Overseas Assignments Can Be Tricky for U.S. Permanent Residents


Your company has a temporary position in the Sydney, Australia office and it has been difficult to find the perfect person for the assignment. During the selection process, you discover that your top candidate is a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and that a long stay outside the U.S. could affect his LPR status and his eligibility for U.S. naturalization. He asks that, if selected, you take the necessary steps to ensure he does not lose his LPR status or his eligibility for U.S. citizenship. The company’s immigration lawyer advises you that a LPR who remains outside the U.S. for more than one year could be considered to have relinquished his LPR status and an absence of six-to-twelve months could break his continuous residence for naturalization. You expect the assignment to last up to two years and determine that the following steps are necessary to protect the candidate while he is overseas:

• Apply for a Reentry Permit – An LPR who has been absent from the U.S. for more than one year could be found to have abandoned his LPR status and be refused admission. A Reentry Permit (RP) allows a LPR to reenter the U.S. during the validity period (generally two years) under the presumption that he has not abandoned his LPR status. The LPR must apply for the RP and complete the biometrics step in the U.S. before departure. He may depart before the RP is approved. If the overseas assignment will run longer than two years, the LPR may apply for a new RP but he must return to the U.S. before the RP expires and be physically present in the U.S. when he reapplies;

• Apply to preserve residence for naturalization – A LPR must meet several requirements to naturalize, including:

? residing continuously in the U.S. for five years (3 years if qualifying as a U.S. citizen spouse) following the granting of LPR status; and....

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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