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  1. @Sarah,

    The tax consequences of your client’s situation sit in isolation from his immigration status. Think of it this way. The IRS says you are an income tax resident of the USA because of green card status until the fat lady sings. “The fat lady sings” = paperwork. The paperwork is either (a) abandonment of the green card — Form I-407; (b) revocation of the green card (by whatever formal process Uncle Sam has, culminating in the expiration of any appeals rights); or (c) election of nonresident status under an income tax treaty.

    I’m guessing that your client has some tax stuff to fix. Usually the path of least resistance is to clean up the past appropriately (using the Streamlined Procedures plus other clean-up strategies until you have 5 full years fixed), then expatriate.

    I do not know of any rules that say “I’m living abroad therefore I am deemed to have abandoned my green card” or “I have spent too much time abroad so the USCIS would be allowed to revoke my green card if they found me” as a way out of this predicament.

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Tax laws change over time, and the information in this post above may be less accurate today than it was at the time of the last revision. This post is not tax advice for your specific situation. Please contact an international tax professional to get personalized advice for your situation.