It’s easy to forget about the rights and responsibilities you enjoy as a green card holder, a.k.a. as a permanent resident of the United States.
Green cards entitle you to U.S. citizenship after three years, but some permanent residents aren’t prepared to surrender their foreign citizenship right away, if ever. So you can face some trouble if you don’t apply for U.S. citizenship as soon as you’re eligible.
Six Green Card Issues You Might Face
Few people know, but green cards weren’t designed for permanent U.S. residency, so it’s little wonder that you might face problems with long-term dependence on your green card. In addition, many children “age out” of the immigrant pathway to permanent resident status. Other issues you could face include the following problems.
1. Green Cards Must be Renewed Every 10 Years
You must renew your green card every ten years. It’s easy to forget the looming deadline when you already enjoy many benefits of citizenship. These include Social Security benefits, financial assistance for education, and entitlement to in-state tuition rates. Fileright green card renewal services will ensure that you don’t miss a critical deadline, which is easy to do after living comfortably and securely for ten years. You should never forget about it, as the renewal is non-negotiable. The best way to handle the deadline is to have a competent team solve things for you with no fuss.
2. Living Outside the United States for Extended Periods
Green card holders have many reasons for living temporarily outside the United States, but spending more than 12 months outside the United States can cause you to lose your permanent resident status. In some cases, when you try to re-enter the United States, you could be charged with abandoning your intention to live permanently in the United States. Even shorter periods of living outside the United States can trigger abandonment charges if agents suspect that is the case. If you are forced to temporarily live in a foreign country, planning and preparation are the keys to reclaiming your permanent resident status.
3. Voluntarily Surrendering Your Green Card
If you ever file Form I-407, you’ve effectively abandoned your status as a permanent resident. People might do this for many reasons (usually linked to a dying relative), but avoiding U.S. income taxes is the most common. You should consult with a skilled immigration attorney immediately if you discover that you’ve inadvertently surrendered your green card.
This act can generate serious long-term consequences. Read the fine print of any document that immigration officials ask you to sign. For example, officers frequently ask immigrants to sign Form I-407 when they suspect them of willingly giving up their permanent resident status.
4. Fraud and Misrepresentation
Fraud and misrepresentation are valid grounds for ending your permanent resident status, but you might not understand the full consequences. Fraud consists of lying to an immigration official or misrepresenting key facts in your case. The USCIS monitors extensions of immigrant stays, marriages, employment authorizations, and parole cases to uncover evidence of fraud and misrepresentation.
5. Conviction of a Crime
Not all criminal convictions cause you to lose your permanent resident status, but certain types of crimes do. These include violent criminal offenses, offenses involving moral turpitude, terrorist activities, and others. You should consult your immigration attorney about the specifics of your case. Aggravated felonies, crimes of moral turpitude, and violence used in the commission of a crime can go either way, and you’ll need a skilled attorney to preserve your permanent resident status.
6. Failing to Remove Qualifying Conditions
During the long road to permanent resident status, you might discover conditions like maintaining a marriage. Conditions can’t be renewed, and you have to remove the qualifying conditions. After two years, most people accept the validity of a marriage or work opportunity. You must file to remove any conditions of your green card 90 days or longer before the card’s expiration date.
The Benefits of Citizenship
The best practice for preserving your way of life is to become a U.S. citizen. You automatically lose your permanent resident status as a U.S. citizen, and you enjoy all the protections of citizenship. For example, you can never be deported unless you fraudulently obtain your green card.
About the author:
As a journalist, Leland Bengtson dedicated most of his career to law reporting. His greatest satisfaction is to convey legal matters to the public in a language that they can understand. He is active on various platforms and media outlets, writing about common legal issues that people confront with every day. While medical malpractice is his strong suit, Leland covers plenty of other topics, including personal injury cases, family law, and other civil and even criminal legal matters.
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