What are grounds for being deported? Foreign nationals who are in the United States often wonder about deportation. It is important to understand the reasons that deportation can occur and how to avoid being deported. There are many reasons why deportation is possible. Deportation laws are federal and therefore apply regardless of the state where you reside. If you feel you could be eligible for deportation, it is helpful to seek legal assistance from an experienced immigration attorney.

Illegally in the United States

Immigrants must be here in the United States legally. They are required to have a visa that permits them to remain in the U.S. either temporarily or permanently. The most common reason for deportation is having entered the country illegally. Another similar reason is that the person had a legal status, but failed to leave at the end of the allowed period.

Criminal Conviction

Those who are convicted of crimes may be deported, depending on the severity of the crime. A green card holder can be deported if convicted of fraud, drug offenses, domestic violence, firearms trafficking, terrorism, and aggravated felonies. These include such crimes as rape and murder. A full list of criminal grounds for deportation can be found in Section 237(a) of the I.N.A. (Immigration and Nationality Act).

Becoming a Public Charge

When an immigrant receives a green card, they agree that they are self-sufficient and are not supported through public assistance. In other words, you must be able to prove that you can and do support yourself. Green card holders must not apply for public assistance within five years of the date of entry.

Failure to Maintain Status

Those who are in the United States on a visa can be here as non-immigrants. The law requires that you follow the conditions of your specific type of visa while here in the U.S. For example, if you are here as a student, you must maintain your student status in order to stay. If your circumstances change, your visa may no longer apply. If so, you must take the legal steps necessary to obtain a new visa or apply for a different type of visa.

Violation of Immigration Laws

This category of deportation encompasses all the laws and rules that pertain to immigrants in the United States. For example, you must advise the USCIS of a change of address within ten days of moving. While it seems minor, it is one of the legal grounds for deportation. It is imperative that you obey U.S. laws and follow the rules of immigration to ensure that you maintain your legal status in the country. Anyone who is concerned about possible deportation should review the information provided by the USCIS or contact a reputable immigration attorney to examine their case.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding What Are Grounds for Being Deported?, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at  480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.