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3 ways you can lose permanent resident status

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | IMMIGRATION & NATURALIZATION - Immigration

For immigrants to the United States, permanent resident status is a coveted milestone offering stability, opportunity and a pathway to citizenship.

It’s important to understand that this status isn’t entirely unconditional. While it’s generally considered permanent, there are circumstances under which it can be lost or revoked. The following are three relatively common ways that permanent resident status can be lost.

Fraud and willful misrepresentation

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes a stringent stance against any form of fraud or misrepresentation in the immigration process. If it is discovered that an individual obtained their green card through fraudulent means or willfully misrepresented information on their application, USCIS has the authority to initiate proceedings to revoke their permanent resident status. This may involve a thorough investigation, interviews and potentially legal proceedings.


If you were granted permanent resident status but subsequently left the United States for an extended period without obtaining a re-entry permit or maintaining strong ties to the country, USCIS may deem that you have abandoned your residency. Factors considered in determining abandonment include the length of time spent outside the United States, the intention to return and the establishment of a primary residence elsewhere. Failure to meet the requirements for maintaining permanent residency while living abroad can lead to the revocation of your green card.

Criminal convictions

Some criminal offenses, particularly those classified as aggravated felonies or crimes of moral turpitude can trigger deportation proceedings and the revocation of your green card. The severity of the offense and its implications on public safety and national security are taken into consideration. Convictions for crimes such as drug trafficking, domestic violence, fraud and certain theft offenses can lead to adverse immigration consequences.

Seeking legal counsel can help defend your rights and provide guidance throughout complex immigration proceedings. Making this connection can better ensure that you have the best possible chance of preserving your permanent resident status and avoiding deportation.