Immigration Lawyer giving 3 tips to keep your green card | Eatontown, NJ

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Immigration Lawyer giving 3 tips to keep your green card


Immigration Lawyer giving 3 tips to keep your green card

3 Tips to keep your Green Card

So you finally got you green card! All that time and resources getting your permanent residence status is all worth it. 

But just because you got it, doesn’t mean you get to keep it.  In this article, we will be giving tips on how to keep your green card so you don’t lose your investment and your life in the U.S.  

TIP #1: Do not break the law. 

The easiest way for you to lose your green card is by breaking the law.

I think we all agree if you kill someone you will get deported.  But what about a traffic violation, like DUI in New Jersey?  Or having drugs like marijuana that are legal in New Jersey (and other states) but are illegal under federal law? 

It becomes less clear, right?  The crime doesn’t have to be a “major” crime for you to become deportable.

Most people agree that domestic violence is a deportable offense. But what is “Domestic violence?” 

Under some states, calling or texting too often is considered “harasment” and that also can be domestic violence. 

You have to be very careful.  Almost anything that is MORALLY wrong such as fraud, theft, a crime with the intent of doing great bodily harm can make you deportable.  

Some of these crimes may be just misdemeanors and are not even punishable by jail time. But these can still make you deportable.

Another thing, if you got your green card through a sham marriage or any other type of fraud, that can be a cause for removal.

Unfortunately, there is no list that will tell you which crimes will make you deportable. Hence, if ever you are arrested for anything, anything at all, don’t just get a criminal lawyer, you should also get an expert immigration lawyer to see what we can do to avoid your removal.

TIP #2: Make your Home INSIDE the US. 

A lot of people think that if they enter the US once or twice a year, that’s all they need to keep their green card active. But the truth is, if you leave the US with the intention of making another country your home, you may have a hard time getting back in.

A green card is known as lawful permanent residence.  Meaning, your home is in the US.  Any trips outside the US are temporary in nature.  If you are spending more time outside the US then inside the U.S. you are at risk of looksing your green card. 

You should also consider not staying outside of the US for more than 180 days in any single trip. Staying more than that can lead CBP agent to conclude that you have abandoned your US residence. You could find yourself in detention fighting for your right to live in the U.S.

If you are expecting a longer trip outside of the US, you can request a re-entry permit using Form I-131 before leaving the U.S.  For example, you accepted a position to work in Argentina for a year.  You must file for this while you are in the U.S., so you need to plan.

If you didn’t expect a long stay but something happens, for example a sick relative, and you stay outside the U.S for a prolonged period of time, you can request for a special re-entry permit at the closest U.S. consulate or embassy. 

You have to be very careful when you do this.  So if you find yourself in a situation like this, make sure you speak to a competent immigration attorney before doing anything.  

TIP #3: File for US Citizenship. 

You should apply for your US citizenship as soon as you are eligible. The waiting time is usually 5 years after you get your green card. 

But some other cases like for asylees would only take 4 years because your first year in the US as an asylee counts. 

And it is only 3 years if you got your Green Card from marriage to a U.S. citizen and the you are still married when you become a citizen.  

Keep your Green Card with expert Legal assistance

Remember that you are responsible for keeping your green card. Take good care of your records and file for citizenship at your earliest opportunity. 

If you do fail and you are at risk of losing your green card, don’t panic! You can seek the help of an immigration lawyer to expertly assist you through the process and alternative options for your case. 


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