Abandoning Lawful Permanent Resident Status: Procedure & Considerations

U.S. Department of Homeland Security LogoIn February of 2015, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that they have developed and released a new and updated Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status. Although it can seem counter-productive to give up the green card status, there may be situations in which it will be the best option for some people, depending on their individual circumstances.

Moving and Creating a New Primary Domicile

If a person with a green card moves to another country and plans to make it their main home, the USCIS views that as having given up their green card and that person will not be allowed back into the United States as a permanent resident. Trying to maintain a green card after relocating to another country may not be a good solution due to tax requirements and the expense of attempting to reenter the United States with and abandoned green card and being refused entry. The United States government can consider someone to have abandoned their green card, but still obligate that person to pay taxes on worldwide income.

Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status

If the same individual in the above example files Form I-407, they can officially abandon their lawful permanence residency status in America. This form can be filed at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and at that time the person filing the form will need to give up their green card. The consular official will be able to make a determination of abandonment status without requiring official adjudication. If the official believes some sort of coercion was involved, they may choose to interview the individual giving up their green card to ensure that they are acting voluntarily. There are no fees or charges involved in the process of filing Form I-407.

The person who gives up their green card, in most circumstances, will not be required to pay future federal income taxes in the United States assuming the appropriate forms have been appropriately filed and documented. It is possible if the individual filing Form I-407 has been in the United States eight of 15 years, there may be taxes on goods sold immediately prior to the move. In future visits to the United States, the person who abandoned their green card may show their current legal status to prove they do not intend to immigrate to the United States.

Each situation regarding a change in immigration status can be complicated and different. As an immigration lawyer Los Angeles, David Hirson & Partners, LLP. can help you make the best decisions and fill out the best forms for your situation. Call and let us help you today.