Due to the name, it is natural to assume that a person with permanent resident status can remain in the United States indefinitely. However, when individuals take certain actions, they could be at risk of losing their permanent resident status and even being deported. There are many ways a person could lose this coveted status, but a few of the most common are found below.
In most cases, if you live outside of the United States for more than 12 months, you will lose your permanent resident status. In some instances, even leaving for a shorter amount of time can trigger removal of your status. This happens when the customs officer upon your reentry determines you had intentions to relocate outside of the United States.
There are ways to leave the country, even for an extended period of time, without losing your status. For example, if you need to take care of a sick relative in your home country, you can obtain a reentry permit before leaving the United States. This typically grants you an absence of up to 24 months.
Many green card holders, and those striving to get one, cannot imagine why a person would ever voluntarily abandon their status. However, thousands of people do this every year in the United States. Most do it to avoid paying U.S. taxes, although this has severe long-term consequences.
In some instances, customs officers ask immigrants to sign Form I-407, which states that you wish to abandon your permanent resident status. They do this when challenging a person’s reentry. Anyone asked to sign this form at the border should refuse to do so and state that they would like to exercise their right to defend themselves in removal proceedings.
Anytime you are dishonest, commit fraud, or misrepresent the facts of your case in the immigration system, it has serious consequences. One of these is that you are at risk of losing your permanent resident status. One of the most common types of fraud committed in the immigration system is marriage fraud.
Some permanent residents have conditions on their stay in the United States. When these conditions are not removed by the time their two-year green cards have expired, they are at risk of deportation. Permanent residents must file a petition to remove the conditions 90 days before their green card expires.
If you have a green card and want to protect it, or you are still trying to obtain immigrant status, contact our Chicago immigration attorneys at Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC. We can help you through the complicated immigration system in the country and give you the best chance of success in obtaining the status you want. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys.
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