I have a green card with expiration in late 2019. Last year, after having been outside of the US for more than 2 years, I went to the US embassy to find out if I could be re-admitted since I had not returned to the US since mid-2015. I was told to apply for a tourist visa, and received one for 10 years. I was not asked to turn in my green card. Was my green card automatically cancelled and am I no longer required to file US tax returns?
Do you want to keep your US permanent residency (and were you paying US taxes even when living outside USA), or do you want to abandon it, and not to pay US taxes anymore?– Peter M. - stands for MonicaMar 30, 2018 at 14:04
Was my green card automatically cancelled and am I no longer required to file US tax returns?
I would say no. Unless you've actually filed I-407 to give up your green card, or you've received a ruling from an immigration court that you abandoned residency or something, I would say you are probably still a resident alien for US tax purposes.
For one thing, it is technically possible for a US permanent resident to use a US visitor visa to enter the US, as mentioned in this section of the FAM. Although this is for an "emergency" visit, and is not like your case, it shows that permanent residency and a visitor visa are not mutually exclusive.
If you want to make sure you are not a resident alien for US tax purposes anymore, just file I-407.
Valid Green card should allow OP to enter USA without a tourist visa, if I am not mistaken. So my gut feeling is that by requiring Tourist visa, US Embassy considers OP's US residency no longer operational, and they allowed him to keep the Green Card for keepsakes. IANAL. Mar 30, 2018 at 14:09
@PeterMasiar: Even if a permanent resident's green card is expired and/or they have been continuously out of the US for so many years that they are unlikely to be allowed back into the US as a permanent resident, they are still considered a resident alien for US tax purposes until they formally sign the form to relinquish or it, or a formal determination has been made by an immigration judge or USCIS. Otherwise, it is still possible in principle (no matter how unlikely) that the person will still be let into the US as a permanent resident. Mar 30, 2018 at 14:34
I see. So even if person (GC holder) will not be allowed to enter USA, is still required to pay US taxes. Makes sense. Taxes above all. That's why I asked OP if he wants to keep residency and keep paying US taxes, or not, and just visit USA on tourist visa occasionally. Mar 30, 2018 at 15:14