Giving Up U.S. Green Card Voluntarily:

15 Things To Consider


While becoming a permanent resident or “green card” holder in the U.S. continues to be a highly sought-after privilege for millions of people around the world and in the U.S., in an increasingly mobile and developing world, there are many green card holders who no longer want to be permanent residents of the U.S.

Lawful permanent residents (LPR) or those with a green card are responsible for maintaining their permanent residence in the U.S. and should not remain outside of the U.S. for any extended period of time. Therefore, those who intend to or would like to live outside the U.S. and do not intend to maintain their permanent resident status in the U.S. may be considering voluntarily relinquishing the green card.  However, before taking that final step, there are a few things you should first consider.

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Here Are 15 Things You Should Consider Before You Voluntarily Relinquish Your Green Card:

1.Relinquishment of lawful permanent resident status is irrevocable. You can’t change your mind once you have formally relinquished your LPR status.

2.If you relinquish your LPR status but wish to become an LPR in the future you must qualify all over again, i.e. you, your family member or a new employer will need to file a new I-140, I-130, I-360 or I-529 petition.

3.If you gained LPR status through your birth in the U.S. or through your parents, you can only regain LPR status through a petition filed by a family member, employer or through a self-petition.

4.After you give up the Green Card and permanent residence status, you must apply for an appropriate visa or use Visa Waiver to enter the U.S. again.

5.Like all other foreign nationals, every time you want to come to the U.S., you will need to have a valid visa or be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program.  You will have to go to the consulate for a visa interview for ever new visa.

6.Your journey (any time accumulated) towards U.S. citizenship will come to an end after you give up the green card.

7.As you are no longer a permanent resident, you will not be able to sponsor your spouse and/or unmarried children for permanent resident status.

8.Any petition you have already filed for your spouse or unmarried children will be deemed abandoned when you relinquish your lawful permanent residence.

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9.Upon giving up Green Card you will lose the right to work in any U.S. territory regardless of job function, hours/week, etc.  In order to work in the U.S., a U.S. employer will need to sponsor the appropriate visa.

10.You cannot start and run your own business after giving up Green Card. You will need to have an appropriate visa to do this.

11.In many cases you cannot get a mortgage for home purchase if you are a nonimmigrant in the U.S. Many banks require permanent residence or some other long-term visa before issuing a mortgage. Many banks may also charge higher rates for non-green card holders for a mortgage.

12.Changes in immigration rules may affect your chances of obtaining a nonimmigrant visa to the U.S. or even the ability to obtain lawful permanent residence in the futu.

13.Your ability to collect your social security benefits may be affected if you relinquish your green card.

14.After giving up the green card, you will lose the right to apply for government-sponsored financial aid for education.

15.A temporary but prolonged absence from the U.S. may not warrant relinquishment of the green card and may only require a Re-Entry Permit.


Think twice and speak to a qualified immigration attorney before giving up your Green Card. If you plan on staying outside the U.S. for extended periods of time for work or other personal reasons, but you don’t actually intend to abandon your LPR status, there may be options available to you.
If you have questions about the pros and cons of giving up green card, consult a VisaPro immigration attorney. We will be happy to guide you through the process.

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