Each year, thousands of foreign nationals seek the privilege to live and work in the United States. Upon receipt of this privilege, many of these individuals become permanent residents, also known as green card holders.
However, the green card does come with certain restrictions. And one of these is that it can be revoked for a variety of reasons such as if you are charged and convicted of certain crimes. Your green card can also be revoked on grounds of abandonment.
So what is green card abandonment?
As a green card holder, you will be required to make the U.S. your home for the rest of your life. If you do not, you may be deemed to have violated one of the primary terms of your green card. Here are two instances when you can be deemed to have abandoned your green card.
When you leave the country for an extended duration
Besides the right to live and work in the U.S., the green card also allows you to leave and reenter the country as you wish. However, staying out of the country for a longer period can cause problems. If you continuously stay out of the country for one year, you can be denied reentry into the U.S. on grounds of an abandoned green card. To be safe, do not stay out of the country for more than six months. Unless the nature of your work dictates that you do, frequent travels in and out of the country could also lead to questions from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
When you voluntarily give up your green card
It is not uncommon for people to leave the U.S. for whatever reason. In fact, thousands of citizens and permanent residents renounce their citizenship or permanent residency status each year. If you decide to voluntarily give up your permanent residency status, you will be required to file and submit Form I-407 and provide reasons for leaving the country.
One of the most popular documents the world over, the U.S. green card offers plenty of benefits. If your permanent residency status is under threat, it is important that you explore and exercise your legal rights to protect it.