Situations in which Abandonment Arises – Re-Entry to the US and Citizenship Application
The question of abandonment usually arises in two situations: upon re-entry to the U.S., and when applying for citizenship. When a Lawful Permanent Resident (“LPR”) is returning, the inspector at the airport will review the LPR’s passport, and can see the various entries and exits, and may advise the LPR that it doesn’t appear he is actually residing in the U.S. At that point, the officer may allow the person into the country with advice that this is a potential issue, and he should consult an attorney before leaving again, or, the officer may place that person into removal proceedings for him to respond to the charge and present evidence to the immigration judge.
If an officer doesn’t advise the LPR on this point upon attempting to enter the U.S., it absolutely will come up when the LPR applies for U.S. citizenship. You may believe you are about to become a U.S. citizen only to find your case denied, and if you aren’t successful in your reply to the issue, you could find yourself actually in removal proceedings about to lose it all. So there are two huge points that arise from an LPR being out of the U.S. a lot. One is qualifying for citizenship, and a separate issue is actually losing your permanent resident status through abandonment.