Green card

Can a Green Card be Revoked?

Similar to a driver’s license, owning a US Green Card or Permanent Residence is a privilege accompanied by specific obligations. Violating these conditions can lead to the revocation of your Permanent Residence status in the US. It’s crucial to understand the potential triggers for green card revocation and the scenarios that may jeopardize your residency.

Common Scenarios for Green Card Revocation

The most frequent instances of green card revocation often arise during international travel or extended stays outside the US. Re-entering the country prompts inspections by US Customs and Border Protection, raising questions about your Permanent Residence maintenance. Green Cards can be revoked for reasons such as:

  • Violation of US criminal or civil laws
  • Excessive time spent outside the US for a Green Card holder
  • Instances of fraud or misrepresentation

Risk of Abandoning Your Green Card

Spending extensive time outside the US poses a risk of being perceived as abandoning your Green Card. This is particularly critical when indicating an intention not to maintain permanent residence after leaving the country. Keep in mind that abandoning a green card by a parent extends to minor children under their care. While travel outside the US is allowed, trips exceeding 12 consecutive months may trigger a determination of Green Card abandonment.

The Necessity of a Re-entry Permit

For Green Card holders planning extended stays abroad, obtaining a re-entry permit before leaving is highly recommended. Neglecting to secure a re-entry permit, coupled with prolonged stays outside the US, increases the risk of Green Card abandonment. This, in turn, may lead to potential denial of admission to the US.


Understanding the risks and obligations tied to Green Card ownership is essential for maintaining your Permanent Residence status in the US. Navigate potential pitfalls with awareness, and consider obtaining a re-entry permit to safeguard your Green Card during extended international travels.


What are my rights and responsibilities as a US green card holder?

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