Published on the World Journal Weekly on August 16, 2015


Q&A 1. 2.

I Lost My Naturalization Certificate What Should I Do?

A reader asks:

  1. I lost my naturalization certificate and I do not know the certificate number.  Where should I file for a replacement?

  2. I was naturalized in 1998.  I have my driver license and social security number.  Will these information enough?

  3. After I file papers for a replacement, how long will I hear from U.S.C.I.S.?  Should I file my fingerprint certificate when I file for a replacement or to wait for fingerprint notice?

Mr. Lee answers,

Dependent upon where you reside in the United States, you would either be filing an N-565 application to replace citizenship or naturalization certificate at U.S.C.I.S.’s lockbox in Texas or Nebraska. U.S.C.I.S. should be able to find your entitlement to U. S. citizenship so long as you have your alien registration number (number on the green card). Having a driver’s license and Social Security number will not be enough information, but your green card number should be enough. The processing time for an N-565 application is approximately 1 ½ years for the Nebraska service center and 7 months for the Texas service center based on current processing times of U.S.C.I.S.  No biometrics or fingerprints are required for the application.

Q&A 2.

Taking Care of Elderly Mother in China and Trying to Keep the Green Card.

A green card holder asks:

I am a green card holder for 26 years and I file taxes every year.  My mother in China is now 84 years old with a heart disease and I wish to go back home to take care of her long-term.  I am wondering if I give up my green card and go back to China, do I break any U.S. law?  When will my green card be officially expired?  Will I have problem coming back in to the U.S. with my Chinese passport in the future?  If I work and take care of my mother in China at the same time, do I need to file the U.S. taxes returns?  If I do, how to file my U.S. taxes legally?  Is there a way I can keep my green card and go back to China to care for my mother?

Mr. Lee answers:

Giving up the green card and going back to China is a choice that you are entitled to make as a green card holder. You would not be breaking any U. S. laws. A permanent resident is allowed at maximum to take a trip overseas for one day less than a year holding a green card alone. With a reentry permit, a permanent resident is allowed at maximum to take a trip overseas for one day less than 2 years. I note that if you continually stay outside the United States even with a reentry permit, a customs and border protection (CBP) inspector may believe that you have abandoned the green card and give you a problem when you come back with your green card and Chinese passport. A permanent resident has the duty to pay U. S. taxes on his or her worldwide income, and so you would be liable for the payment of taxes even if you earn the money in China. To file your U. S. taxes legally, we understand that overseas people should be filing to:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Ctr.
Austin, TX 73301-0215

Our best recommendation for keeping your green card and going back to China to care for your mother is to take out a reentry permit, keep as many ties and bonds in the U. S. as you can, and return to the country at least once every 6 months. You can also carry proof of your mother’s condition when you travel back to the States.


Copyright © 2003-2017 Alan Lee, Esq.
The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular set of facts or circumstances. It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of the Law Office of Alan Lee or establish an attorney-client relationship.


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