Abandonment of Green Card


The volatility of our current immigration and residency status in the US may lead you to think twice before traveling outside of the country if you have a green card. Permanent residents who leave the US for an extended period may face unintentional abandonment of green card.

Immigration Coral Springs, FL

Residents who travel abroad may find that when they arrive back in the United States, they are confronted with the fact that they have already unintentionally surrendered green card. Is this legal?

Yes, if you are out of the country for longer than one year, your green card will be invalid for reentry. Today, trips of 180 days or more may also subject you to the abandonment of green card. At the very least, you may be put through more intensive questioning about the nature of your travel upon returning to the US. You may even be questioned if you leave the country for one day, so prepare for questions about your residency and abandonment before you leave the US.

If unexpected situations keep you out of the US longer than expected, contact the US consulate where you are and explain the circumstances. You might be eligible for a special return visa if the issue was beyond your control.

Reentry Permit

Fear of facing abandonment of green card upon reentry into the US can be remedied with a reentry permit. By applying for the permit before leaving the US, you are demonstrating your intent to return to the country after you leave. The reentry permit also provides a way for you to explain your anticipated absence.

Applying for a reentry permit can prevent abandonment of green card in the following situations:

You may be out of the country for a minimum of 180 continuous days before returning to the US.

Your time out of the country is expected to be over one but less than two years. This is necessary because your green card will not be valid for you for reentry after a one-year absence.

You may notice a notation on your passport or have received a verbal warning from a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during a previous entry into the US.

Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, needs to be filed before departing the country. You will also have a biometrics appointment a few weeks after filing. Since the process takes about three months, you need to plan ahead of travel. The reentry permit also does not guarantee reentry as you may still have to prove that your trip was for the temporary purpose you declared.

What is Form I-407 and Who Needs It?

Form I-407 allows the abandonment of green card for a legal permanent resident. It is beneficial for anyone who is going to move to another country but wants the ability to return to the US for visits in the future. By giving up the green card, you can apply for future entry visits, as well as reapplying for a new green card if you should decide to regain your residency at a later date.

You can get Form I-407 from the US embassy website or the consulate of your home country. The form will be taken to your consulate of the US embassy, and you will be interviewed to ensure you understand all consequences of abandoning your green card.

If Form I-407 is for the abandonment of a green card of a minor, then consent must be given by signature from each parent, legal guardian, or custodian.

For more information about the reentry permit, please contact Coral Springs attorneys Brodzki Jacobs & Associates, PL at (954) 344-7737 for a consultation.

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