Does anyone here have any experience on maintaining a US GC while living in Canada to fulfill the Canadian PR and citizenship residency requirements?
My situation is that I am currently in the US with a US EB2/3 GC priority date of Sept 2012, which it looks increasingly likely will be current for ‘Final Action’ either this fiscal year (ending September) or at the latest by end of the next fiscal year thanks to all the Covid-induced spillover from unused family based GCs (I have well-informed sources for this PD movement I can share if anyone is curious). I have my Canadian PR with 3.5 years left to go since soft landing for me to fulfill my residency obligation there. So far I have not done a single day.
Ideally I would like to get both the US GC and become a Canadian citizen. For the purposes of this post, I am assuming I get the GC soon-ish (i.e. with enough time left on my Canadian PR to do 2 years there after briefly taking up the GC job in the US) and then I move to Canada to do the three years for citizenship.
From an immigration standpoint, my cursory reading suggests that keeping the GC alive is technically / legally possible by applying for a re-entry permit with USCIS which permits one to be overseas for two years at a time without re-entering the US on the GC. This permit can be extended up to 5 years, which in theory should give me 3 years to complete the Canadian citizenship requirement. In practice, I would visit the US a few times a year, but I believe just visiting occasionally is technically not sufficient to keep the GC alive, especially if you have taken up PR elsewhere, and a sharp CBP officer can send you to an immigration judge to determine whether your GC should be revoked. The re-entry permit supposedly gets around this by certifying your intent to maintain your US PR/GC despite the long absences from the US. (That said, I believe this is not a slam dunk either, as USCIS can still make a qualitative judgment that you have abandoned your PR intentions and/or they can reject your re-entry permit application if you say something like ‘completing Canadian PR requirements’. The risk seems low unless you list a stupid reason like Canadian PR, but it does seem possible from what I’ve read, especially if you don’t have a home in the US or a US based job.)
Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on how to keep the GC alive from an immigration standpoint?
My second question concerns taxes. My reading suggests a US GC holder and Canadian PR living in Canada, as I would be, has to file as a tax resident in both countries. As it stands, I would be working for a US employer while in Canada but my US employer has no Canadian base. I can do that as an independent contractor based in Canada or as a US employee on US payroll working in Canada. Any thoughts on which is easier or better from a tax perspective?
I would also have large amounts of US source capital gains income as part of my job (much higher than wage income). Is anyone familiar with taxation on this as a dual resident? I came across this page which suggests that despite the tax treaty, I would be double taxed a US GC. If so, that would kind of make this idea of keeping both the GC and the Canadian citizenship a non-starter.
Up till now, I had resigned myself to moving to Canada since I figured I’d never get my GC any time soon. I never thought I’d be in this situation where I might have access to both Canada and the US! Leaving aside questions about which country is preferable, I’d really appreciate any and all thoughts on how to preserve both options. I am sure there are others in this situation / dilemma this year too!
P.S. - I realize the cleanest way is perhaps to defer the GC to after getting Canadian citizenship, but that may not be an option in my case due to employment reasons.
Edited to add: I am obviously seeking both professional legal and professional immigration advice also.