Abandonment of Green Card
As it takes a lot of time and effort to get the permanent residency (green card) to the United States and in many cases, even to qualify for it, abandonment of a green card is not a very popular subject.

Along with the many rights and benefits that you get with a green card, there are many responsibilities of keeping and maintaining the green card.

If you have been out of the United States for a long time, you might have already unintentionally given up your green card. Please read the tips on how to retain green card.

However, if you are still legally maintaining the green card, you can legally abandon the green card. In order to do so, depending upon the U.S. embassy or consulate region in which you are residing outside the U.S., you may have to either visit them in person or send the documents by mail. If you have to visit in person, there may either be appointments or you may just be able to walk in on any working day. If you intend to get a non-immigrant visa, you may be able to abandon your green card at the same time during the appointment for a non-immigrant visa.

U.S. embassy and consulates in India
U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide

This simple procedure is to assure that you have accorded due process of law and have voluntarily, willingly and affirmatively abandoned lawful permanent resident status.

In order to legally abandon the green card, please submit the following documents:
  • I-407, Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Residence
    It is a fillable form and you have to complete only the items highlighted in yellow.

  • Your Permanent Resident Card (Original)

  • G-28 - Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative (only if applicable)

  • If allowed and applying by mail, a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
    If multiple applications are submitted from one family, you only need to provide one envelope per family.

  • Do NOT submit any other documents such as Social Security Cards. You should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate Federal Benefits Unit for information on the return of Social Security Cards.

After the Form I-407 is processed, a copy of the form will be given to you for your records. This copy is yours to retain and it verifies the return of your Permanent Resident Card (green card).

Subsequently Entering the U.S.
Please note that abandoning a green card is an irreversible process. If you wish to and if you qualify, you can apply for a green card again in future. If you would like to apply for a green card again in the future, you will have to qualify again and you will have to start all over again and go through the entire process as if you never had a green card in the past.

If you travel to the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa in the future (or on a Visa Waiver Program, if you qualify because of your country of citizenship), present your non-immigrant visa (or just passport and ESTA if traveling on a Visa Waiver Program) and a copy of the I-407 the next time you enter the United States. This will minimize your risk of complications with the immigration officer at port of entry concerning your immigrant versus non-immigrant status.