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Form I-407: How to Apply for Green Card Abandonment and Green Card Abandonment Consequences

Form I-407: How to Apply for Green Card Abandonment and Green Card Abandonment Consequences

Using Form I-407 to Abandon Lawful Permanent Resident Card

To understand the function of Form I-407, it is important to understand the difference between a Lawful Permanent Resident card (green card) and lawful permanent residence itself.

The green card is a representation of someone’s lawful permanent residence (LPR), and just because they do not have the green card, it does not mean that they lose their residential status. Losing or giving your green card away is not the same as voluntarily abandoning your green card status.

When you abandon your status with Form I-407 you are no longer considered a U.S. resident. If you are trying to travel abroad without losing your green card, you should read our article about maintainting your lawful resident status.

What Is USCIS Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status?

USCIS Form I-407 is a government form that allows you to abandon or relinquish your LPR status. This form helps the U.S. government keep an updated record of individuals and their citizenship status.

It’s a relatively short form but one that is necessary for individuals who are expatriating or leaving the U.S. to take up residence in another country. You will lose all citizenship benefits and privileges, but you will also no longer be required to pay taxes to the U.S. government.

Form I-407 Filing Fee

The I-407 form is unique because it has no U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee. Depending on how you submit the form, you may have to pay a shipping fee, but the form itself costs nothing to complete and submit.

Form I-407 Processing Time

It’s important to understand that USCIS doesn’t have any control over the amount of time it takes for your application to arrive. They cannot process Form I-407 until they receive it in the mail. Using a reliable postal service helps decrease the chances of a delay.

Once USCIS receives your request, they will ideally be able to complete it within 60 days. But depending on the current USCIS workload, it may take longer to process. The best way to minimize delays is to fill out the entire application as truthfully and accurately as possible. If you don’t include a date and signature, USCIS will reject the application.

What Is the Purpose of an I-407 Form?

There are a variety of reasons you may consider abandoning your green card status. Regardless of what you had to go through to get it, green card abandonment may be beneficial in any of the following scenarios.

  • Becoming a permanent resident elsewhere: Sometimes people take jobs in different countries or want to indefinitely move away from their current residence. Whether it’s for work, friends, family, adventure, or anything else, the decision to take up permanent residence in a different country requires you to abandon your LPR status in the U.S. You need to voluntarily give up your green card to become a permanent resident elsewhere.
  • Tax regulations: As long as you are an LPR in the U.S., you will be required to pay taxes to the U.S. government. If you want to move to a different country and don’t want to pay U.S. taxes, you can voluntarily abandon your green card.
  • Returning back to your home country: Not everybody wishes to stay in the U.S. indefinitely. Some people come for a period of time to live or work then return back to their country of origin. Whether you return home because you’re done working and wish to retire among family, or just because you want to go back, you must voluntarily abandon your LPR status with a Form I-407.

How to Give Up a Green Card

The process of filling out a Form I-407 should be done completely in black ink; stamped or typed answers will not be accepted as a substitution. Write as neatly as possible and be honest when answering questions. Write your Alien Registration Number (A-Number) in the top-right corner of each page you fill out, including any additional necessary forms. Read USCIS instructions on how exactly to present your A-Number.

Form I-407 Filing Instructions

There are three parts to an I-407 form, of which you are only required to complete two. The form sections are as follows:

  • Part 1. Information About You – Numbers 1-14 in Part 1 are intended for information about the individual abandoning their green card (you). This includes identification information like your A-Number, USCIS account number, name, date, and country of birth. It also includes any information about your recent departures from the U.S. and the reason you are abandoning your LPR status. The last few items are for mailing addresses, records of returned documents, and certification of the provided information.
  • Part 2. Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature – If you used an interpreter to help complete your I-407 form, they must fill out identification and contact information in Part 2, then sign and date at the bottom.
  • Part 3. For Government Use Only – This space is for a government official to indicate whether the individual is or is not interviewed as a part of this process.

Where to File Form I-407

There used to be many locations at which you could file a Form I-407, but as of right now, you can only mail applications to one address. If you are using the U.S. Postal Service, mail your form to:

USCIS Eastern Forms Center

ATTN: I-407

Unit PO Box 567

Williston, VT 05495

If you are using FedEx, UPS, DHL, or another registered delivery service, mail your form to:

USCIS Eastern Forms Center

ATTN: I-407

Unit 124 Leroy Road

Williston, VT 05495

If you use the incorrect address, USCIS will not receive your application and it will likely not be rerouted.

Form I-407 Requirements

The I-407 form begins the process of green card abandonment, but it is not the only document necessary to complete the process. Other documents required for LPR status abandonment include the following:

  • Form I-407 – As previously stated, the I-407 application must be completed, signed, and turned into USCIS. It will be rejected if it’s not signed and filled out entirely in English.
  • Permanent resident card – Also called your green card or Form 1-551, this citizenship identification card must be returned to USCIS so they can properly destroy it. If you do not have your green card in your possession because it was lost, destroyed, or you never had one to begin with, fill out the appropriate boxes on the I-407 form to let USCIS know.
  • Any and all USCIS issued documents – When you abandon your LPR status, you aren’t allowed to keep anything that might indicate otherwise.

Green Card Abandonment Consequences

Upon abandoning your LPR status, you will lose all benefits and privileges afforded to you by your green card. You will not be allowed to have any documentation regarding your residence and you will not be able to apply for a permanent resident student loan. You will also not be able to do things that require U.S. citizenship or residence.

If you voluntarily abandon your residence, you will need to reapply for any future visas or permanent residency cards when trying to reenter the U.S. Unlike other removal proceedings or an unlawful abandonment process, Form I-407 green card abandonment will not be held against you. There are no penalties when reapplying for a visa.

It is important to understand that you will not be able to use your old green card or get it back without reapplying. And you may not qualify for a green card when you go to reapply. Although there is no punishment for voluntarily abandoning your green card, you do run the risk of not being able to get another one.

If you wish to leave the U.S. for an extended period of time (up to two years), you can apply for a Form I-1331 re-entry permit. This permit, if accepted, will allow you to return as an LPR after an extended stay in another country. Pay close attention to the laws, however, because things could potentially change and leave you unable to return as an LPR without filing for another green card.

Can Someone Be Pressured to Sign a Form I-407?

In some cases, an individual can be pressured to voluntarily abandon their green card status. This would only occur when the situation is significant enough to warrant pressure from a U.S. immigration official. This scenario usually only occurs if there is sufficient evidence that a permanent resident broke U.S. laws or took up residence in another country without taking the proper steps.

Filing a Form I-407 With Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C.

Whether you are applying for a visa or trying to abandon your current LPR status, decisions about your residency can have a huge impact on the rest of your life. Hiring an immigration attorney can significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome.

The immigration lawyers at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. have the knowledge and training to walk you through a variety of immigration processes. This includes filing a Form I-407, changing your status, or applying for U.S. citizenship and naturalization.

We're looking forward to hearing from you!