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3 important legal requirements for those with green cards

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Green Cards

There are many different legal immigration statuses. People with visas can stay in the United States, but only for a certain amount of time. Those who naturalize become citizens and have the same rights as those born in the United States. Other people would prefer to become lawful permanent residents.

A green card or permanent resident card is the official document validating someone’s right to remain in the United States of America indefinitely. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may adjust the status of those currently living in the country and grant them a green card when they meet certain criteria.

While they are theoretically permanent residents, green card holders still need to meet certain standards to maintain their green cards. The following requirements are placed on green card holders who want to remain in the country.

Regular document renewal

A green card may grant someone the right to permanently stay in the country, but it is not a permanent document. An immigrant with a green card must renew their green card every 10 years. Certain green card holders, such as those who enter the country to marry a citizen, have to renew even earlier than that to remove the conditional status on their green cards. Failing to renew documents could leave someone at risk of removal from the country.

Consistent residency in the United States

There are travel restrictions that people must abide by before they adjust their status. Once someone becomes a permanent resident, there are fewer restrictions on their international travel. However, they could still lose their permanent resident status in some cases. A permanent resident who stays out of the United States for more than a year may not be able to reenter as a permanent resident. Maintaining one’s primary residence in the United States is a key component of maintaining permanent resident status.

Continually demonstrating good moral character

Good moral character is one of the more confusing immigration requirements. People often do not understand what actions might jeopardize their claims of having good moral character. Typically, criminal prosecution and incarceration can affect someone’s green card status. Crimes of moral turpitude and offenses that lead to long-term incarceration might make someone ineligible for their green card after their conviction.

Understanding the factors that affect green card eligibility, and seeking legal guidance whenever necessary, can help people maintain their status as lawful permanent residents.