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Can I lose my right to carry the US green card?

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Published   02:42 PM 2 November 2021
Updated    01:37 PM 24 November 2021

Middle East residents are willing to invest millions to secure an investor class of the American green card. The EB-5 is available to people who can invest US$500,000 or US$1 million in a business without borrowing. It is proving particularly popular among those who live in the Middle East to escape turmoil at home, using it as a means to gain quicker U.S. citizenship. Many consider the EB-5 investor program an expedited green card.

The USA EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa offers permanent resident status (Green Card) in the United States of America (USA) to eligible individuals as well as their family members by investing US$500,000 in a Regional Center or $1 million in a new enterprise. It is not a lot of money for many investors since it is investing in their children's future.

Having a Green Card (officially known as a Permanent Resident) means that a person’s can live and work in the U.S. once she/he has been granted this immigration status. Nevertheless, at the same time, permanent residence in the U.S. can be taken away subject to certain scenarios and situations. You can lose your right to U.S. permanent residence for any of a variety of reasons. QICMS discusses the main ways that Lawful permanent resident (LPR) can lose permanent resident status, but it isn’t a complete list. Here are the six most common ways you can lose your permanent resident status:



A LPRs who have been outside the U.S. for over one year creates a presumption that they have abandoned their U.S. residency (green card).  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen CBP exercise favorable discretion in some limited cases, even when the LPR has been abroad for over a year.  However, the analysis is extremely fact-dependent and rests on factors such as:

  • the reasons for traveling abroad,

  • reasons for staying abroad for a lengthy period of time, and

  • the maintenance and existence of ties to the U.S. during their absence, including, but not limited to:

* payment of U.S. income taxes,

* continuing lease agreement or ownership of real property,

* maintenance of drivers license, insurance policies, bank accounts,

* maintenance of a job or career prospects, 

* membership in community organizations (i.e., church),

* presence of other family members in the U.S.


Re-entry Permit for Permanent Residents

Permanent residents who are in possession of a valid re-entry permit can generally extend their absence up to 24 months.

While a re-entry permit is not an absolute guarantee that an LPR has preserved her/his residency, it is strong evidence that she/he did not intend to abandon the U.S. residency.



If you file Form I-407, you voluntarily abandoned your status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States.



Immigration fraud can take several forms. A fraud is normally committed when a person lies to attain immigration benefits of some kind.


Marriage Fraud

Marriage has been a long-time objective of fraud. Marriage to a U.S. citizen or LPR is one of the fastest paths to a green card. Consequently, dishonest people use it as a path to fraudulently attain permanent residence.



Not the entire criminal convictions will cause an LPR to lose permanent resident status. Only an experienced immigration lawyer can examine a certain situation and give an opinion.



Conditional residents who fail to remove the conditions on residence are usually removable upon the expiration of their two-year green cards.

Specific foreign national EB-5 investors or spouses who obtained residence through marriage may have received a two-year conditional green card. In order to remain a permanent resident, the conditional permanent resident must file a petition to remove the conditions. She or he must file during the 90 days before the card expires. The conditional card cannot be renewed.



Green card holders who make a decision to naturalize as U.S. citizens will also lose permanent resident status in the process.

Many permanent residents who have resided in the United States for at least five years are now eligible to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.



Lawful permanent residents can lose their status if they commit a crime or immigration fraud, or even fail to remove the conditions on their green card. We advise our clients that the maintenance of ties to the U.S. is important to preserving their status as LPRs. 

For more information on the investment options and how to obtain permanent residence (Green Card) in the USA through the EB-5 program, please click here.

Feel free to fill out our Free Assessment, and find out if you qualify under any of the business immigration programs offered.

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