Integrity Legal

27th December 2009

An occasional issue in United States Immigration matters is the termination of one’s lawful permanent residence in the USA (meaning the cancellation of one’s CR1 or IR1 visa). There are some who go to the US with the initial intention of remaining indefinitely, but these peoples’ intentions change and some opt to relinquish their lawful permanent residence. Surrender of one’s lawful permanent residence is facilitated by filing a form called an I-407 (Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status). Relinquishing one’s lawful permanent residence can be somewhat time consuming and the procedure is somewhat confusing. That being said the website of the American Embassy in the United Kingdom quickly sums up the process.

To quote directly from the website of the US Embassy in the UK:

“Once the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office receives your completed Form I-407 and your Permanent Resident Card, the appropriate documentation stamps will be placed on the form along with the USCIS officer’s signature. A copy of this form will be returned to you in the stamped, self-address envelope you provide. This copy of the completed I-407 is your receipt and it validates the return of your Permanent Resident Card. You should keep a copy of the completed I-407 with your passport when you travel to the United States.”

This quote begs the question: “In what circumstances would a former permanent resident be allowed to visit the United States after formally renouncing their US Permanent Residence?” There are many cases where a former permanent resident wishes to visit the USA in order to see family, friends, or business associates. In many cases, former permanent resident’s opt to apply for a US tourist visa.

Under normal circumstances a tourist visa would be difficult to obtain if the applicant has family and friends in US because under section 214b of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act, Consular Officers at the US Embassy or US Consulate are required to make the presumption that an applicant for a non-immigrant visa such as a tourist visa is an undisclosed immigrant to the USA. This presumption is more easily overcome for those who have relinquished their permanent residence as the act is strong evidence contradicting the presumption of immigrant intent since the applicant has already immigrated once and opted to forfeit his or her immigration benefits.

Generally, US Consular Officers are more prone to issue tourist visas to former permanent residents due to the above analysis. However, this does not mean that the applicant for a tourist visa should not prepare and submit a well founded petition as adjudication of tourist visa applications is highly discretionary.

For more information please see: US Visa Thailand


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2 Responses to “Green Card Surrender and US Tourist Visas”

  1. Mario says:

    I am a bit of a neophyte, but is there such a thing as ‘formally renouncing?’ It seems that you can say whatever you want, and the status of your citizenship would not be affected. Even if you are here on a eb5 green card and just essentially donated your way to citizenship, you are still protected by the Constitution and no ‘renouncement’ can threaten your status.

  2. admin says:

    When you say “renounce,” I think you mean “surrender” in the context of a Green Card. Green Card surrender is analogous to renunciation of citizenship which occurs when an American renounces their United States Nationality.

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