The Green Card guarantees to an immigrant the right to live and work permanently in the United States. The Green Card is granted for 10 years, except that spouses of U.S. Citizens are granted a 2-year Green Card of they have been married for less than 2 years. Previously, the Green Card was granted without conditions even to spouses of U.S. citizens, but Congress changed the law in an attempt to curb marriage fraud. Also, older Green Cards did not have an expiration date.
The right to a Green Card can be revoked by the Federal Government. The main and most common reason for revocation of Green Card and deportation from the United States is the commission of a crime of moral turpitude of an aggravated felony. There are other grounds for revocation of a Green Card. For example, an immigrant can be placed in removal proceedings if he or she has spent too much time outside the United States. Abandonment of residence is a ground for revocation of lawful permanent resident status.
In all cases, a Green Card holder will have the right to contest the grounds of removal and have a fair trial. The Notice to Appear is the document that contains the allegations against the immigrant, and it is filed with the immigration court. The court will schedule a first hearing, called master hearing, where the immigrant will be informed of the charges against him, and the court will note any form of relief sought by the immigrant.
At the next hearing, there will be a trial, where both the government attorney and your deportation lawyer will present the case to the Court. If the court enters a deportation order, it must be appealed with the Board of Immigration Appeals within 30 days.
Immigration appeals can be extremely complicated and technical, so that you should carefully pick your lawyer. If the BIA confirms the immigration court ruling, you can still appeal to a U.S. Court of Appeals and seek a stay of deportation while the appeal is pending.