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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28811
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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I obtained permanent resident status in the US in 1994. I

Customer Question

My name is***** obtained permanent resident status in the US in 1994. I left the US in 2000 and returned to Europe. During those years of residence, I neglected for several years to file my taxes. My green card expired in 2008. How can I find out if my permanent resident status has been revoked? I have developed a product I want to sell in the US and need to fill in Form w8-8BEN. I am cautious about filling this form in case my resident status is still active and I will have to pay US tax. Can you please advise? Thank you.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I think that is all the information that is relevant for now but let me know if there are other specifics you need.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.

You are no longer a lawful permanent resident after being outside the US for more than one year. The law automatically considers you to have abandoned your status by your prolonged absence.

You failed to maintain any of the compelling ties which establish you to be a returning resident:

1. Payment of taxes;

2. Maintaining a residence in the US;

3. Having a return ticket to the US when you departed and not returning because some circumstance outside your control prevented your return (such as illness or death of a immediate relative);

4. That you did not hold employment abroad establishing your tie to the country where you have been living.

5. Having left back in the US close immediate family members which you had no intentions of leaving.

My suggestion to you would be to do one of the following:

1. Make an appointment with the US embassy to file the I-407 to fprmally abandon your resident status and at the same time apply for a US visitor visa to come to the US to register your product and retain an agent in the US to handle it's sales.

2. Attempt to apply for an SB-1 Returning Resident visa at the US Embassy.

http://www.ustraveldocs.com/no/no-iv-sbivisas.asp

3. Retain an attorney to bring your case before an immigration judge to determine whether you have abandoned your status.

Regarding the filing of the W8-8BEN, I am not able to help with that because it is a tax matter and I can only give your direction regarding your immigration status.

Of course, I am sure you understand your positive rating is very important to me as we are not on salary and that is how we receive compensation, you choosing a smiley face or 3+ stars
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.

Judith

https://www.uscis.gov/i-407

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Judith, I didn't find your reply very helpful. I have researched it myself since and it looks like I would be classed as a covered expatriate. So, given this status, I'm quite certain immigration would not allow me into the country to register a product, as you suggested. As for number 3, I don't need to ring an attorney to bring my case before an immigration judge to determine if I have abandoned my status because I already know that I have NOT formally done this since I didn't return my green card or submit form 1-407.
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

With all due respect, I had already said I could not help you with a tax matter:

"Regarding the filing of the W8-8BEN, I am not able to help with that because it is a tax matter and I can only give your direction regarding your immigration status."

You do not have to return your I-551 to be considered to have abandoned your status. Your absence coupled with severing your ties to the US can create the presumption of abandonment.

So I am very confused about what you are saying. I am understanding you to say you have not abandoned your permanent resident status. That is contrary to the law as held In Re Imran Wahid BIA July 15, 2015 which held

INA 101(a(13)(C)(ii) states that an alien who is absent from the US for a continuous period of more that one year has abandoned their immigrant status.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/271667571/Imran-Wahid-A047-700-704-BIA-July-1-2015?utm_source=Recent%20Postings%20Alert&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=RP%20Daily

That does not mean you cannot apply for a non-immigrant visa to enter the US to register your product.

Of course, I am sure you understand your positive rating is very important to me as we are not on salary and that is how we receive compensation, you choosing a smiley face or 3+ stars
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.

Judith