Collectively, we recognize a green card as a pass to our United States freedoms, rights, and a gateway to naturalization. To fully understand the rights of a green card, it’s important to define a green card, a passport, and a visa. Let’s observe the differences:
“Passport– an official document issued by the government of a country that identifies someone as a citizen of that country and that is usually necessary when entering or leaving a country
Visa– an official mark or stamp on a passport that allows someone to enter or leave a country usually for a particular reason
Green Card– a card indicating that a person from a foreign country can live and work in the U.S.”
We can note that a green card is the only document that allows an individual to reside and work in the U.S. It’s incredibly important to retain your green card in order to financially support yourself, and possibly your family, during the long wait of naturalization. In these several years, countless circumstances can jeopardize the preservation of your unlimited stay in the U.S., and the Tellez Law Firm wants to make sure that you clearly understand the dangers.
- Immigration fraud- Improperly obtaining your green card through false marriage is considered immigration fraud. Although we do not suggest for you to secure your green card using this loophole, historically, it has been proven very difficult to define a false marriage due to its intangibility.
- Criminal Activity- There is a long detailed list of crimes associated with green card revocation and even possible deportation/inadmissibility. Our simple rule of thumb is to walk the line.
- Fraud- This includes any false information used to obtain your green card: lying to officials, incorrect information on the application, information omission, etc.
- Abandonment- Your green card may be revoked if you spend too much time outside of the U.S. without informing officials of your absence in advance. Excessive nonresidence is typically considered 180 days out of a year. Please note, the belief that annual re-entry will be enough to maintain your residence is a myth. Border officials will be looking for signs of near-permanent dedication to another residence.
Keep in mind that green card revocation can lead to deportation proceedings. During your proceedings, you will be tried without a jury in front of an Immigration Judge. You are allowed an immigrant attorney or a similar representative. Your immigrant attorney is capable of clearly stating your story or asking for a waiver. Next week, we will discuss how the Tellez Law Firm can help you increase your odds of keeping your green card in order to keep you on the path to naturalization.