Torrance, CA asked in Immigration Law, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Estate Planning for California

Q: If I’m a US citizen does that mean I’m also US resident even if I have residency abroad?

My Grandparents have made a condition on their Trust that no funds should go to issues of my Mom who are not permanent residents of the United States. I have been living in Germany under temporary residency permits and now I’m in California considering moving back to US now in order to protect my rights of inheritance. I’m a US citizen could that also mean that I‘m automatically resident as well or if not what steps can I take to obtain a residency in addition to being a citizen?

1 Lawyer Answer
Agnes Jury
Agnes Jury
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Traverse City, MI

A: The term "permanent resident" of the U.S. in immigration law context refers to someone who is NOT a U.S. citizen but has obtained the right to permanently reside in the U.S. (a.k.a. Green card) and is physically present in the U.S. typically at least 6 months out of any year (so not to loose their permanent resident status) . I would encourage you to consult with a Wills, Trust & Estates law attorney to determine what your grandparents' intent was with this condition and whether you qualify as is (living abroad) or if you need to move back. In other words, you need to determine if your grandparents mean to exclude family who do not "live" in the U.S. (i.e. live/are domiciled abroad) OR if they mean to exclude family who are not permitted to reside in the U.S. Best wishes!

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