The United States is a preferred destination for many foreign residents hoping to capitalize on all the opportunities this great nation has to offer.
That said, our immigration law firm urges those born outside America’s borders to realize that to legally live and work in the country you have to obtain legal residence, which is formally known as permanent resident status.
Permanent Resident Status
Permanent resident status is defined as an individual born in a country other than the United States, which American government officials grant the authority to live within said country’s borders for an extended duration. Those achieving this status typically receive a green card, which is an official photo identification clearly denoting this title.
That said, unlike naturalized American citizens, those holding permanent resident status are still residents of their nation of origin meaning they must travel using the passport issued from said nation and display their green card upon seeking reentry into the United States.
The Process Of Obtaining A Green Card
Permanent resident status could be achieved through several avenues.
One common method is through professional or individual sponsorship by a company or family member established or residing inside the United States. On other occasions, prospective green card recipients might seek permanent residency as a refugee from a politically unstable nation, as an individual seeking political asylum, or on humanitarian grounds.
Regardless, an applicant must meet specific eligibility requirements and submit the appropriate forms. Once the United States government has received the application, the potential candidate waits for said entity to render a decision.
How Can Permanent Residency Be Lost?
Being granted permanent resident status is a privilege that could be lost should the bestowed subject engage in irresponsible or reckless actions including:
Obtaining Status Through Fraudulent Methods
Listing knowingly incorrect information on official immigration documents is a surefire way of getting an application denied or a green card revoked.
Failing To Remove Associated Conditions
Those granted conditional status must either satisfy said mandates or have them removed from their file.
Engaging In Criminal Activity
Partaking in criminal action on moral grounds or committing an aggravated felony could put one’s resident status in significant jeopardy.
Residing Outside The United States
If the applicant returns to their homeland or chooses to reside elsewhere from periods generally lasting longer than a year, their resident status could be rescinded. Occasionally, such occurrences happen for legitimate purposes. However, before leaving the United States, green card holders are strongly urged to speak with immigration lawyers or receive confirmation from government officials about what is and is not acceptable.
Maintaining One’s Green Card
Fortunately, potential pitfalls can be avoided by being cognizant of the preceding issues and engaging in other upstanding activities such as:
- Holding meaningful employment
- Not letting the green card expire
- Maintaining a permanent address
- Holding accounts with established financial institutions
- Owning property
- Filing federal income tax returns
Additionally, green card holders are strongly encouraged to keep dependents like children residing in the United States.
Permanent resident status can sometimes be a tricky issue. Those with questions or whom are concerned about possibly losing their status are encouraged to contact our firm. We employ a team of attorneys possessing significant experience handling and resolving such matters. Give us a call at 540-371-4500.