In the United States, a family member, employer, or individual may petition for an immigrant to seek permanent residence via a green card. A family member may act as a sponsor through the I-130 petition. An individual living in the United States may seek residence through the I-485 petition. Occasionally, a sponsor or individual may decide to cancel their application. The ease with which a person can withdraw their petition depends on whether or not United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved it or not. The process and consequences for reversing such a decision are covered below.
Canceling an I-130 or I-485 petition that has not yet been approved is a fairly simple process. A sponsor or individual must write a letter to USCIS calling for the reversal of the petition. It is advised to include any tracking numbers you have received throughout the process to expedite this change. USCIS often retains any fees already paid, but it is possible to receive a full refund if you halt the process early enough.
If the green card has been approved, but not issued, you must state the reason for this withdrawal. Often, USCIS wants to ensure nothing fraudulent has occurred between either party.
It’s much more difficult to cancel a green card once it has been approved. After an immigrant has received full status as a United States citizen, the fraudulent activity would have to be proven. If fraudulent activity is proven, both the immigrant and applicant are at risk of facing penalties.
Writing a letter to revoke an application for a green card before it has been approved by USCIS is an easy process. It should include the four following pieces of information:
Your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) may become invalid once the I-485 petition is revoked. This may prevent you from working in the United States. It is also possible you will have a harder time entering the United States in the future.
It can take a few weeks for USCIS to respond to a letter requesting reversal of the petition. From there, it can be another one to three months to finalize the decision. If you do not receive a response, it is advised to hire an immigration attorney to pursue action and ensure cancellation. Withdrawing an I-130 petition can result in penalties, including jail time and fines. This most often occurs when the I-130 was submitted with fraudulent information. In addition to this, USCIS can block you from petitioning for a future family member or spouse. It is likely that a USCIS interviewer will be suspicious about the shortcomings of the first marriage.
If a husband/wife withdraws their I-130 petition for their spouse’s entry into the United States, not much can be done. The application will be denied without possibility of being reinstated. In special cases, if a spouse can prove abuse, an I-360 can be filled out to allow safe entry to the United States apart from their abuser.
You may revoke your green card if you no longer live in the United States or have changed your permanent residence status. If you are certain about this decision, you can fill out an I-407 to cancel your Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status. This action can be done at no cost, but it is irrevocable. It is advised to put great thought into your decision before completing the application.
Giving up your LPR status does not prevent you from immigrating to the United States in the future. It does mean you would have to start the process over again from the beginning.
You can easily cancel the green card of a spouse before it is approved by reversing the I-130 with a signed, notarized letter. If the green card has been approved, then the petitioner must contact the National Visa Center. If the National Visa Center has moved the case to the U.S. Consulate, then they too must be contacted with a signed and notarized letter.
If the green card is approved and the marriage is proven to have been in good faith, then it will be very difficult to cancel a spouse’s green card.
Reversing an I-130 and I-485 petition can be a struggle whether or not it has already been approved. To ensure your cancellation goes smoothly, you should seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer. Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C is based in Chicago but works nationally to help clients successfully resolve their immigration issues. With a combined 70 years of experience, we are leaders in the field and will work with you whether you have applied for permanent status in the United States for yourself, your family, your spouse, or even a potential employee. Contact us at 312-444-1940 or visit our website today for more information.