Ways a Green Card Can Be Revoked

paper saying welcome to the united states

For people who receive a green card, this generally represents their right to be a citizen of the United States for life. As immigration attorneys at Buhler Thomas Law, P.C., there’s nothing that brings us more joy than seeing one of our clients approved for such a life-changing event.

This is almost always the final step in the process, but we always have to caution our clients as well: There are ways a green card can be revoked. These are only triggered by specific behaviors – it’ll never just happen randomly, so that’s not a concern. But here are a few of the most common ways people often see their green cards revoked, so you can stay away from them.


Natural-born citizens might go to jail if they commit a serious enough crime, and an additional risk for people holding a green card is revocation. The thresholds for what qualify as serious enough to have a green card revoked can vary, but many major crimes will fit the bill and cause your deportation.

Immigration Fraud

This is a specific type of fraud that’s also referred to as immigration marriage fraud in some cases. It’s when someone marries a U.S. citizen with the sole purpose of receiving a green card through marriage-based application, and it’s illegal and will result in deportation. However, in most cases it’s tough to prosecute this sort of fraud – proving without a doubt that a green card was truly the only reason for marriage can be very difficult.

Application Fraud

This is a different sort of fraud where people lied, left out information or were otherwise dishonest in their application. In some cases, this doesn’t get noticed until after the green card has been approved. In these cases, the card will be revoked and you’ll be deported.


You’re allowed to leave the country while you’re here on a green card, but staying away too long could see it revoked. This is usually only if you’re out of the country for over half of a calendar year, and there are forms you can fill out to inform the government that you do not plan to abandon your residency status if you plan to be out of the country for a long time. Make sure you fill these out diligently and in advance if there’s a chance you’ll miss close to the 180-day threshold in a given year.

Want to learn more about this or any of the other services provided by the immigration lawyers at Buhler Thomas Law, P.C.? Speak with one of our attorneys today.