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Green Card Holders & Long Term Residency for Expatriation Purposes

What is a Long Term GC holder?

A Green card holder for 8 or more years is considered to be “long term” Green card holder. This is important, because at that juncture, if one were to give up their GC, they would be required to file form 8854.  Failure to do so would render the taxpayer a US tax resident in perpetuity, even though they have given up their GC.

When is 8 years really 8 years?

Mark is a citizen of Spain and US green card holder. He has had a green card for 9 years but for the recent 5 years he lived in Spain. Mark came to the conclusion that he is not required to file 8854 because he was in the United States only for 4 years, whereas the requirement to file form 8854 applies to green card holders who have been legal permanent residents of the US for 8 or more years.

Despite having lived outside of the US for 5 years, Mark is still a LTR (long term resident)  and required to file 8854.

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