My bro-in-law from Philippines worked here legally with a green card for 35 - 40 years. He stayed away too long in Philippines caring for mother. When he returned, agents siezed his green card. He is in his 60's. He went to SSA and applied for retirement. They refused because he no longer has a green card. He will probably never get it back because he has no relatives in U.S. to claim him. If, after paying social security taxes for all that time and being legal the entire time, can they really deny him his benefits?
To receive SS benefits, a person must be in the US under a lawful status.
That being said, some questions remain. A person does not lose his/her legal permanent residence status that easily. They have to appear before an Immigration Judge, and the Judge has to rescind the status. When did he return? Did he go before an Immigration Judge?
Best thing would be for him to consult with an Immigration attorney right away. Only after resolving this issue will he have a chance of getting his SS benefits.
More information is needed about what exactly transpired. This is a matter that is very serious and best handled in a consultation with an immigration lawyer. Some questions are Avvo-appropriate, but this is not one of them.
If you appreciate the time spent preparing this answer, kindly consider marking it BEST HELPFUL. Good luck to you.
Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
560 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
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