A green card is a document attesting to the permanent resident status of an alien in the United States. It serves as proof that its holder, a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), has been officially granted immigration status, which includes permission to reside and take employment in the United States. A green card holder who fails to continuously maintain lawful permanent resident status may be removed from the country.
The majority of green card holders consider the possibility of applying for citizenship in the future. Lawful permanent residence is viewed by these individuals as a transitory stage on the way to citizenship. If a green card holder intends to become a citizen, every effort should be made to retain the status of lawful permanent resident.
It is important for a lawful permanent resident not to engage in actions or activities that may terminate his/her green card status:
(1) If an LPR commits a crime, he/she may end up losing lawful permanent resident status and facing deportation from the United States.
(2) If an LPR leaves the United States for one year or more, he/she may end up losing lawful permanent resident status. In addition, absences from the United States of more than six months at a time may pose negative consequences when applying for citizenship later.
If you are a lawful permanent resident and have questions regarding your status, or you are a lawful permanent resident and consider applying for citizenship or departing from the United States for an extended period of time, please feel free to contact Figeroux & Associates, at (855) 768-8845, to discuss your options and explore the possibilities of retaining your status as lawful permanent resident.