A “green card” or permanent resident card is a document that shows a that a person can stay in the U.S. and work here in almost any capacity. One is eligible to apply for permanent residence/green card through certain family relationships, a job offer or employment that meets certain criteria, refugee or asylum claims, or other special provisions. In some cases, you may be able to self-petition. Please click here to learn more about maintaining green card status.
Abandonment of Permanent Residence: Permanent residents may lose their status if they intentionally (or in some cases unintentionally) abandon it by:
- Moving to another country and intending to live there permanently;
- Remaining outside of the U.S. for an extended period, unless intended to be a temporary absence and you have notified immigration of this absence. Obtaining a re-entry permit from USCIS before you leave, or a returning resident visa (SB-1) from a U.S. consulate while abroad, may assist you in showing that you intended only a temporary absence.
- Failure to file income tax returns while living outside of the United States for any period.
- Declaring yourself a “nonimmigrant” on your U.S. tax returns.
In some circumstances, individuals may wish to voluntarily abandon their green card statuses. In these circumstances, they will file a Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status and give up their green cards. However, starting on July 1, 2019, USCIS will no longer accept Form I-407 at international field offices by mail or in person. Anyone who wish to voluntarily abandon their Green Card status can submit the form via mail to:
USCIS Eastern Forms Center
Attn: I-407 unit
124 Leroy Road
PO Box 567
Williston, VT 05495
USCIS anticipates that processing times for the form will take around 60 days. In very rare and special circumstances, a US embassy, consulate or international field office may accept a Form I-407 in person if the individual need immediate proof that they have abandoned their Green Card Status.
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