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Most of our clients are well aware that the process of obtaining a green card through a U.S. employer or a U.S. relative can take several months to several years. Because of the lengthy processing times, it is typically a cause for much celebration once a foreign national receives the green card and becomes a lawful permanent resident (LPR).

Many lawful permanent residents think that once they receive their green card, their responsibilities are over and they do not need to worry about their immigration status in the United States ever again. Unfortunately, that is not exactly the case. When a foreign national becomes an LPR, the national does enjoy the unrestricted rights to live, work, and travel in and outside of the U.S. without the need for obtaining a visa. However, becoming an LPR also subjects the foreign national to many critical responsibilities. If the LPR fails to fulfill these responsibilities, the U.S. government can take away the LPR’s green card and permanent residence.

Our offices in New York help LPRs fulfill their responsibilities and maintain their permanent residence. We are happy to provide these services to clients all over the country.

What are an LPR’s Responsibilities?

When a foreign national becomes an LPR, the national must make sure to pay taxes on all income earned in the United States. The responsibility to report income and pay taxes rests wholly on the LPR and the U.S. government takes this responsibility very, very seriously. Additionally, it is also the responsibility of the LPR to refrain from voting in U.S. elections. Only U.S. citizens may vote in elections and voting unlawfully is considered a very serious crime in the United States.

Moreover, it is also the LPR’s responsibility to actually live and reside in the United States. The failure to meet this responsibility is one of the most frequently cited reasons why LPRs lose their green cards, because many LPRs will spend several months to several years outside of the country and will not maintain ties to the U.S. or apply for a re-entry permit. Upon trying to re-enter the country after such a long absence, the immigration officers feel that these LPRs have abandoned their permanent residency and do not allow the LPRs to enter.

If you are an LPR and you need to travel outside of the U.S. for a period of six months or longer, contact our Brooklyn or New York office and speak to one of our skilled attorneys who can explain how you can apply for a re-entry permit and how you can maintain your permanent residency.