In order to become eligible for citizenship a green card must be maintained by an immigrant to continue to work and live in the United States. A permanent resident bears the risk that their green card can be revoked if they commit a prohibited act, which under United States law allows them to become subject to deportation. This regulation is detailed under section 237 and 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act

“Any alien who at the time of entry or adjustment of status was within one or more of the classes of aliens inadmissible by the law existing at such time is deportable.”    maintaining permanent residence

If such an act is committed by the applicant, their right to remain as a permanent resident will be brought before and determined by an immigration court.



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Alternatively it can be determined that permanent residence has been abandoned if:

  • He or she has relocated to a different country with the intention of residing there permanently.
  • He or she has exceeded one year of remaining outside of the United States and additionally have not obtained a reentry permit or a returning resident visa.
  • Alternatively if a reentry permit was obtained but not a returning resident visa and he or she has exceeded two years of remaining outside of the United States.
  • There has been a failure to file income tax whilst outside of the United States – this is subject of any length of time.
  • If it was declared on any tax return that he or she are a “nonimmigrant”


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