Retention and Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Residency
When a person is admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident (“LPR” status), he or she does not receive an absolute grant of residence for the rest of his or her life. Rather, the grant is conditional and depends upon certain conditions remaining unchanged. For example, if an LPR co
Actual Home in the U.S.When a person is given LPR status, they are expected to make their actual home in the United States. If they leave the U.S. for anything other than a temporary purpose, they will lose their LPR status automatically. This means that when they attempt to return to the U.S. after having automatically abandoned their LPR status, they can be detained at the port of entry and held pending a determination of abandonment by an immigration judge. In many cases, such returnees are not told of their right to a hearing before an immigration judge and are simply put on the next flight out of the U.S. For this reason, it is important to understand what constitutes a "temporary" absence and what constitutes abandonment of LPR status.
Purpose in leavingThe Board next cited Section 101(a)(33) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for the definition of "residence":
The "one trip a year myth"One of the more prevalent myths in the immigrant community is that an LPR need only make one trip a year to the U.S. to "maintain" their LPR status. This is patently untrue. While the INS is reasonably lenient in making determinations of abandonment, a person who lives and works abroad will eventually be determined to have abandoned their lawful permanent resident status. That could come as early as their first trip back, or as late as two or three years into their overseas stay, but it will happen.