Obtaining your green card, also known as a permanent resident card, is vital when trying to obtain citizenship in the United States of America. It is an identity document, much like a driver’s license, that shows you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
Immigrants who enter America illegally or stay beyond the scope of their visa, do not have a green card and may face deportation if they are found to be illegal residents of the United States.
Often, if a person has a green card, they are going through the necessary steps to become a United States citizen; thus, it is integral to the citizenship process. So, what happens to your green card if you are denied citizenship? Will your green card be taken away? Will you face deportation?
Here, we hope to answer some of your questions and address your concerns regarding your green card.
Why is Citizenship Denied?
Becoming a United States citizen is a lengthy, complicated, and expensive process. During the process, you may receive a request for evidence, also known as an RFE. This means that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will only make a decision on your case based on the evidence that you have submitted, and if you have submitted the requested evidence beyond the due date stipulated in the RFE, USCIS will not consider that evidence.
Suppose you have received a notice of intent to deny, also known as a NOID. In that case, it means that the agency intends to deny your application but is giving you an opportunity to provide any rebuttal as to why your petition should not be denied. You only have 30 days to comply with a NOID.
If you receive an RFE or NOID, you may be worried about your citizenship, your green card, and the possibility of deportation.
Some reasons USCIS denies citizenship can include but are not limited to:
- Failing the English exam.
- Failing the United States government exam.
- Failing the United States history exam.
- The applicant can not prove the prerequisite continuous residency in the United States.
- The applicant should never have been granted permanent resident status.
- The applicant did something to become deportable.
- The applicant abandons their United States residence.
Will I Lose my Green Card?
Having your citizenship denied can be a devastating blow with lasting consequences and hardships. The good news is that it is uncommon to lose your green card and be deported because of a denial.
If you fail your English exam, United States government exam, or United States history exam, you will be denied citizenship but will not lose your green card. This means you can study and attempt the tests again without fear of deportation. The USCIS will automatically schedule a follow-up interview within the next 90 days.
If you can not prove you have been living in the United States for the required number of years as a lawful permanent resident, your application can be denied. Again, you will not lose your green card or face deportation because of this. Your solution would be to live in the United States as a green card holder for the required number of years and then attempt your application again.
You may face removal if it is discovered you should never have been issued a green card. Suppose USCIS discovers that you did not initially qualify for a green card during the review process. In that case, they will likely deny your application and begin removal proceedings, resulting in your permanent resident status being stripped and deportation.
Luckily, this is most common for people who have fraudulently acquired their green card.
What if I Become Deportable?
Deportation is the forceful removal of a person from the country. If you do something to become deportable, then not only will your application for citizenship likely be denied, but you will likely lose your green card and be removed from the country.
If you spend too much time outside of the United States, it may appear that you have abandoned your United States residency. Likewise, certain crimes often lead to a notice of intent to deny or an outright denial. Both of these circumstances can result in your citizenship application being denied, as well as your permanent resident status being revoked and the start of removal proceedings.
A less common occurrence that you should be aware of is if you, as an applicant, spend too many consecutive days outside of the United States. If you spend 180 days or more outside of the United States, you will become inadmissible when you attempt to reenter the state. This can lead to you losing your green card.
If you commit a crime while you are visiting another country, you may also be denied reentry to the United States.
What can I Do?
It is important not to lose hope if you are facing a denial, even if you believe that denial may lead to losing your green card. If you have received an RFE or a NOID, read them and then reread them. Find out what USCIS needs, work with them, and supply the necessary documents within the allotted time frame.
If your application has already been denied and you feel like it may lead to your deportation, it is essential to remain calm. You still have options available to you, from appealing the denial to maintaining your permanent resident status.
In the case of an RFE, NOID, or outright denial, it is crucial to have a robust and experienced immigration attorney backing you up. The Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon, PLLC attorneys are compassionate and knowledgeable about immigration law.
Call the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon, PLLC, at 281-606-0800 to schedule a free case evaluation, or use the online contact form to submit your information.