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Can your green card be taken away?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Immigration Law |

Securing a green card takes a considerable effort. So, once you’ve finally got yours, you might be wondering if it is yours for life or if the immigration authorities could take it away from you for any reason.

Most people do not lose their green cards, but it is possible. There are several reasons why this could happen:

You forget to act when a conditional one is due to expire

Some green cards are conditional on you investing or another factor, and require you to apply to make them permanent after two years. If you forget, you may lose the right to stay.

You appear to be living outside of the United States

To retain your permanent residency, which is what the green card gives you, you need to exercise it. Unlike a U.S. citizen, who can spend the rest of their life in another country and still retain their U.S. citizenship, you can lose your green card if you spend too much time overseas.

The same could apply if you declare your taxes overseas instead of in the U.S. While you are allowed to travel, it must be clear you still reside here most of the time.

You lied in your initial application

If the authorities discover that your application was fraudulent (such as a sham marriage), they may retract the green card they gave you.

You accrue a bad criminal record

A conviction for some serious crimes can result in you being deported. A selection of lesser convictions could also reach the same point. It’s one of the many reasons you should always get help to examine your defense options if facing criminal charges.