A relative was issued a green card while he was a minor, but never received the physical card. He is now in his 30s, never renewed the card, but would like to do so. He has 4 minor children all born in the United States, and has lived here continuously. He has had some drug issues in the past, but I don't know if he ever had any arrests or convictions.
What kinds of problems are likely to arise if he now files to replace/renew his missing/expired green card?
There is no penalty for failure to replace a green card. But now that he has committed acts that may amount to a crime, he runs the risk of being placed in immigration proceedings. Please consult with a lawyer who can thoroughlyevaluate the facts with you.
Mary Carmen R. Madrid Crost can be reached at the: Madrid Crost Law Group - (888) 466-4478; e-mail: [email protected]; skype: usvisalaw Please consult with a licensed immigration professional to provide you with a thorough legal advice. This response should not be construed to create an attorney-client relationship. Please help stop notario fraud and share this web site: www.stopnotariofraud.org.
No penalties but drug issues are problematic. See an attorney to review criminal history before you renew.
Drug convictions are very risky for immigration purposes. The solution would depend on what he has on his criminal record.
Also, does he have any documents that evidence the green card status? If not, it could be difficult to renew.
Dhenu Savla, Esq
Hello. A couple of things your relative should be mindful of: (1) as a permanent resident (that is, a green card holder), it is his/her responsibility to carry proof of his/her permanent resident status at all times. As such, if your relative presently does not have a physical, unexpired green card, he/she should immediately consult with a competent immigration attorney to take the necessary steps to get a new green card issued; (2) without an unexpired green card, your relative may find it difficult to seek employment in the United States. By law, an employer must check to see that all newly hired workers are eligible for work in the U.S. The list of acceptable documents are an unexpired green card or an unrestricted Social Security number card in combination with a state-issued driver's license; (3) given that your relative has been a green card holder for many years, he/she may be eligible for U.S. citizenship. However, as noted in your question, your relative "has had some drug issues in the past." I will need to know the nature of these drug-related issues. A noncitizen is deportable if he/she is or has been a drug abuser or addict at any time after becoming a green card holder. This ground of deportability does not require a conviction.
It is best that your relative immediately contact an immigration attorney.
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