wife and I have been discussing options about returning to the UK, she is American, I am the one that moved over here to be with her. I have my green card now and I can get the condition of marriage removed at the start of 2015. Once I have that, which is valid for 10 years (if I remember correctly) this is where we are looking for more information.

If we were to move back to the UK, is this going to cause an issue if we come back a few years later from a processing standpoint? How would that situation work in terms of me applying for citizenship? If I have the green card that is valid for 10 years, does it simply give us the luxury of being able to come and go as we please?

thank you,

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Hi,

As an LPR, you cannot spend more than 6 months outside of the US without risking your status. If you spend a year or more without a reentry permit, you could have your GC taken away. Not to mention that trips of more than 6 months can break the continuous and physical presence requirements for naturalization.

A reentry permit allows you to remain outside of the US for like 2 years and you have to maintain ties as an LPR to the US during this time i.e. filing taxes, paying bills, having bank accounts, etc. Even then you can still be considered to have abandoned your status, although I'm not sure how great the risk is. The thing is that only USC's are truly guaranteed entry into the US.

Also, I could be wrong, but I think you need a valid reason to need a reentry permit, such as taking care of a family member or something. In any case, you have to be aware that if they take away your GC, you will have to start over from scratch.


The card may be valid for 10 years and you can travel as often as you please, but you have to keep in mind the restrictions.


This does not constitute legal advice.

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Filed: Timeline

Thank you Ian as this is what we have been trying to find out.

I can apply for citizenship in 2016, so I will wait for them and then look at options. Just one of those situations where my wife now would like to really take on the opportunity of living abroad. I have been the lucky one to have travelled all over and lived in a lot of countries so she is now at that stage where she doesn't want to regret not taking the chance while our children are young.

The above information helps a lot, so thank you once again.

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You're welcome. Yes once you are a USC you can travel without restrictions. The only caveat whether you are an LPR or USC is that you still have to file US taxes if living abroad, so keep that in mind because a lot of people seem to be unaware of this requirement.


This does not constitute legal advice.

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If time is not an issue then it sounds like you are better off waiting until you are a USC, Unless you do not plan on returning. If you are not going to be a resident of the US then you cannot have LPR status.

You could go back to UK, lose LPR status and return on a spousal visa whenever you decide to come back, that way you will not have to file US taxes which you will if you are a USC.

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Filed: Timeline

I was aware of the US tax requirement, which I have always found disgusting. I spent a lot of years abroad and remember the American all complianing about still having to file and pay despite not even living in the US. It is what it is really. We have a son and plan on having another child and we are likely to return. My wife just would really like to try living abroad, so going through the spousal visa application and waiting while she is back here in the US just isn't an option. I will just wait to get citizenship into place first.

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