Obtaining an American green card can be a lengthy process so it only stands to reason that you will want to take the steps necessary to retain your green card once you have it in hand. Regardless if you obtained a green card for use through the diversity lottery or via a lengthy process, there are many privileges that come with holding a green card as a permanent resident in the United States.
Take the Steps Necessary to Maintain Residence
Once you have obtained your American green card make sure you are careful about maintaining permanent residence. You can be found in violation of permanent residence if you stay in another country for more than year and you fail to apply for a return resident visa.
You may also jeopardize your American green card privilege if for any reason it is believed you have abandoned residency in the United States. In some instances, it can be less than one year if there is cause to believe you are not following the criteria for permanent residency regardless of how you obtained your American green card through diversity lottery or other means.
You can also be in violation if you do not file tax returns while you are out of the United States for any extended length of time or you claim yourself as a non-resident of the United States on your income tax return.
Carry Verification with You
According to the laws in the United States, you must carry verification that you are a permanent resident of the US at all times once you obtain an American green card. This is especially important if you get stopped for a traffic violation or have your status questioned as the result of law enforcement procedures following the 9-11 attacks.
Do Not Claim to be a US Citizen
If you have not applied for naturalization then do not claim to be a US citizen especially if you are ever questioned by law enforcement. Claiming to be a US citizen when you have an American green card but have not pursued naturalization is considered a serious violation and can get you deported from the United States.
The same rule applies to voting in elections that require you to be a US citizen even though you have obtained a green card for use when voting. Casting your vote in elections where you are required to be a US citizen is considered to be a serious offense and you will likely face deportation as a result.
Obey the Law
When you obtain an American green card via diversity lottery or any other means you are expected to obey the laws of the United States. Receiving a green card for use is a privilege and not a right. If you commit a crime you will jeopardize your permanent residency status in the United States and likely lose your green card status. Even the smallest of crimes can jeopardize your residency so make it a point to obey the laws to maintain American green card status.