Statute of Limitations For Green Cards Rescission
Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova
In law, there is a statue of limitations or period during which one can bring a legal action with regard to almost all rights, regulations, incidents, accidents or actions. For example, if you happened to be in a car accident, you have 3 years to sue. If you became a victim of fraud, you have 6 years to sue your offender.
Now, believe it or not, there is a statue of limitations as to how long the government can wait before taking your green card from you if it was issued in error. The bad news is that there is only one Circuit Federal Court in the whole United States which follows this five-year statute.
This Court is the Court for the 3rd Circuit, and it covers New Jersey! Only this Circuit court held that the government cannot take someone’s green card away if the government issued it in error after five years passed since the issuance under 8 U.S.C. § 1256(a):
If, at any time within five years after the status of a person has been otherwise adjusted under the provisions of section 1255
of this title or any other provision of law to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the person was not in fact eligible for such adjustment of status, the Attorney General shall rescind the action taken granting an adjustment of status to such person and cancelling removal in the case of such person if that occurred and the person shall thereupon be subject to all provisions of this chapter to the same extent as if the adjustment of status had not been made. Nothing in this subsection shall require the Attorney General to rescind the alien’s status prior to commencement of procedures to remove the alien under section 1229a of this title
, and an order of removal issued by an immigration judge shall be sufficient to rescind the alien’s status.
Interestingly enough, there is no time limitation on when the government may start deportation or removal proceedings against a person, so in reality, if the government really wants to take the green card or lawful permanent status away, it may “find” a valid basis for removal, and very often such a basis is determined to be fraud.
Moreover, if a person became a U.S. citizen, and the government still has time to rescind its decision regarding the person’s permanent resident status, the person would lose the citizenship as well. In reality, however, just like with the rescinding or removal of a person in permanent resident status, the government is not bound by the five-year statute and often, naturalized citizens of many years, and decades may lose their citizenship if a mistake is uncovered.
To rescind one’s LPR status, the government would:
1. Would send a notice with intent to rescind
2. A LPR has 30 days to contest the notice and then there will be a hearing with the Immigration Judge. The result of the hearing is appealable.
If a LPR does not respond to the notice within 30 days, he will not be afforded a hearing with an Immigration judge. Important: a request for more time is not a request for hearing! See Ali v. Reno, 22 F 3d 44 (2n Cir. 1994).
3. The government has to prove their case by clear, convincing and unequivocal evidence.
If you receive a notice of intent to rescind your LPR status, call an attorney right away. You can reach us at 917-885-2261.