Once you secure a green card, you become a lawful permanent resident of Pennsylvania or another part of the United States for the foreseeable future. However, certain actions you might take have the capacity to threaten your green card and make you lose your status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
Per U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, doing either of the following has the potential to endanger your green card.
1. Traveling abroad for an extended stay
When you have a green card, you may not remain outside of the United States for an extended period unless you are able to demonstrate that your absence and travel were temporary in nature. To do so, you need to outline the reason for the trip, the amount of time you planned to stay abroad and why you wound up staying in another country longer than you planned. It may also benefit you and help protect your green card if you secure a re-entry permit from USCIS before taking your trip or a returning resident visa before traveling back to the United States.
2. Declaring “nonimmigrant” status on your tax return
As a green card holder, you must file taxes in the United States, but how you classify yourself on your tax return matters. You must declare yourself an immigrant when doing so. Should you declare nonimmigrant status, this could come back to bite you and lead to the loss of your green card.
Once you obtain a green card, you become a lawful permanent resident until you either abandon or lose your status or become a U.S. citizen through naturalization.