You are bound to lose your permanent resident status (green card) if you commit an act that makes you removable from the US. Should you commit such an act, you have to face an immigration court to further establish your right to remain as a permanent resident of the US.
You will be considered to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you:
- shift to another country with an intention to live there permanently
- be outside the US for more than one (1) year without getting a reentry permit or returning resident visa. However, any length of absence from the US may be considered (even if less than a year) in determining whether your status has been abandoned
- be outside of the US for more than two (2) years after issuance of a reentry permit without being issued a returning resident visa.
- did not file income tax returns while living outside of the US for any given period of time
Renewing Your Green Card
If you are a permanent resident and you green card has expired or will expire within the next six months, you have to renew your green card by filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card with the USCIS. However, if your card will not expire for at least another six months and you fulfill all the requirements needed to qualify for American citizenship, you may opt to apply for naturalization instead of renewing/replacing your card.
Renewing your Green Card while being abroad
If you are outside the US and your card will expire within six months (but you will return within one (1) year of your departure from the US and before the card expires), you can file the I-90 application to renew as soon as you return to the US.
If you are abroad when the card expires and you did not apply for the renewal before leaving the US, it is best advised you contact the nearest US Consulate, USCIS office, or US port of entry before filing Form I-90.
When to Renew your Green Card
You are required to renew your card if it is valid for ten years and the card has either expired or will expire within the next six months. But, note that if you are a conditional resident and your status is expiring, you have to file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status.
A green card holder may abandon his/her permanent resident status by filing form I-407 at a US Embassy. A person who loses permanent resident status is subject to immediate removal from the US and must leave the country as soon as possible or will have to face deportation and removal. In certain cases the person may be banned from entering the US for three or seven years, or even permanently.