5 Ways You Can Lose US Permanent Resident Status

How can I lose my permanent resident status?

Permanent resident status gives an individual the right to live in America for the foreseeable future. Often referred to as green card holders, these individuals must abide by certain requirements to maintain their status. If they engage in certain behaviors, they face deportation and the loss of their permanent resident status. What are some ways a person can lose this status? 

1) Criminal Activity

Any permanent resident may lose their status if convicted of certain types of crimes. For this reason, any person arrested for criminal activity who holds this status should speak to an attorney. For instance, a person charged with sexual assault should reach out to a sex crime attorney. This attorney can then work with an immigration attorney to protect their green card status while defending them against the criminal charge. 

Can I lose my green card if I live abroad?

2) Residing in a Different Country

A person loses their permanent resident status if they live in another country for over 12 months. In fact, certain individuals have faced a deportation hearing for residing in another country for a shorter time period. This hearing becomes a concern if the person doesn't file their taxes with the IRS while living abroad or if they intend to live outside of the country, as determined by a Customs and Border Protection officer on their reentry. 

However, the law allows for certain exceptions. If a person gets a re-entry permit before leaving the United States, they can extend their stay in another country up to 24 months. Government personnel also may remain outside of the country for over 12 months if they are on an official overseas assignment. 

3) Voluntarily Surrender Green Card 

A person might choose to surround their green card voluntarily, which leads to the loss of permanent resident status. They often do so to avoid paying taxes in the United States. However, they should reach out to an attorney before taking this step to understand the implications. In addition, if a person is asked to sign a Form I-407, they are voluntarily deporting the country and losing the right to defend themselves in any proceedings. A person should never sign this form without legal guidance. 

How could resident aliens lose their status?

4) Conditional Residency

Some individuals receive permanent resident status with conditions. A failure to remove these conditions could lead to their removal when the green card expires after two years. For example, a spouse who enters the country as a green card holder must file certain paperwork to remove the conditions within 90 days before the card expires. Conditional cards cannot be renewed. 

5) Fraud

When a person knowingly lies to get immigration benefits, they commit fraud, and this can lead to the loss of their permanent resident status. This may be done at any time when working with immigration officials. Marriage fraud and visa fraud remain the two most common types of immigration fraud today. People often attempt to marry a U.S. citizen to gain their green card, while individuals who commit visa fraud get a visa to spend time in the country and never leave when the visa expires.

Can your permanent resident card be revoked?

The United States Department of State uses a 90-day period to determine if the immigrant has committed fraud. If during this period the immigrant attempts to change their status or adjust it, they presume fraud is involved. This especially holds when the person doesn't have a residence abroad that they can return to when the visa expires. 

Any person in the country with a green card should work to become a citizen. This ensures they cannot be deported unless they have committed fraud. Talk to an attorney today to learn how to go about this process so you can receive this protection regardless of what happens in the future. 


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