You have just received your green card and now feel a rush of relief. However, a sudden thought comes to you. What if I lose it? All the work you have done to stay in the U.S. could be jeopardized if you make even a minor error. That is why it is so important that you understand what steps you need to take to keep your green card.
How To Keep Your Green Card Active
Our Orlando immigration lawyers understand how valuable and important it is for individuals to obtain a green card, which is why we are here to provide tips on how to avoid losing it.
We recommend that you do the following to protect your green card status:
- Renew your green card before the expiration date - this is usually every 10 years
- Apply for a re-entry permit if you are leaving the U.S. for more than a year
- File your taxes
- Maintain employment in the U.S.
- Dependents should reside in the U.S.
- Maintain a bank account and credit cards in the U.S.
- Abide by all laws, especially criminal laws
Ways You Can Lose a Green Card
The Immigration and Nationality Act has strict standards and regulations when it comes to maintaining lawful status.
Here are some of the most common ways you could lose your green card:
- Commit a crime or violate the law in any way
- Failing to alert the USCIS of your change of address within 10 days
- Living in another country as your "permanent home"
- Leaving the U.S. for more than one year
- Leaving the country frequently and only returning for short periods of time
What can I do to protect my right to live in the U.S.?
It can be very challenging to comply with all of these rules, especially if you travel frequently for work or other reasons. One way that you can eliminate fear of losing your green card, or right to live in the U.S., is to simply become a citizen. While this is much easier said than done, it is the only way you can eliminate the possibility of having your green card revoked due to extensive travel or other issues.
Make sure to follow the recommended rules and to stay on top of these dates so as to avoid deportation lapse in your documentation or other complications.
Regardless of whether you want to become a citizen or want to protect your green card status, our Winter Park immigration attorney can help. Give us a call today!