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Hello. I am a naturalized citizen of the United States if America. My husband and our child are American also.

New York, NY |

I am trying to apply for a green card for my Japanese mother who reside in Japan. I already filled out all the application but have one question unanswered.

Is there any demerit for her to obtain green card, like U.S. tax duty, any rules on how much time she MUST spend in U.S. to retain her green card, etc?

(She will retire in Japan soon and we want her to be able to spend as much time as possible with our child here. )

Any advice will be truly appreciated.
Thank you very much for reading.


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Attorney answers 3


As a green card holder she will be liable for U.S. income taxes on her worldwide income, and have to file U.S. tax returns as a resident. The rules for spending time in the U.S. are not fixed on a certain number of days per year, but any trip spent outside the U.S. of 6 months or more calls into question whether she really is still a resident of the U.S. In many such situations, a person is better off with a visitor's visa (though in that case one also needs to avoid spending too much time in the U.S.).


As a permanent resident, your mother's income will be subject to US taxation but there are exemptions. You should check with a CPA or tax attorney regarding this issue.
As for keeping her green card, she must reside permanently in the US to keep her status. Only visiting will not be enough but there are ways to keep her flexible for some time by applying for a re-entry permit. Details should be discussed with an immigration attorney.


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