Abandonment and Expatriation
Abandonment and the I-407
Green card holders who no longer intend to reside permanently in the US should abandon their lawful permanent resident status. Failure to do so can complicate future entry into the US, resulting in denied boarding on flights or, even if able to board, entry refusal at the border. The mechanics of abandonment are simple: filing the form I-407 with the USCIS office having jurisdiction over one's place of residence. In the UK, this is accomplished by filing directly with USCIS-London, where applications are routinely handled by post within 30 days; individuals requiring expedited handling because of immediate travel plans or potential tax implications can schedule an in-person appointment to receive immediate adjudication.
Expatriation--When you no longer have any use for US citizenship
US citizenship is a prized possession by some, but for others, it can be burdensome, irrelevant, or even offensive. While citizens who have long standing ties to the US may find the idea of expatriation itself offensive, others, whose claim to citizenship may be tenuous or even accidental, may find the idea of retaining it burdensome, or worse. The means of divorcing oneself from US citizenship is known as expatriation and it requires affirmative actions to accomplish. Whatever the reason for expatriating, the US citizen must appear in person at the embassy submit the expatriation application. Upon successful expatriation, the former citizen must abide by normal visa requirements, including provisions relating to inadmissibility. Again, potential tax implications for expatriates warrant a full exploration.
Like US citizens, green card holders are required to report worldwide income to the US Internal Revenue Service. The requirement to file annual tax returns continues even when one resides overseas (although whether there is any actual US tax liability is another matter). Long-term residents, like US citizens, may encounter additional US taxation implications even after abandonment of their Green Card. We do not provide US tax advice, but can refer clients to US tax specialists.