Will I Lose My Green Card and Be Deported for Voting as a Non-U.S. Citizen?

October 3rd, 2017 Colin Behring

Non-U.S. citizens are not allowed to vote in the federal elections. Non-U.S. citizens include Green Card holders, those in the U.S. on nonimmigrant visas, undocumented immigrants, refugees and asylees. These categories of immigrants do not have the right to vote for the President of the U.S.

Natural born U.S. citizens and naturalized citizens can vote in the Presidential Elections. U.S. citizens have more rights than legal permanent residents. Green Card holders can remain in the U.S., work here and also bring certain categories of relatives to the country. But they are not granted all the rights granted to U.S. citizens, including the right to vote, serve on juries and work in certain government positions. Though the immigration status granted to legal permanent residents is permanent, they might lose their Green Cards if they commit deportable crimes.

Green Card holders who misrepresent their status as a U.S. citizen and vote in the federal election are more likely to lose their immigration status in the U.S. This misrepresentation can also make them deportable from the country.

Likewise, Green Card holders should not register to vote. To register to vote in an election, one has to complete and sign a form confirming that he or she is a U.S. citizen. Claiming to be a U.S. citizen will make the person fall into a ground of inadmissibility that is unwaivable. So a Green Card holder who registers to vote and votes in the Presidential Election claiming to be a U.S. citizen will most likely lose his or her Green Card and be deported from the U.S.

Legal permanent residents will become eligible to vote only after they become U.S. citizens through naturalization. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will deny the citizenship application of a legal permanent resident who had voted in the U.S. in the past. USCIS may also place such individuals in removal proceedings.


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