One of the big advantages of becoming a naturalized United States citizen is that you do not need to worry about losing the right to stay.
The same is not true if you are only here on a green card. There are several ways you could lose it, and you don’t even need to do anything wrong. You could just lose yours over a genuine mistake.
What are the biggest errors to avoid?
While there are numerous problems you may encounter, three that are under your control include:
- Staying out of the U.S. for too long: Coming and going is permitted, but you could have problems if the immigration authorities feel you are spending too much time outside. They may consider you are no longer residing here and take away your right to stay.
- Not filing your taxes here: To live here on a green card, you need to file your taxes here. It’s part of the deal you need to accept, even if you prefer to file back in your country of origin.
- Criminal charges: Clearly, if you go out and intentionally commit a crime, you risk losing your right to stay. Yet not everyone that is convicted is guilty. Each year many people are wrongfully convicted of all sorts of crimes. One serious criminal conviction or a series of lesser ones could lead to deportation.
Losing your green card could have terrible consequences, such as being forced to leave the United States. That’s why it is always advisable to get legal help whenever you are unsure about an immigration issue. There is simply too much at stake to get it wrong.