Each year, thousands of foreigners obtain the right to become U.S. permanent residents through the green card. This is certainly a life-changing privilege. Besides earning you the right to live and work in the country, a green card also sets you on the path to citizenship, which also comes with additional privileges like the right to vote.
However, you can also lose your green card – and this has nothing to do with misplacing it. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services outlines the circumstances that can lead to the revocation of your green card and subsequent removal from the country.
You can voluntarily surrender your green card and, thus, vacate your right to live in the U.S. For this to happen, you will need to fill out Form I-407, the Record of Abandonment of a Lawful Permanent Resident Status. Once you submit this form to the immigration services, you will cease to be a permanent resident and will thus be required to leave the country immediately.
Given its coveted nature, it is not uncommon for some people to attempt to obtain the green card through unlawful means. It is important that you are absolutely truthful when applying for the green card. Any misrepresentation of facts can lead to the denial or revocation of your green card if you are discovered.
The most common form of green card fraud is marriage fraud. This happens when a foreign national marries a U.S. citizen with the sole intention of becoming a U.S. resident. Besides revocation of your green card, marital fraud can lead to a criminal conviction with potential penalties being jail time as well as fines to both the U.S. national and the immigrant.
The U.S. green card is one of the most sought-after immigration documents the world over. Knowing your legal rights and obligations as a green card holder can help you protect your green card when facing a potential revocation.