Voluntary Relinquishment of Legal Permanent Resident Status

Individuals who have green cards may realize that they no longer wish to retain their permanent resident status for a variety of reasons — plans change and they do not plan to reside in the United States; or it is difficult to maintain status for economic reasons, such as American taxes and employment opportunities. For such individuals, they may voluntarily give up their green card at the nearest consulate or USCIS office and obtain a visitor’s visa. Because of the serious ramifications of such a decision, one should not undertake such a decision lightly. In addition to immigration counsel, one should consult with a US tax specialist to understand the implications of giving up LPR status.

The procedure for relinquishment is an official one — it takes place under oath, in the presence of an American officer, who takes the green card from the individual. Once the green card is relinquished, permanent residency status may be attained only by starting all over again — qualifying under a family, employment, or other category.

How does White & Associates help?

We have helped numerous individuals give up their US permanent resident status. First, it is necessary to discuss the advantages, disadvantages and consequences of this serious step. What may seem like a good idea today may not be a year or two from now. It is very important to make this decision with a long-term view in mind. Sometimes a viable alternative for someone who is compelled for business or family reasons to spend prolonged periods of time in his home country is to receive a reentry permit rather than give up his green card. We can put you in touch with qualified tax counsel and coordinate all legal aspects for you.

If the decision is made to relinquish the green card, we prepare the I-407 application form and supporting documentation required. Sometimes, we can accompany you to the relinquishment interview. After the green card is relinquished, we assist in obtaining a visitor’s visa to ensure that you will continue to have access to the United States when needed. While receiving a visitor’s visa should be a formality — after all, the applicant had the ability to continue to live in the United States permanently and declined to do so by giving up the green card — there have been times when consular officers have refused these applicants, thus underscoring the need for qualified legal counsel.

Please contact us to discuss how we may be of assistance.