Q: I live in Europe, can I keep my green card?
I moved to Europe permanently wo years ago. My wife is American and we visit the USA roughly once a year. I still have a bank account as well as a 401k. Is there a way to keep my green card indefinitely?
A: A green card means you are a permanent resident. Permanent Resident means just that;
Permanent Resident. If you are not a permanent resident: do not maintain your actual physical presence in the USA you loose the status. A bank account and 401K do not establish residency.
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
A: No! It is possible that you can be charged with abandonment. A lawful permanent resident is supposed to spend a majority of the year within the U.S. Yet, it is the intention of the applicant that is challenged at the port of entry. As a result, a simple annual trip will not be enough to maintain lawful permanent resident status. Having a bank account is usually not enough, either. If you are employed abroad, then that is good sign to CBP that abandonment is taking place.
In an effort to discourage people who have made mistakes, CBP has sometimes been generous, in that it has warned those who are testing the limits 'not' to do so. Of course, if they persist, it is possible that the green card holder will be placed in deferred inspection. At that time more evidence will be demanded of them. If there is no proof of a residence, among other indicators, the CBP can refer a green card holder to immigration court due to abandonment.
If you are doing some sort of touch back with minimal ties, such as a bank account, you run the risk that you can be flagged for interrogation. You may need to make plans to solidify your status as soon as possible with the understanding that CBP has the right to ask questions and expect truthful answers.
As a result, I strongly recommend a teleconference with a competent and experienced immigration attorney before you place too much faith in your strategy. You should consider other options.
The above is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.