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Green Card Abandonment

When to return a "Green Card"

As a permanent resident of the United States holding a Green Card (permanent resident card) you will have to maintain your status in order to continue to be admitted to the United States as a permanent resident with your card. You can find guidance on USCIS’s website regarding how to maintain your permanent resident status (LPR status).

If you find that you are not able to maintain your status because you reside permanently outside the United States, or for other reasons chose to remain outside the United States for long periods of time, you may wish to voluntarily abandon your LPR status and permanent resident card (Green Card) in order to avoid complications and delays at the U.S. port of entry when applying for entry to the United States as a non immigrant.

If you intend to apply for a non immigrant visa (e.g. a student visa or a temporary work visa), you will have to first abandon your LPR Status and – card.

How to return the “Green Card”

Lawful permanent residents within Denmark can send their I-407 and green card to the London USCIS Field Office by following the instructions on this web page. When mailing the I-407 directly to the USCIS office in London the DHS records will be updated immediately upon receipt of the form (and card).

Please note that when you mail your I-407 and accompanying documents to the USCIS London field office from Denmark you will have to provide a self-addressed envelope, but stamps are not needed. Alternatively you can provide your e-mail address, and an encrypted electronic version of the processed form will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.

It is also possible to file the I-407 with the consular section in Copenhagen, who will then forward the form and card to USCIS. If you choose this option please print out and complete the I-407 form as described in the instructions and send it to us at the following address:

American Embassy
Attn: Consular Section/I-407
Dag Hammarskjölds Allé 24
2100 Copenhagen Ø

Please also include your green card and a self-addressed and stamped envelope.

You have to put a Danish address and Danish stamps on the envelope. We need the stamped envelope in order to be able to return a copy of the abandonment form to you.

If properly completed with all required information, the consular officer will sign the I-407 form, and we will forward it to DHS for registration in their electronic systems along with your card. If not properly completed the form will be returned to you unprocessed in the self-addressed envelope.

When the I-407 is processed, we will use the the stamped envelope for the return of a photocopy of the form. The copy will serve as your evidence of abandonment of status when you apply for entry to the United States as a non-immigrant, in case filing of the I-407 was not yet registered with DHS. We strongly recommend that you bring a copy of the processed I-407 with you next time you travel to the United States, in order to facilitate your entry as a non-immigrant.

After returning the “Green Card”

Signing the I-407 and handing in your card will formally communicate to the immigration authorities that it is no longer your intent to return to the United States as a permanent resident.

When you give up your status and your card, you also give up the rights and benefits that go with that status. If at a later time you want to live, work or study in the United States, you will have to obtain the appropriate visa in order to do so. If you want to go back and be a permanent resident in the United States, you will have to go through the process of applying for a new immigrant visa.

The consular section will sometimes receive inquiries as to whether a former permanent resident will have problems entering the U.S. after the Green Card has been returned.  We cannot provide any assurances on this matter.  It is always the immigration officer at the port of entry who determines whether a traveler to the U.S. may enter the country (either with a visa or under the Visa Waiver Program with an approved ESTA).

Please check the USCIS website at for additional information on permanent resident status.

Filing I-407 for children

  • Parents can file the I-407 and abandon green cards for their children 17 years of age or younger. If the LPR is a minor, then each legal parent, custodial parents, or duly appointed legal guardian must sign form I-407 and consent to the submission of Form I-407. If the minor has only one legal parent, the sole legal parent can sign Form I-407, but must submit proof showing that any other parent has died, had his or her parental rights terminated according to the law, or that the parent who is signing Form I-407 has sole legal custody of the minor.  A guardian should submit letters of guardianship or other proof of the authority to sign for the minor lawful permanent resident alien.