Permanent residence, or a green card, is a status granted to non-citizens who wish to live and work in the United States on a long-term basis. The most common way to abandon your permanent residency is by filing Form I-407. Another way is if you are outside of the United States for an extended period of time, your permanent residence will be deemed abandoned, and you may be ineligible for certain benefits, such as access to employment or public benefits. If an immigration official believes you abandoned your green card based on your extended stay outside of the U.S., you will need to show that you never intended to abandon your lawful permanent residence and provide evidence of ties to the U.S., such as employment, family, and financial documentation. Additionally, if you have abandoned your green card while inside the U.S., it is important to take action as soon as possible. If you are found in violation of immigration laws, you may be subject to deportation proceedings.
Can a green card be reinstated after abandonment?
A green card can be reinstated after abandonment in certain scenarios. The 6-month rule states that if you are outside the United States for more than six months without obtaining a reentry permit or returning resident visa, you may be considered to have abandoned your green card status and will need to have it reinstated. There are a few reasons why someone would need to abandon their green card, such as for job- or family-related matters. If the green card holder was abroad for over six months, they can apply for reinstatement of their status. To be eligible for reinstatement of your green card after abandonment, you must show that:
▪️ You did not intend to abandon your residence in the United States.
▪️ Your stay abroad was for a temporary purpose.
▪️You have not taken up residence outside of the United States.
▪️ You are returning to an unrelinquished residence in the United States.
If you are successful in applying for reinstatement of your green card after abandonment, then
CBP will allow you to enter the U.S. and/or the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will issue you a new permanent resident card with updated information about your residence.
It is important to remember that when you apply for reinstatement, you are essentially starting the application process anew. This means that any conditions or restrictions on your green card will no longer be valid, and you must meet all requirements again. It is important to understand that abandonment of a green card may have implications for your future eligibility for U.S. citizenship.
As an alternative option, if you are unable to reinstate your green card after abandonment, it may be possible to apply for a new green card or travel document. This will allow you to return to the United States and maintain your permanent resident status. To be eligible for this option, you must prove that you have not abandoned your residence in the U.S. and that your stay outside was for a legitimate purpose. Additionally, it is important to note that if you have been out of the country for more than a year, it is recommended that you apply for a returning resident visa in order to return.
If you are looking to apply for a new green card or travel document, we would be happy to review your case, guide you through the necessary legal procedures, and answer any questions you have about your application.