Green Card by Debbie McGoldrick
How to give up your Green Card - surrendering your status
Posted on Friday, March 02, 2012 at 09:58 AM
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|How do you surrender status?|
It sounds like you’re done with the U.S. for good, in which case you can renounce your green card and make future visits here as a tourist.
Did you ever consider applying for U.S. citizenship, just to keep your future options open? That’s still a possibility as you’ve had a green card for five years, but it would require a return to the U.S. on your part which doesn’t seem part of your current plans.
The process for renouncing your green card is straightforward enough. You will have to complete an I-407 form, which can be done either through the U.S. Embassy in Dublin or at a Customs and Border Patrol inspection area at the airport where you will present yourself for inspection into the U.S. (Dublin and Shannon airports both have CBP inspection posts.)
It would likely be much easier to complete the process prior to traveling, so you should get started via the embassy. The I-407 can be downloaded online, and there is no filing fee.
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The I-407, titled “Abandonment of Lawful Resident Status,” is a two page form that seeks to ensure that the alien has voluntarily surrendered status. Once it is received by the embassy you can expect to be called for an interview to make sure that you are aware of the consequences of surrendering your status, and that you are doing so of your own free will.
You will receive an approved I-407 which you should keep with you at all times when you enter the U.S. in the future so that your status as a tourist going forward is officially clarified.
After you formally surrender your green card you will be able to enter the U.S. using the visa waiver program for a period of up to 90 days. And you will be free of any U.S. tax obligations going forward.
You ask about U.S. tax issues, even though you are no longer a resident of the country. Technically all legal permanent residents of the U.S. are still subject to federal tax laws, even if they live abroad.
However, there are all kinds of requirements and income sources/stipulations that can and often do negate the tax burden. Green card holders such as yourself who wish to be totally free of U.S. tax commitments should definitely make a point of completing the I-407.
Those wishing to know more about U.S. income taxes as they apply to aliens both resident here and abroad should visit www.irs.gov and download publication 519, “U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.”