Voluntary Abandonment of Green Card – Are There Any Bad Consequences?

Published on    30 June 2014     Hits: 786

When all your family members are already lawful permanent residents or US citizens but you need to stay overseas for a prolonged time for work or business, your lawful permanent resident status may be causing you more headache than convenience.

You may be worried about your duty to report world-wide income and you may feel harassed every time you travel back to the US after a lengthy overseas travel about your intent as a permanent resident.  Because of multiple complexities international life causes, more and more people ask about voluntary abandonment of green card.

If you believe your permanent residence is in the US and you will certainly return within several years to live in the US, then despite the difficulties, you may want to try to maintain your permanent resident status by applying for reentry permit and showing your ties to the United States.

However, if such probability is low and you are suffering from the stress of maintaining permanent resident status, you may seriously want to find out how to abandon your green card.  If you wish to abandon your permanent residence and relinquish your Permanent Resident Card or "Green Card", you need to complete submit Form I-407 Form Form  I-407 Abandonment of LPR Status before a consul or at a port of entry.  Also, at the time of abandoning your green card, if you’ve been a permanent resident for more than 8 years, you will want to review IRS Form 8854 and see if you have tax payment obligation.

These forms are available on USCIS website and IRS website respectively.  During this process, a frequently asked question is whether abandoning one’s permanent resident status will affect any family member’s status.  Fortunately, permanent resident or US citizen status does not get lost because a family member gives it up.

What about regaining permanent resident status later in life?  It is possible.  You need to start the whole process anew, but you will not experience additional difficulties because of your past record of abandoning it.

As it is important and difficult to obtain green card lawfully and successfully, it is not an easy decision when it comes to abandoning ones green card.  I hope the above information does provide some help to clear a few questions.

Mario Guevara-Martinez