Immigration petitions can take years to adjudicate, and your situation and needs may change over this time. In the case you are no longer interested in moving to the United States, it is possible to cancel (“withdraw”) your immigration petition while it is processing before the USCIS, or even after you receive an approval from USCIS and while it is undergoing NVC (national visa center) processing.
How to withdraw a case from USCIS before it has approved it
If you have filed your case and it is processing at the USCIS, and you have not yet received your approval/denial decision, your request to withdraw should be sent to USCIS.
There is no official USCIS withdrawal form. But there is some important information you should make sure to include:
- Make sure to address the withdrawal letter to the right USCIS office that is currently processing your application. Usually you can see this information in your Receipt Notice (I-797) issued to you when USCIS receives your petition.
- Include the full name, date of birth, passport information for the petitioner/beneficiary.
- Include the Receipt number, receipt date, application type, A-number.
- Include your contact details, including a reliable mailing address. USCIS usually sends correspondence by mail, so it is important to use an address you can access.
- Sign the letter.
- You can also send a copy of your I-797 notice as an attachment.
How to withdraw a case after it was approved by USCIS but before your interview
If your immigration petition (e.g., I-130, I-140) has already been approved by USCIS and the case has been sent to the national visa center (NVC), and you are waiting for your interview, you can submit a request to withdraw your case to the NVC.
As of the date of writing, this can be done through an online portal, where you can write the details of your petition and attach copies of a signed withdrawal request letter electronically.
Be sure to include the above-mentioned personal and petition details, and attach a copy of the approval notice of your immigrant petition.
What if you already received your immigrant visa?
If you have already received your immigrant visa and, for whatever reason, decide not to immigrate to the U.S., there is no particular way to revoke your visa. You can simply choose not to use the visa to travel to the U.S.
Most immigrant visas are valid for up to six months, before expiry of which a visa holder must make an application at the border to enter the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident (LPR), i.e., green card holder. Note that the primary (or principal) applicant must enter before, or at the same time as, derivative family members with visas. After six months have passed, your immigrant visa will expire on its own.
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