There are many responsibilities for lawful permanent residents, several of which have been covered in the previous entries. Another one that is very important is the filing of US taxes. Pursuant to 8 C.R.F. § 316.5(c)(2), “an applicant who is a lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United states, but who voluntarily claims nonresident alien status to qualify for special exemptions from income tax liability, or fails to file either federal or state income tax returns because he or she considers himself or herself to be a nonresident alien, raises a rebuttable presumption that the applicant has relinquished the privileges of permanent resident status in the United States.” Many times, a lawful permanent resident will not earn any money in the US, but they will still have to file foreign income on a US tax form. There are certain treaties that could determine whether or not taxes will have to be paid in the US as well as their country of origin, but they will have to be reported either way. If during the course of travelling, you are outside of the US for a year without a re-entry permit, or for more than 2 years total, you will not be allowed to return through the use of your green card, and you may find it best to apply for a special immigrant visa (SB-1). As long as the following requirements are met, the visa can be awarded.

  • The alien had the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of departure from the United States;
  • The alien departed from the United States with the intention of returning and has not abandoned that intention; and
  • The alien is returning to the United Stated from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay abroad was protracted, this was caused by reasons beyond the alien’s control and for which the alien was not responsible.

Hopefully this and the previous few entries were able to help spread a little information about travelling with a green card.