Lee & Garasia, LLC
  • Tel: 732-516-1717
  • Toll free: 888-404-5876
Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence for Over 20 Years
  • "Lee and Garasia are excellent lawyers, punctual and professional. They are dedicated to going above and beyond the usual level of service to meet your client's needs. Their staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and polite. I would highly... recommend this firm to anyone." Read More

  • "I would definitely recommend Mr.Lee and Garasia as an immigration attorney because they did a great job with my case i.e. of Adjustment of Status (i-485). Mr. Lee helped us in each and every detailed information and prepared to the best of it. It was all well done and would like to appreciate." Read More

  • "I would like to thank my lawyer Mr Lee & Garasia and the staff for all immense help and patience throughout this entire process, I really appreciate your constant attention to my case, as well to my questions and my concerns. You've really made this process much more comprehensive to me, which I greatly appreciate." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee and Ms. Garasia did a great job with my renewal of my permanent residence application. They help prepare the paperwork with such a great attention to details and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee did a great job with the renewal of my permanent residence application. My case was very time sensitive and they worked really fast on my case with great detail and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "I would recommend Attorney Paris Lee for anybody who needs immigration consultation. Mr. Lee is THE lawyer who respects and cares clients. Mr. Lee is professional and honest. Bottom line, preparation for the results and NO BS!" Read More

  • "Stalin - Lee did a wonderful job, Got my wife her visa in one year. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for all your immigration needs." Read More

  • "Hello. I appoint him as my immigration lawyer and that way he solved my cases was truly amazing. He was so honest and knowledgeable for his work.He solved my all family imigration issues and because of his effort we were able to get done our immigration work done successful. Thank you lee and garasia." Read More

  • "Lee & Garasia stand for accountability and responsibility. They are reliable, honest and are always constructively looking for a solution.. A big thanks :)" Read More

How Do I Give Up My Green Card?

Despite everything a person may have gone through to finally become a permanent resident, an individual may come to the conclusion that the United States is just not where he or she wishes to stay. In some instances, the person may not like living here, for whatever reason, and in others, the pull of his or her native country is just too strong. Regardless of an individual's reasons, the question then becomes how does one relinquish one's green card but leave the door open to one day return to the United States? This is actually a very complex question with significant consequences, depending on which actions the green card holder makes.

Think Carefully Before Abandoning Status

Some people realize only too late that the abandonment of one's permanent resident status, depending on how it is done, may become final. In other words, once an individual has taken a decisive action to affirmatively give up one's green card, he or she loses permanent resident status. If the individual wishes to return to the United States as a permanent resident, someone will normally have to petition for that person again. Depending on the status of the petitioner or nature of the petition, it can potentially be many years before a former permanent resident can once again become a new permanent resident. For example, if a US Citizen refiles for a spouse who is living abroad, the consular process will typically take up to one year (assuming there are no complications). If the only basis to re-immigrate is a sibling petition, the wait can extend to a decade or more.

Depending on the reason why one wishes to leave the United States, there may be alternatives. For example, if an individual doesn't truly want to lose status but knows that he or she must stay outside the US for a prolonged period of time for a legitimate reason (such as employment, an ailing relative, etc.), one should not assume that abandonment of permanent residence is inevitable. The re-entry permit may be something to look into. The criteria for securing an approval of such a permit can be found in the instructions to Form I-131.

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

Assuming, however, that one truly has deliberated over the issue and does not wish to remain in the United States as a permanent resident, one will normally have to execute an I-407, which is the official USCIS form to abandon one's green card. It is a mere two pages, but the import of the form, as already discussed, cannot be over-emphasized. Typically, if a person no longer wishes to remain a permanent resident, he or she will normally have already left the US, so the I-407 is customarily executed at the US consulate in whichever foreign country the person is now in. The person will usually be an interviewed by a consular officer who will review the form with the individual to ensure that the action is taken voluntarily and with knowledge of the consequences.

Once a person has officially abandoned his green card, he or she may no longer return to the US without permission, which is ordinarily in the form of a non-immigrant visa such as B-1/B-2 visa or perhaps something different, depending on the circumstances why one wishes to re-enter the US. Moreover, the relinquishment of permanent residence is not necessarily a guarantee that one will receive a visitor's visa, as the grant of any visa is subject to the discretion of the consulate. One should also bear in mind that if one does re-immigrate to the US as a permanent resident in the future, one will have to wait the requisite five years (or three, in certain circumstances) before considering applying for naturalization, assuming that the other requirements are satisfied, such as physical presence, continuous presence, good moral character, among others.

We hope that you have enjoyed this article and learned at least one new thing or tip that you may not have known. To keep informed about the latest developments in immigration law, please subscribe to our blog feed by clicking on the "Subscribe To This Blog's Feed" button on the left. It is important to understand that the above is only general information and not legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship nor should it be relied upon as legal advice. The law is extremely fact and circumstance sensitive. For an individual legal analysis of your specific legal case, please complete the "Case Evaluation" box to the right of the screen to get in touch with one of our attorneys.

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PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

    • The National Advocates | Top 100 Lawyers
    • Rated by Super Lawyers | Angie Garasia | 5 Years
    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb
    • Client Distinction Award martindale.com | 2016 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
    • New Jersey State Bar Association | Paris Lee Chair - Immigration Section 2015-2016
    • Nationaly Recognized | Newsweek Nationwide Showcase | Top Attorneys 2013
    • New Jersey Chapter | American Immigration Lawyers Association | Angie Garasia | Chapter Chair 2015-2016
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Lee & Garasia, LLC
190 State Route 27
Edison, NJ 08820

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