Can a Sponsor Revoke a Green Card? Understanding Your Rights and Legal Options

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Understanding the Process

Revoking a Green Card sponsorship can be a complicated and stressful process. Imagine a scenario where you’ve sponsored a family member to join you in the United States, and circumstances change. The burning question arises: can you, as a sponsor, withdraw sponsorship after a Green Card has been issued?

U.S. immigration law gives sponsors certain rights and responsibilities. Once a person’s Green Card has been issued, withdrawing the sponsorship is nearly impossible. However, various legal pathways and conditions could lead to the revocation of the legal permanent resident’s status, such as proof of fraud or criminal behavior reported to the USCIS. This situation is delicate and often requires the expertise of an immigration attorney to navigate properly.

At Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, we understand how crucial it is to know your rights as a sponsor and a Green Card holder. We are committed to guiding you through this complex process, ensuring you fully understand your obligations and protections under U.S. law regarding visa sponsorship and permanent residence.

Understanding Green Card Sponsorship

In the green card application process, the sponsor plays a crucial role.

A sponsor is usually a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident who files a petition on behalf of an immigrant relative or employee. The primary forms associated with this are Form I-130 for family sponsorship and Form I-140 for employment-based sponsorship.

Responsibilities of Sponsors

  • Financial Support: By filing an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), the sponsor pledges to financially support the immigrant.

  • Maintaining Communication: Sponsors must keep USCIS informed of any changes, such as address updates.

  • Providing Accurate Information: Sponsors should ensure that all submitted documents and information are accurate and truthful.

Legal Expectations

Sponsorship involves significant legal obligations.

Upon approval, sponsors are legally bound to support the immigrant until they either become U.S. citizens or have worked 40 quarters (approximately 10 years) in the U.S. This contract is enforceable by the government.

What Happens if a Sponsor Wants to Revoke

While rare, sponsors can request to withdraw their application before the USCIS grants approval. Once approved, revoking sponsorship is complex and typically requires proving instances of fraud or other severe circumstances.

If family members are in the U.S., they follow the Adjustment of Status process. For those abroad, they must apply for an immigrant visa via consular processing.

Our understanding and adherence to these sponsorship guidelines ensure a smoother path for immigrants seeking permanent resident status. As sponsors, we are not only facilitators but also supporters of their journey.

Can a Sponsor Revoke a Green Card?

A sponsor might wonder, “Can I revoke the green card I helped someone obtain?” The short answer is no; sponsors cannot unilaterally revoke a green card once it’s issued. After approval, the green card holder’s status is independent of the sponsor.

That said, there are specific conditions under which a green card might be revoked. USCIS can take action if the green card was obtained through fraud or misrepresentation. In these cases, revocation is based on solid evidence proving deceitful behavior.

Criminal activity is another ground for revocation. If a green card holder is convicted of certain crimes, including serious felonies, this can lead to the loss of their status. The law takes a firm stance against those who violate serious legal standards.

In circumstances of divorce, if the green card is conditional based on a marriage that ends in divorce, the holder may face challenges related to their status. However, with sufficient evidence, they can still argue for retaining their green card.

Sometimes, a sponsor may believe they have the power to withdraw their support and, consequently, affect the immigrant’s status. Nonetheless, once granted, green card status is generally secure unless specifically revoked by USCIS due to fraud, criminal activity, or failure to meet residency requirements.

Grounds for Green Card Revocation

Fraud or Misrepresentation

Fraud or misrepresentation can lead to the revocation of a green card. If we obtain residency through false information or concealment of important facts, USCIS may revoke the status. Misrepresenting marital status or identity or claiming false employment are prime examples.

Potential consequences include deportation and being permanently barred from reentry. More on marriage fraud and its implications can be found here.

Criminal Activity

Certain criminal activities jeopardize green card status. Crimes involving moral turpitude, aggravated felonies, and drug trafficking severely impact residency status.

The legal proceedings involve criminal courts and subsequent USCIS actions. These might include detention and initiation of deportation proceedings.

Public Charge and Financial Issues

The public charge rule affects green card holders deemed likely to rely primarily on government assistance. Sponsors also play a critical role in ensuring that immigrants do not become public charges.

Failure to meet financial responsibilities can trigger a review of the green card status. An updated card can be obtained through the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), if necessary.

Legal Options if Facing Green Card Revocation

If a sponsor seeks to revoke your Green Card, it’s vital to understand your legal options.

Consulting with an Immigration Attorney

First, seek legal advice. Consulting with experienced attorneys like those at Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law in Houston, can provide invaluable guidance during this challenging time. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) procedures and ensure your rights are protected.

Defending Against Revocation Claims

Several defenses can be pursued in response to revocation claims. Evidence proving continuous residence, lack of fraudulent intent, or correcting any misinformation can be pivotal. Demonstrating that you did not willfully misrepresent facts or commit any unlawful acts is essential. If there’s an accusation of making a false claim to U.S. citizenship, it’s crucial to address this promptly, as it can severely jeopardize your status.

Appealing a Revocation Decision

If USCIS decides to revoke your Green Card, you may appeal the decision. Filing an appeal involves submitting Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. It’s important to act quickly, as appeals typically must be filed within 30 days of the decision. During the appeal process, USCIS will review your case and any new evidence you present.

By thoroughly preparing your case and understanding your legal options, we can work towards a favorable outcome. For more information on tracking your case and getting answers to your immigration questions, visit the USCIS Contact Center.

Preventive Measures for Sponsors and Green Card Holders

For Sponsors

Maintaining clear records is crucial. Ensure that all information provided in the visa petition is accurate and up-to-date. Mistakes can lead to complications and potential legal issues.

Keep open lines of communication with the green card holder. Understanding their current status and needs can help avoid misunderstandings and inadvertent violations.

Compliance with Legal Requirements

Adhering to USCIS guidelines helps prevent unforeseen issues. Regularly reviewing the requirements for sponsorship ensures ongoing compliance.

Document every step taken, from the initial petition to the final immigration process. Organized records serve as a valuable reference if questions arise.

For Green Card Holders

Understanding and adhering to residency requirements is vital. Spending extended periods outside the U.S. can jeopardize your green card status.

Familiarize yourself with the rights and responsibilities of permanent residents. This knowledge assists in navigating daily life and maintaining lawful status.

Staying Informed

Immigration laws evolve, and staying informed about these changes is essential. Current information can be obtained by subscribing to updates from USCIS or consulting with an immigration attorney.

Avoid legal trouble by steering clear of actions that could lead to the revocation of your status. This includes avoiding criminal activity and adhering to the terms of your residency.

Safeguarding Your Green Card Status with Experienced Legal Support

Protecting your green card status is imperative for maintaining the benefits of permanent residency. Various challenges, such as fraud allegations or criminal convictions, can jeopardize your status.

Engaging with an experienced immigration lawyer is crucial. Legal professionals can help navigate complex procedures, including the adjustment of status and rescission proceedings. These steps ensure compliance with U.S. immigration laws and mitigate risks.

In some cases, green card holders face removal proceedings. An immigration lawyer provides representation during hearings, helping to establish good faith in compliance with legal expectations.

Financial Support and Legal Advice

  • I-864 Form: We assist with completing the I-864, ensuring that financial support obligations are met.

  • Adjustment of Status: Proper guidance on the adjustment of status process.

  • I-130 and I-140 Petitions: Expert support for filing petitions correctly.

Even in instances of divorce or changes in relationship status, our legal team can help maintain your permanent residency.

Immigration Petitions and Hearings

Having experienced representation can make a significant difference when dealing with USCIS. From initial applications to timely responses to receipt notices, our guidance ensures compliance with all requirements.

By working together, we help green card holders avoid pitfalls, such as abandonment claims or the need for a returning resident visa. Stay prepared and informed through every step of the immigration process with our dedicated support.