Can My Green Card Be Revoked?

June 7, 2024

A green card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card (PRC), grants non-citizens the right to live and work in the United States permanently. While obtaining a green card is a significant milestone, it's crucial to understand that this status is not unconditional. Various circumstances can lead to the revocation of a green card, resulting in a number of consequences and life-changing events. Keep reading to learn more about the conditions under which a green card can be revoked, the legal procedures involved, and how to prevent it from happening.

Reasons for Green Card Revocation

While holding a green card provides many benefits and rights, it also comes with specific responsibilities and conditions. Violating these conditions can lead to the loss of your permanent resident status. 

Criminal Activity

Engaging in certain criminal activities can put your green card at risk. Crimes such as drug offenses, aggravated felonies, domestic violence, and other crimes involving moral turpitude can lead to revocation. The U.S. government takes these offenses seriously, and a conviction can trigger deportation proceedings.

Fraud or Misrepresentation

Obtaining a green card through fraudulent means or misrepresentation can lead to its revocation. Common examples include marriage fraud (marrying solely for immigration benefits) and falsifying documents. If discovered, the consequences are severe, including deportation and a permanent ban from re-entering the U.S. Deliberately failing to report and file yearly income taxes or lying on tax forms is also considered fraud.

Security Concerns

Activities deemed threats to national security can result in the loss of permanent residency. This includes involvement in terrorist activities, espionage, or any actions compromising U.S. national security. Returning to the country after an extended stay often requires inspections by U.S. Border Protection and Customs because of safety concerns.

Abandonment of Permanent Residency

Permanent residents must maintain their primary residence in the United States. Extended stays outside the U.S. can be considered abandonment of residency. Factors such as the length of stay abroad, ties to the U.S. (e.g., property and family, including minor children), and intentions to return are considered by immigration authorities. 

A lawful permanent resident can leave the U.S. for up to six months. However, an absence of more than six months but less than a year during the statutory period, or period when continuous residence is required, is considered a break in continuous residence. Breaks in residence can draw out the naturalization process.

Moreover, green card holders must apply for a re-entry permit if they must leave the U.S. for over six months. The re-entry permit establishes that you are not abandoning your status. In this case, green card holders are able to travel abroad for up to two years. Evidence can be used to determine adherence, but in some cases of prolonged absence in the U.S., your green card status is considered abandoned.

It's important to note that an immigrant visa is different from a green card. While a visa can start the permanent resident status process, it does not provide the same status. In some cases, someone can become a conditional permanent resident first.

Legal Procedures for Revocation

Your permanent residence status will not be revoked overnight or without warning. The process of revoking a green card involves several legal steps. It typically begins with issuing a Notice to Appear (NTA) for a removal hearing. During this hearing, the individual has the right to present their case and challenge the grounds for revocation. It is crucial to have legal representation from an immigration lawyer to help you navigate these complex proceedings.

Preventing Green Card Revocation

Maintaining your permanent residency status requires diligence. Here are some tips to help you stay compliant:

  • Avoid engaging in criminal activities.
  • Be truthful and transparent in all immigration-related matters.
  • Maintain strong ties to the U.S. if you travel abroad, including maintaining a residence, paying taxes, and keeping family connections.
  • Stay informed about changes in immigration laws and policies.

What to Do if Your Green Card Is at Risk

If you believe your Green Card is at risk, you must act quickly. Here are immediate steps to take.

Seek Legal Advice

Consult with an experienced immigration attorney immediately. Our experienced immigration law attorneys can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and help you understand your rights and options.

Gather Documentation

Collect all documents supporting your case, such as evidence of ties to the U.S., proof of legal status, and good conduct records.

Prepare for Legal Proceedings

Be ready to present your case to an immigration judge during removal proceedings. Your attorney can help you develop a strong defense strategy to prove that you are not trying to circumvent immigration laws in immigration court.

Maintain Permanent Resident Status with the Help of Immigration Attorneys Salmón & Haas

While the prospect of Green Card revocation is scary, understanding the risks and taking proactive steps can help safeguard your status. If you face potential revocation, remember that legal support is crucial. 

At Salmon & Haas Immigration Law Attorneys, we are here to help you navigate these challenges and protect your future in the United States. Contact us today for expert legal assistance for green cards and other immigration essentials.

Let Us Help You Win Your Case Today

Immigration law can be complex, but we always stay on top of the latest developments. If you have questions about immigration law or your immigration case, contact us today to set up a free initial consultation.

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