Immigration services and benefits for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) are provided by – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
USCIS does not have an office in Riga, therefore, U.S. Embassy Riga can provide limited services for LPRs physically present in Latvia. The Consular Section of U.S. Embassy Riga can:
- process applications for boarding foils;
- determine returning resident status;
- or execute applications from LPRs abandoning their legal resident status.
Frequently asked questions
How do I maintain my status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States?
A lawful permanent resident or a conditional resident of the United States will maintain status provided he/she retains a bona fide domicile in the United States and does not remain outside the United States for one year or more.
A resident in possession of a Reentry Permit issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may remain outside the United States for up to two years.
As a U.S. resident, you are required to obey all of the laws of the United States. You are required to file your income tax return and report your income to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and State IRS. If you are a male, age 18-25, you are required to register with the Selective Service. You are also expected to support the democratic form of government.
Read more on USCIS website at www.uscis.gov.
My Green Card is lost/stolen. Can I get a new one at the embassy?
Only USCIS offices in the United States can issue replacement Green cards for LPRs. You may, however, visit the U.S. Embassy Riga and apply for a Boarding Foil that would allow you to return to the United States. Boarding Foils may only be issued to LPRs who are returning to the United States after an absence of less than one year. Please consult section “Lost/Stolen Green Card” for more information.
I am a conditional resident of the United States and my conditional status will soon expire . What should I do?
Сonditional residents should file with USCIS a petition to remove their conditions of residence ninety days before the expiration date of the I-551 card (Green card) in order to become lawful permanent residents. Aliens who obtained their conditional resident status through marriage should file Form I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence. Those who obtained their conditional status based on being investors or entrepreneurs should file Form I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Condition.
Please note: If you fail to file the petition in a timely manner, you lose your chance to qualify for the permanent resident status. A new immigrant visa process would have to be initiated if you’d wish to continue living in the United States.
I have been outside the United States for longer than 12 months. How can I go back?
In general, Lawful Permanent Residents would abandon their lawful status if they remained outside the U.S. for one year or more without obtaining a Reentry Permit from USCIS prior to their trip.
However, you may be eligible for a Returning Resident Visa, SB-1 Special Immigrant Visa, if you can demonstrate that you did not intend to abandon status. You will need to schedule an appointment with the Consular Officer at the Embassy and submit evidence to determine if your stay abroad was caused by reasons beyond your control, such as family emergency, unplanned medical treatment, etc. Please consult section “Returning Residents” for more information.
I'm a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident and my child was just born in Latvia. How can I bring my child to the United States?
Your child does not need a visa or form I-551 (Green card) to enter the United States provided that the following four conditions are met:
a) the child was born during the Legal Permanent Resident alien mother’s temporary visit to Latvia;
b) the child will apply for admission to the Unites States within two years after birth;
c) child’s accompanying parent (mother or father) holding a lawful resident status will apply for readmission for the first time after the child’s birth;
d) and the child’s accompanying parent (mother or father) will be able to present the child’s birth certificate along with a notarized English translation as an evidence of child-parent relationship.
An immigrant visa is required in all other situations.
I am a U.S. lawful permanent resident and plan to be outside the United States for more than one year. Is there anything I can do to keep my LPR status while living abroad?
If you plan to be outside the U.S. for one year or more and intend to maintain your LPR or conditional LPR status you must obtain a Reentry Permit by filing form I-131 Application for Travel Document with USCIS.
The application has to be filed no fewer than 60 days before your trip abroad and it must be filed while physically present in the U.S. to submit your biometrics. Reentry permits are normally valid for 2 years from the date of issuance and allow a permanent resident or conditional resident to apply for admission to the United States upon returning from abroad during the permit’s validity, without having to obtain a Returning Resident Visa. As a lawful resident you must also file income tax returns while living outside of the U.S. for any period of time.
You may be found to have abandoned your status if you move to another country intending to live there permanently.