Madison, WI asked in Immigration Law and Social Security for Wisconsin

Q: Green Card issued in 1973 and SSN benefits out of country

My father has a greed card issued in 1973. So there is no expiration date. Just prior to 9/11 he left the country and has not returned. He is collecting SSN for the 30 + years he was working in the US.

He was told in casual conversation with a friend that since he has not stepped foot back on US soil since 9/11, that he will loose his SSN? Is this correct? He has no problem turning in his green card, he is worried about loosing his SSN. I'm not even sure if his green card is valid still.

If this is true, can he turn it in and still collect SSN? Any advice or help in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL

A: He will never lose his social security number, but he can lose lawful permanent resident status based upon abandonment. His decision to leave the U. S. for more than a year has arguable consequences. The old I-551 cards do not change the law on abandonment. The cards are the property of the U. S. Government. The alien resident card can be confiscated, among other consequences, where there is reason to believe that he abandoned his lawful permanent resident status. His right to collect social security may be impacted by his departure and arguable abandonment.

As a result, I strongly recommend an appointment with a competent and experienced immigration attorney, soon. The above is general information, not legal advice and 'does not' create an attorney client relationship.

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