A green card is the first step toward becoming a permanent resident of the U.S. Getting one does not guarantee you will keep it.
There are some things you want to stay away from if you want to move forward with naturalization. Familiarize yourself with some of the common missteps that may result in the loss of your green card.
Have you left the U.S. for a prolonged time?
To get a green card, you need an established residence and job. While you can travel, leaving the U.S. for an extended time is a no-go. Should you need to leave the country, contact a representative at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service or USCIS to see how you should proceed. Otherwise, the government may take your absence as an abandonment of your green card and its rights.
Did you register for selective service?
Male residents of the United States need to register for the military draft through the Selective Service System when they turn 18 years old. This also extends to male green card holders who enter the country from the age of 18 through 25. If you fall into this category and do not register with the Selective Service System, you may lose your standing.
Have you filed taxes?
U.S. citizens file tax returns at a federal and sometimes state level. If you are a green card holder, you also should file the required tax returns. When you file, make sure you check the appropriate box for your immigration status and that you have declared all of your income.
Having a green card revoked may make it possible for you to face deportation proceedings. Should you have questions about what you can and cannot do while waiting for permanent residence, seek help from a knowledgeable professional.