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Can Your Green Card Be Revoked?

Your Responsibilities as a Permanent Resident

As a green card holder, you must consider the United States home and permanently reside within its boundaries. Brief travel outside the country is usually fine, but as a lawful permanent resident, you must live and maintain the U.S. as your primary residence.

Also, you are required to:

  • Obey the laws of the United States;
  • File income tax returns and report income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state taxing authorities;
  • Support the democratic form of government and not attempt to change the government through illegal means; 
  • If you are a male between18 and 25 you must register with the Selective Service.

Getting your Green Card allows you to live and work in the U.S. for the rest of your life, but you can lose those rights. The Immigration and Nationality Act gives several reasons that will result in losing your green card status and possible deportation.

However, this is very different from the rule that your physical green card requires renewal every 10 years. There is a big difference between losing your green card or having it expire and the revoking of your lawful permanent residence. Losing your green card or letting it expire is relatively minor compared to losing the residence itself.

Revoking Your Lawful Permanent Residence

Having your permanent residence revoked is uncommon but not impossible. Most people who are losing their residence do so for one of three reasons: fraud, crimes, or abandonment.

 If You Commit Fraud When Applying for Your Green Card: If you lie, or intentionally omit material facts or commit any fraud while applying, the government may revoke your green card.

If You Commit Certain Crimes: If you commit certain crimes after you get your green card you can lose your residency. The most common of these are crimes involving moral turpitude and aggravated felonies. You can also lose your residency if you commit certain drug-related crimes

If You Abandon Your Residency: You can lose your permanent residency by moving to another country and showing intent to permanently live there;

You endanger your lawful permanent residence by

    • remaining outside the U.S. for an extended period (more than 183 days), unless you can prove that you only intended a temporary absence;
    • failing to file income tax returns while living outside the U.S.;
    • declaring yourself a “nonimmigrant” on your U.S. tax returns

We always urge all our resident clients to not leave the country for more than 180 days without extensive pre-planning to rebut any claim of abandonment.

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