The day when you finally get your Green Card is a cause for celebration. However, it is not the end of the story. You can lose your residency and lose your right to stay in the country you fought so hard to get to. Here are some ways you could lose it:
- If your Green Card was conditional: You need to apply to renew it if you received a two-year residency. You can only do this 90 days before it runs out, not before.
- Living outside the U.S.: If you get residency, you are expected to live here. There is no set period you are allowed out of the country. It depends on why you leave. If the immigration authorities believe you intend to live permanently in the other country, they may cancel your residence. Not completing tax forms because you are abroad could be taken as a reason. Handing in your Green Card would also mean you have decided to live outside the U.S.
- You did not tell the truth: If you have not been entirely truthful when filling out your paperwork, the authorities could cancel your green card. Marrying someone to get residence could also count as fraud.
- You were convicted of specific criminal charges: A judge may choose to sign the order to deport you and take your green card away as a result of a criminal conviction.
If you are in any doubt, it is best to contact an immigration attorney. You do not want a mistake to cost you the Green Card you fought so hard for.