Do Not Sign Form I-407
We strongly discourage returning permanent residents from signing Form I-407 (Abandonment of Permanent Residence Status) if they have been denied reentry to the United States. Signing Form I-407 serves as evidence that they have affirmatively abandoned their permanent resident (LPR) status.
An individual who no longer wishes to keep their LPR status can always sign a Form I-407 and submit it with their green card to the appropriate U.S. Embassy or to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). However, when the individual does not wish to abandon their LPR status, they should neither sign nor submit a Form I-407, even if they are pressured to do so at the U.S. port of entry.
Signing and submitting an I-407 would make it much more difficult to prove that they maintained or intended to maintain their status. When the individual can be the beneficiary of an immediate relative petition, however, they may choose to sign the I-407 and be waived in as a visitor rather than a returning resident. Then, when they are more able to reside in the United States, a new immigrant petition can be filed for them.
Apply For A Re-Entry Permit
A re-entry permit does not automatically preserve LPR status or guarantee re-entry into the U.S. following a prolonged absence. Nonetheless, a re-entry permit helps to show that the LPR intended to return to the U.S. The re-entry permit also serves as a valid entry document after absences of more than one year.
In our next article we will discuss the importance of avoiding prolonged absences outside the U.S., and of maintaining ties in the U.S.