Lawful Permanent Residency ("LPR") status opens many opportunities - but it has its limitations too.
LPRs can travel more easily but must be mindful that long or frequent absences can affect their LPR status or citizenship plans.
LPRs can live anywhere in the U.S, but they must inform USCIS whenever they change addresses.
LPRs can also work or study in the U.S. and, like U.S. citizens ("USCs"), they must register for social security, selective service, and pay taxes even though they are not allowed to vote or serve as a juror.
LPRs can lose their status. As non-citizens they can be placed in removal proceedings in Immigration Court, particularly for criminal activities and certain immigration violations.
We assist LPRs to protect and manage their status, enabling them to maintain it over time and/or to successfully transition to becoming a U.S. citizen. Our services include:
"Removal of Condition" Petitions When LPR status is conditionally approved, which is common in marriage-based cases, USCIS issues a green card (also known as a "Form I-551") valid for two years only. Receiving a regular ten-year card, requires another petition (with evidence) that must be filed during the 90-day period right before the conditional, two-year card expires. An interview, and some instances a home visit, may also be required. Failure to remove conditions can subject you to removal proceedings in Immigration Court. For more information, please Contact Us for an initial consultation.
I-551 (Green Card) Renewal Applications When a regular ten-year I-551 or green card expires, the actual LPR status does not. But, this i.d. card provides the strongest proof of your LPR status. If your card has or will soon expire, it's important to apply for a new one and, in some instances, to get alternate proof of LPR status (such as an I-551 passport stamp) while waiting for the new card to arrive. For more information, please Contact Us for an initial consultation.
"Re-entry Permit" Applications LPRs who depart the U.S. and are gone for a year or more, can seriously jeopardize their LPR status. Even an LPR who is absent less than a year - but more than six-months - will likely face questions concerning the validity of their U.S. residence. Long absences can suggest to the U.S. government that the LPR has actually abandoned their U.S. residence. To prove otherwise, LPRs who plan to be abroad for more than six months, should apply for a "re-entry permit" before leaving the U.S. This permit, which can be valid for up to two-years and is renewable (within limits), is strong proof of the LPR's intention to maintain their U.S. residence and can make re-entry much easier. For more information, please Contact Us for an initial consultation. "Preserving Residence" Applications To naturalize, an LPR must show that they have continuously resided in the U.S. for the preceding five years (or three years, in some cases). When an LPR is absent from the U.S. for a year or more, the continuity of their residence automatically breaks. (When an LPR is gone more than six months but less than a year, a break in the continuity of residence is presumed, but this presumption can be challenged.) LPRs who work for certain kinds of employers abroad, however, can apply to protect their continuity residence from breaking, even when they have to live outside of the U.S. for an extended period of time. For more information, please Contact Us for an initial consultation. A Note About Maine's Marijuana Laws We are keenly aware that differences between certain state and federal laws create confusion and can lead to difficult circumstances for otherwise law abiding LPRs. Maine's legalization of adult recreational and medicinal marijuana might suggest to LPRs that using marijuana (even for a medical condition) or being connected to a licensed marijuana business, does not affect them differently than any other Maine resident. Unfortunately, they would be wrong. Under federal law, marijuana is a "controlled substance". Using marijuana or being affiliated with a marijuana business, could seriously impact an LPR's efforts to become a U.S. citizen, derail their re-entry into the U.S, especially if they are returning after an absence of six months or more, and even subject them to removal proceedings in Immigration Court. For more information, please Contact Us for an initial consultation.