“Is there anything that could cause me to lose my green card?”
There are several ways one can lose his or her permanent residency status. Below are the main reasons:
As a permanent resident, you intend to live permanently in the United States. However, if you leave the United States for more than 180 days, US officials will consider you to have moved away and no longer permanently reside in the US. Your green card is considered abandoned and your status can be revoked. If you are gone for more than 365 days, your green card becomes invalid for re-entry. To avoid this situation if you’re planning an extended stay abroad, you must apply for a re-entry permit before you leave the United States. A reentry permit establishes that you did not intend to abandon status, and it allows you to apply for admission to the United States after traveling abroad for up to 2 years without having to obtain a returning resident visa. Reentry permits are normally valid for 2 years from the date of issuance. Although it’s expensive and means you have to plan ahead, a re-entry permit offers the simplest and safest solution if you plan on a long-term stay outside of the United States.
If you are convicted of immigration fraud, your status will be revoked and you may even face jail time or deportation. According to the USCIS Policy Manual:
Inadmissibility based on fraud requires a finding that a person knowingly made a false representation of a material fact with the intent to deceive the other party. For a person to be inadmissible for having procured entry, a visa, other documentation, or any other benefit under the INA by fraud, the officer must find all of the following elements:
- The person procured, or sought to procure, a benefit under U.S. immigration laws;
- The person made a false representation;
- The false representation was willfully made;
- The false representation was material;
- The false representation was made to a U.S. government official, generally an immigration or consular officer;
- The false representation was made with the intent to deceive a U.S. government official authorized to act upon the request (generally an immigration or consular officer); and
- The U.S. government official believed and acted upon the false representation by granting the benefit.
This one is common sense. If you commit a major crime, you may lose your status. Stay out of trouble and you should be fine.