ABANDONMENT OF LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENCE
When the LPR demonstrates his intent to no longer reside in the United States permanently after leaving the US, it is considered that he abandoned is LPR status. If a parent abandons his LPR status the abandonment is imputed to a minor child as well. Also, DHS may determine that LPR abandon his status based on the length and circumstances of the trip abroad. Even if an applicant for naturalization was erroneously permitted to enter the US on his returning from travel abroad, the applicant is ineligible for naturalization.
FACTORS IN DETERMINING ABANDONMENT OF LPR STATUS
During the review of a naturalization application and interview, USCIS may determine that the applicant has failed to establish that he or she is an LPR due to abandoning his or her LPR status.
USCIS reviews multiple factors when assessing whether an applicant objectively intended to abandon his or her LPR status, including:
- Length of absence from the United States;
The longer an LPR spends outside the United States, the more difficult for the LPR to show an intent to return to the United States to live permanently in the United States as an LPR. If a resident stayed outside of the US for longer time due to unforeseeable circumstance, the resident needs to show that he continued to intend to return as soon possible. A single visit every year to the United States, for those residing outside of the United States, does not preserve LPR status. When a resident regularly absent from the US he needs to prove to immigration officer that he is maintain his LPR status.
- Purpose of travel outside the United States;
An LPR should ordinarily “have a definite reason for proceeding abroad temporarily” like a vacation or family visit.
- Intent to return to the United States as an LPR; and
The applicant must have intended to return to the United States as a place of employment or business or as an actual home during the course of the visit outside the United States.
- Continued ties to the United States.
An applicant should have multiple connections to the United States that establish an intent to reside permanently in the United States, such as:
- Filing federal and state income tax returns as a resident of the United States;
- Maintaining property and business affiliations in the United States;
- Maintaining a driver’s license with a U.S. address of record; and
- Immediate family members residing in the United States who are U.S. citizens, LPRs, or are seeking citizenship or LPR status.
- Immediate family members residing outside of the United States;
- Property and business ties in a foreign country;
- Employment by a foreign employer or foreign government;
- Voting in foreign elections;
- Running for political office in a foreign country; and
- Frequent and extended trips outside of the United States.
Some residents may seek to preserve their residence for naturalization if they leave the United States for 1 year or more to engage in qualifying employment outside the United States. Preservation of residence may permit an applicant to avoid breaking the continuity of his or her residence for purposes of the continuous residence requirement and, in some cases, the physical presence requirement. However, approval of an application to preserve residence does not guarantee that the applicant (or any family members) will not be found, upon returning to the United States, to have lost LPR status through abandonment.
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