In this interview, Yakov discusses the revocation of a green card. He explains what can trigger a revocation and provides insight into the process of appealing a decision.
Read on to know more!
Michael Levitis 00:04
Good day, everybody. It’s Michael Levitis with Jurisq.com, and I have with us back an immigration attorney, Yakov Spektor. Yakov, good to see you again. We always call you in for various questions that we have on immigration law, we always discuss what is frequently asked out there on Google and other media regarding immigration law. People frequently ask a very interesting question. It takes a lot of effort to get your Green Cards, but there’s a way how you can lose it. So can you answer for us how your Green Card, your permanent residence could get revoked?
Yakov Spektor 00:57
It’s strangely enough, it’s super easy to lose your Green Card. A lot of people think: I am a permanent resident of the United States. I can live here, pretty much indefinitely. I can work here. I can travel in and out, essentially that’s as much as citizens, essentially, we get, right? I mean, less responsibility, you don’t have to do jury duty, you don’t have to go and vote. So a lot of people tell me: what’s the point of me becoming a citizen of the United States, if I have to go into jury duty. Besides for all the other reasons, a very important one is this one. It’s very easy for you to lose your Green Card, it’s very easy for you to lose your permanent resident status. Let’s we’ll talk about a few of these how you could avoid them. It is quite easy to avoid these issues, and surprisingly enough, some of these kinds of do tend to come up as usually happens in life. You think that it will never happen to you? And then it does.
Michael Levitis 02:41
Never say never.
Yakov Spektor 02:42
Never say never. If you can become a citizen of the United States — become a citizen of the United States. You could lose your citizenship, but it’s much, much harder, I think we can probably do another video about that.
Michael Levitis 02:55
Exactly, because that’s a whole different topic and that’s also very interesting,
Yakov Spektor 02:59
Right. But losing your Green Card, sometimes it’s easy as not, as kind of going back to, let’s say, to take care of a sick family member. Getting delayed, things do happen. Especially, we were seeing these things happen during the pandemic, when people weren’t simply weren’t able to travel back. Now, the law says that, if you leave the United States as a Green Card holder that’s your Green Card, you are a permanent resident of the United States, which means that you live in the United States permanently on a permanent basis, it doesn’t mean that you cannot travel. But if you do leave the country, and then you do not come back for more than six months, or more than 180 days, the government might presume that you might no longer be a permanent resident in the USA.
Michael Levitis 03:53
I see. So you cannot leave at a stretch of six months at a time, or that’s a total time how much you have to be outside US six months?
Yakov Spektor 04:04
Just generally, it’s the one continuous absence. If you go in and out, that’s completely fine. I’ll tell even more if let’s say if you leave the country for five months, come back for a week, and then you leave the country for another five months. Technically speaking, the government would have no reason, no legal justification to really try and take away your your Green Card status. But having said that, I just got a call actually a couple of weeks ago, I got a call from a good friend of mine. Now she’s got elderly parents back in the country where she’s from, it happens quite a lot. So she spends a lot of time even though she is a permanent resident of the United States who doesn’t live in the United States, but she does spend a lot of time outside of the country and she tries very hard not to violate these rules, and yet the border officers every time she comes in. They harassed her essentially, they try to, basically to catch her, they asked her: where do you live? Where are you going? Because the information that she gives them a pump entry, that could be legal basis for the government to try and to use it against you, as you know, as we all watched Law & Order.
Michael Levitis 05:38
I know, exactly.
Yakov Spektor 05:41
This is exactly it, the information that you will give to the government can and will be used against you, and now it’s super important to know, legally speaking, you’re not doing anything wrong, the government will not take away your Green Card. But if you do stay outside the country, if you plan to stay outside the country for longer than six months at a time, and let’s say you think that: I don’t think I’ll be able to travel back. Maybe talk to someone like me to see what can be done, there are instruments that you could use to stay out in the country for up to two years at a time specifically, for instance, for situations like this.
Michael Levitis 06:27
It’s a very interesting topic. I’m sure a lot of immigrants have that on their mind, if they want to travel with a Green Card, how to do it was the safe method to do it. At some point, we should do a whole session just on that, how to travel safely with a Green Card and not to lose it. Don’t lose your status. It happened to a lot of people during the pandemic, they simply found themselves stuck. Now in that particular instance, the government was very understanding, you got to deal with single instance, when people were actually harassed for something like this, because it’s quite understandable. It’s a once in a lifetime, hopefully situation. But when things go back to normal, be careful, you’re a permanent resident of the United States, that means that you plan to reside here permanently, if you plan to stay outside of the United States for extended periods of time. Talk to someone like me, just to know what to do. One easy way how you could lose your status. Another one, and that one is super important, and a lot of people kind of dismiss it. That’s essentially a criminal record. If you’re arrested for something that you might think is really not a big deal, that could be grounds for the government to try and take your Green Card away, and essentially to deport. Is that only on a felony? Or could it be a misdemeanor?
Yakov Spektor 08:04
It’s not only that, it could even be something that’s not a crime at all, under the state law, like, for example, a marijuana conviction, which is still a federal crime, still a deportable offense.
Michael Levitis 08:20
We actually had a whole video just on that, whether you can get deported after a marijuana charge. So for those who go back, and please watch.
Yakov Spektor 08:30
It definitely makes sense if you’re working for a dispensary, you’re doing something that’s completely legal under the state law. People will run into all sorts of trouble simply by disclosing their job history, which is really not a crime, anywhere, it should not even be a crime under federal law. But unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. It is still a crime, federal crime, it could get you deported. So any sort of a criminal record could be grounds for you losing your status.
Michael Levitis 09:06
So I just want to add for the people who are listening in that if you work in anyway, near Marijuana legally according to a state law you better talk to your immigration attorney, somebody like Yakov Spektor, before you go for your interview for your Green Card citizenship, because that could possibly affect your rights. Okay, very interesting. What else?
Yakov Spektor 09:33
Those are the two big ones, there are lots of other kind of like, very niche grounds when someone could lose his permanent residence status. But extended absences from the country and the criminal record are the two big ones that a lot of people’s, sometimes they just happen into those two, so don’t think that that’s it, it’s homerun, you want for your interview, you’ve got your Green Card in the mail. Don’t think that your status is safe until you’re a citizen of the United States. Even then we’ll talk about it in next video. But until you’re a citizen of the United States, you have to know how to preserve your status.
Michael Levitis 10:21
Yakov, you always make this point, which is an excellent point, that having a status in USA, it’s a big privilege and takes a lot of efforts. So the last thing you want to do is jeopardize that by doing something stupid or just out of, I would say ignorance, not knowing. So how do you fix not knowing by educating yourself you in the right way by watching our videos? Definitely spend time spend a little bit of money to contact an attorney like Yakov Spektor to get a full consultation. Before you do something that you think could be in gray areas, something questionable, always good to get advice, so you know what you’re facing. Yakov, thank you so much for your valuable advice. We appreciate it and we’re going to come back with our next session on how to avoid getting your citizenship revoked, because you may think it’s set in stone, you got your passport, you got your certificate of authorization — no. Anything is possible, even that you can lose, please follow us, Facebook, and Youtube, Instagram, even LinkedIn where you can watch our videos with experts in law. Today we had on Yakov Spektor, an immigration attorney, and we’re heavy on very soon again, thank you so much. Thank everybody for tuning in. Until next time.
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