What Happens if Your Permanent Resident Card Expires?
If you possess a green card, it is vital that you are aware of precisely when it expires. Being caught unprepared is guaranteed to result in extensive legal complications.
An American Permanent Resident Card, otherwise known as a green card, has an expiration date attached to it that is important to keep a close eye on. If you accidentally run over on your green card, you will need to take immediate steps in order to minimise the impact that this lapse has on your life. Regardless of how insignificant or serious this lapse may seem once you realise it, you will likely want to hire an immigration lawyer to help you settle all of these issues and ensure that you can avoid as many negative consequences as possible.
However, there are many different possible consequences that you will face regardless of whether you have an attorney helping you through your case or not. Take a look below at some of the things that you can expect to happen to you if your permanent resident card expires and you have not taken the appropriate action to either file for an extension or been naturalized as a United States citizen. These possible impacts are important motivators when it comes to planning for the long-term process of coming to, and remaining in, the United States.
Keep in mind that an expired green card does not mean that your permanent resident status is voided, only that you will need to get a new card as soon as possible so that you can avoid some of the issues that we will list below.
You Will Have Trouble with New Employment
When you are a permanent resident and you find a new job, your employer will likely need to see proof (they are legally required to do so) before they are able to hire you. Whether or not you are legally able to remain and work in the country under the privileges afforded you by your permanent residency, you will need to provide current proof to your prospective employer in the form of an active permanent resident card.
Past Crimes May Become Serious Problems
If you have been convicted of any felonies since you last applied for your green card, and you are trying to renew an expired card instead of taking steps before it lapses, you may find yourself in a situation where you could be facing removal by deportation. If you know that you have criminal charges on your record that could interfere with any type of residency issues, it is absolutely essential that you follow all requirements exactly to avoid issues.
Traveling Can Become Complicated
In order to travel in and out of the United States as a permanent resident, you will need to have a current green card to provide during a passport check, along with a valid passport from your home country. If you are not able to provide one, or either, of these documents as you attempt to enter the country, you may find that you are not allowed through passport control and will need to take drastic steps in order to get back into the country.
Potential to Lose Permanent Resident Status
Depending on how long you allow this lapse to continue, the United States may consider you to have voluntarily abandoned your status. If this happens, you will need to prove that you intended to return in order to renew your green card, as well as a variety of other additional steps. However, this will only take place after an extended lapse.