Getting a green card can be a long, drawn-out process. Therefore, once you have it, you must avoid doing anything that could risk losing it.
Each year, the immigration authorities take people’s green cards away or refuse to renew them. Here are some of the reasons why:
They think your marriage was a fraud
Relationships can break down at any time. However, if you got your green card by marrying a United States citizen, the immigration authorities may doubt your true reasons for marriage if the relationship ends soon after.
You spend too much time out of the United States
Once you get your green card, in theory, you are free to come and go from the country. However, as the green card is a permanent resident’s card, the authorities reserve the right to withdraw it if they believe you are not permanently residing here. So a holiday abroad should be fine, but staying too long might not be.
You do not pay tax in the United States
In return for your residency and the access to facilities and services that it brings, you must contribute to the economy by paying taxes in the country.
There was fraud in your application
Much like marriage fraud, anything other than complete honesty when filling out your original application could lead the authorities to withdraw your residency visa retrospectively.
You had a serious criminal conviction
You are unlikely to be thrown out of the country for something such as shoplifting. Serious crimes such as major financial fraud or ones involving violence might warrant a judge approving a deportation order. The same can apply with a series of lesser offenses.
If you are unsure of the rules or believe your green card is at risk, you need to act quickly and get legal help to examine the situation and your options to protect it.