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As a European currently in USA with a working visa, I have been recently offered assistance to file a green card through my employer.

While I am happy living and working in USA for the time being, it is hard to see myself forever living here. Thus I do not know for how long I will be in the country.

Still getting a green card seems to be a positive thing to get for a stay of 5-10 years since I will not be dependent on a visa and also for the case that if when the time comes I want to stay longer.

Now, I wonder about the drawbacks of getting a green card, so far I can see that:

  1. I will have to declare and potentially pay taxes to USA even when working in another country
  2. I will not be able to spend more than a year abroad without losing this green card.
  3. I am afraid that losing the green card status might hurt future attempts to apply for it again many years from now. What if I want to immigrate to USA when I am 40-50 years old ?

What else should be aware of?

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  • "I will not be able to spend more than a year abroad without losing this green card": it doesn't work like that. The reality is more nuanced. It's entirely possible for a US permanent resident to be away from the US for more than a year, but one must be careful about it.
    – phoog
    Apr 29 at 22:20
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  1. I will have to declare and potentially pay taxes to USA even when working in another country

You can file I-407 at any time to formally relinquish your green card and no longer have tax treatment of a green card holder. So it is no "worse" than if you had never gotten a green card. (Though there is an issue with Expatriation Tax if you are a long-term resident and you have high income or assets.)

  1. I will not be able to spend more than a year abroad without losing this green card.

You can apply for a Re-entry Permit before a long absence, and you can use it to return during the validity of the Re-entry Permit, which are issued for 2 years. (Of course, you still have to maintain residence in the US.) And even if you don't have a Re-entry Permit and leave for more than 1 year, that still does not necessarily mean you lose your green card. You can try to get an SB-1 returning resident visa at a US consulate, or you can travel to the US anyway and try to have the immigration officer and/or immigration judge waive your failure to meet the documentary requirements.

And ultimately, even if you do lose your green card, it is still no "worse" than if you had never gotten a green card to begin with, so I don't see how this can be a "drawback" of getting a green card.

  1. I am afraid that losing the green card status might hurt future attempts to apply for it again many years from now. What if I want to immigrate to USA when I am 40-50 years old ?

No. Relinquishing or abandoning residence (and not being deported for a crime or something like that) should not make it harder for you to immigrate later from scratch if you otherwise qualify for an avenue to immigrate again at that time.

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    There is the issue of Expatriation Tax if one has significant appreciated assets when the green card is abandoned. Non-immigrants avoid this.
    – Dennis
    Apr 29 at 23:24
  • @Dennis could you develop this?
    – ViB
    May 3 at 22:04

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