Immigration Lawyer Chicago/ Immigration Forms: Where Do I Get Immigration Forms?/ Form I-407: How to Apply for Green Card Abandonment and Green Card Abandonment Consequences
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are three parts to an I-407 form, of which you are only required to complete two. The form sections are as follows:
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
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.