Monday, May 20, 2019

Five ways to lose permanent resident status (Green Card)

Is permanent residence really “permanent”?

No!  A legal permanent resident (green card holder) can lose his or her residency, and this is why it is important to apply for U.S. citizenship as soon as you are eligible.  Below are the 5 major ways in which someone can lose their status as a permanent resident.

1.  Criminal convictions:  

Convictions of certain crimes may result in loss of permanent resident status.
Under Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, any noncitizen convicted after September 30, 1996 of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment, is deportable.  Violations of protective orders could also trigger this law.
Under Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a noncitizen is deportable if they have been convicted of:
  • A crime of moral turpitude “CIMT” committed within five (5) years of being admitted to the U.S.
  • Two or more crimes involving moral turpitude, which did not arise out of a single scheme of misconduct.

Many crimes can be categorized as crimes involving moral turpitude.  It is important to hire an attorney that is knowledgeable in both criminal law and immigration law if you are a legal permanent resident and are charged with a crime.  Contact our office right away for a free consultation if you are a permanent resident facing criminal charges.  (909)554-3578.

2.  Living outside of the United States:  

A legal permanent resident can abandon his or her status by spending more than 12 months outside the United States.

3.  Voluntary surrender of green card:  

Form I-407 is used to voluntary abandon your status as a U.S. permanent resident.  If a border patrol officer asks you to sign this, do not sign and contact our office immediately.

4.  Fraud and willful misrepresentation:  

Lying in order to obtain an immigration benefit could result in the loss of permanent resident status.  Marriage fraud is one of the most common forms of fraud that results in loss of permanent residency.

5.  Failing to remove conditions on residence:  

People with marriage based permanent residency or investment based permanent residency might have a two-year conditional green card.  They must file a petition to remove the condition within the 90 day period before the card expires.  Failure to remove the conditions results in loss of permanent resident status, and the individual might be placed in removal proceedings.  Call our office to schedule a consultation to begin the process to remove the conditions on your permanent residence.