Relinquishing Permanent Residency 101
While obtaining Permanent Residency can take years, some clients may find themselves in a position where circumstances require them to voluntarily abandon their lawful permanent residence.
Reasons to Relinquish Permanent Residency
The most common reason an individual may want to relinquish Permanent Residency is because they intend to permanently relocate to another country and no longer wish to pay or file U.S. taxes. Under such a circumstance the client may voluntarily relinquish their status as a U.S. permanent resident and they will generally be absolved of the obligation to pay U.S. taxes future income or file U.S. tax returns in the future. It is recommended that clients contact and work with a licensed tax attorney to ensure their obligation to pay past taxes or taxes on income earned during the year in which permanent residency is relinquished is properly dealt with.
How to Relinquish Permanent Residency
The process for relinquishing Permanent Residency requires form I-407 (Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status) and can be done in person or via mail. The I-407 is a short form requiring basic information including details of the final departure from the United States. There is no filing fee for the I-407 form and, after review, the stamped form will be returned to you.
An individual wishing to voluntarily abandon Permanent Residency in person may either go to a U.S. port of entry (POE) and give the Form I-407 to a CBP officer, or make an appointment with a United States embassy or consulate abroad. At the POE or consulate appointment, the individual must submit the I-407 and surrender his or her green card to the officer.
Consequences of Relinquishing Residency
Once an individual relinquishes Permanent Residency, they must carry the stamped form I-407 with them if and when they re-enter the United States. Additionally, future entries will require the client to apply for and receive a non-immigrant visa stamp.
Giving up Permanent Residency does not preclude an individual from filing for Permanent Residency again. If, however, an individual chooses to apply for Permanent Residency again, they must start the entire process over. As a result of this drastic consequence relinquishing U.S. permanent residency should be done only after careful considerations of the client’s current and future plans. It is recommended that clients considering voluntary abandonment of U.S. Permanent Residency consult a licensed U.S. immigration attorney before initiating the process in order to fully understand the future implications of relinquishment.