An official website of the United States government

Services for Lawful Permanent Residents

You want to abandon your alien/lawful permanent resident status in the U.S.

When to return a “Green Card”

As a permanent resident of the United States holding a Green Card (permanent resident/LPR card) you must maintain your status in order to continue to be admitted to the United States as a permanent resident. You can find guidance on maintaining your permanent resident status (LPR status) on USCIS’ website.

If you are unable to maintain your status because you reside permanently – or for long periods of time – outside the United States, you may wish to voluntarily abandon your LPR status and card. Voluntarily abandoning your LPR status may help avoid complications and delays at the U.S. port of entry when arriving as a non-immigrant visa holder.

How to return the “Green Card”

The Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, should be mailed to the following address:

USCIS Eastern Forms Center

Attn: I-407 Unit

Post Office Box 567

Williston, VT 05495


Individuals submitting the I-407 to the Eastern Forms Center must include their Permanent Resident Card (I-551 green card), if available, along with any other travel documents issued by USCIS.  Individuals should not turn in identity documents that were not issued by USCIS.  Additional filing information is available on www.uscis.gov/I-407.

After returning the “Green Card”

Signing and submitting the I-407 form and card will formally communicate to the immigration authorities that you do not intend to return to the United States as a Legal Permanent Resident.

When you give up your status and your card, you also give up the rights and benefits associated 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 return to the United States as a permanent resident, you will have to re-apply for a new immigrant visa.

If you have further questions regarding this process, kindly contact USCIS.

You have lost your Green Card or it has been stolen

If you need to travel back home to the United States and your resident alien card (“green card”) has been damaged, lost or stolen, you will need to visit the Consular Section in person and apply for a Boarding Foil, which will be inserted in your passport and allows you to board your flight back to the United States and apply for entry as a Permanent Resident (LPR). There is a filing fee for this service which you must pay online before coming to the consular section to apply.

 Applying for a Boarding Foil

If you plan to file a Form I-131A to apply for a LPR boarding foil, please note that you must pay the filing fee online on the USCIS website  before appearing in person at a consular section.  Information on the new form and fee is located here.  You must bring evidence of payment, in the form of a printed-out email receipt notice or confirmation page, when you appear in person to file Form I-131A.  As with all immigration fees USCIS does not issue refunds, regardless of the decision on the application.

Additional information on the I-131A and instructions can be found on the I-131A Form and Instructions page.

To make an appointment to apply for a Boarding Foil, please send an e-mail with the subject line “Boarding Foil” to CopenhagenNIV@state.gov briefly explaining your situation and giving the date of your last departure from the United States. Please attach a scanned .pdf copy of evidence of payment of the I-131A filing fee, first page of the completed I-131A as well as a copy of the bio page/photo page of your valid passport.

When we have received your e-mail and the scanned copies, we will schedule you to come to the Embassy and file the application.

When coming to the Embassy to apply, please bring the following items:

  • A valid passport (if your passport has also been lost/stolen, you must obtain a new passport or other travel document before seeing us).
  • The original completed form I-131A.
  • Evidence of payment of the I-131A filing fee in the form of a printed-out email receipt notice or confirmation page
  • A recent passport size photograph (please find guidance on the preferred format at the Consular Affairs website).
  • Credible evidence of your resident alien status.
  • Airline ticket (evidence of travel from and back to the U.S.)
  • A police report reporting the theft of your card. (If your card was stolen)

The consular officer must verify that you have maintained your status as a Lawful Permanent Resident in order to issue the Boarding Foil and may ask to see additional documents.

Please see the USCIS website for more information on how to maintain Lawful Permanent Resident Status.

A Boarding Foil is issued for a single entry into the United States, valid for a maximum of 30 days and has the same physical format as a U.S visa. Although a Boarding Foil has the same format as a visa, it is not a visa. A Permanent Resident of the United States traveling with a Boarding Foil does not need to present an I-94 form at port of entry. The immigration officer at Port of Entry will verify the Permanent Resident status of the traveler before admitting him or her into the United States.

Return of the passport and processing time.

It will most likely take at least 24 hours before the foil can be issued. If you need to travel soon after your appointment, the consular officer may allow you to pick up your passport. If you are not traveling right away, we suggest that you bring a self-addressed (with a Danish address) envelope with 96 Danish kroner in postage for the return of the passport by registered mail. Please inquire about your options for retrieving your passport when you come to the Embassy to apply.

You are a permanent resident alien returning to the United States

Applying For Readmission At A U.S. Port Of Entry

If you are a permanent resident alien returning to the United States after being overseas less than 12 months (364 days or less), you may apply for readmission by presenting your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) to the immigration authorities at a U.S. port of entry.  You must also be able to show that you have not abandoned your permanent U.S. residence.

Exceptions For Military and U.S. Government Employees

The 12-month time limitation does not apply to the spouse or child of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, or of a civilian employee of the U.S. Government stationed abroad pursuant to official orders.  In this case, the spouse or child must present the Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), not have relinquished residence, and be preceding or accompanying the member or employee, or be following to join the member or employee in the United States within four months of the return of the member or employee.

Reentry Permit

A permanent resident alien who intends to remain abroad for 12 months or longer should, at least 30 days prior to the proposed date of departure from the United States, apply while in the United States to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services – USCIS for a Reentry Permit.  The permit has a maximum validity of two years and may not be extended.  If a Reentry Permit is obtained, the alien may use it to reenter the United States within the period of validity of the permit.  Every alien applying for readmission must satisfy the immigration authorities that he or she is eligible in all respects for admission.

Returning Resident Visas (SB1)

Permanent resident aliens, who were unable to return to the United States for reasons beyond their control within the travel validity period of the Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), or the Reentry Permit, may apply for a special immigrant Returning Resident (SB1) visa.

To qualify for Returning Resident Status, you must show:

  •  That you were a lawful permanent resident when you departed the United States,
  • That when you departed you intended to return to the United States and have maintained this intent,
  • That you are returning from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay was protracted, it was caused by reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible, and
  • That you are eligible for the immigrant visa in all other respects.

If you have lost your permanent resident status, and you wish to apply for a “Returning Resident visa”, you must contact the Consular Section by e-mailing CopenhagenNIV@state.gov in order to schedule an appointment to file an “Application to Determine Returning Resident Status” (Form DS-117) and submit evidence to support the above requirements along with filing the form.

Please find more information about the application process, including information on current fees, at Travel.State.Gov, the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

The fee for filing the “Application to Determine Returning Resident Status” (Form DS-117) is non-refundable if your application is denied. Payment is accepted in cash (USD or DKK), or credit card.

If the application for Returning Resident Status is approved by the consular officer, the Consular Section will send you more detailed information on how to proceed with applying for the visa.

You would like to pick-up a re-entry permit issued by USCIS

If the consular section has received your re-entry permit you can schedule an appointment to pick it up by e-mailing CopenhagenNIV@state.gov

All persons older than 18 who are picking up re-entry permits must appear in person, bringing their passport and green card. Parents can pick up their children’s re-entry permits if they bring the child(ren)’s passport and green card.

List of Fees

Below please find information on fees collected in connection with the LPR services offered by the Consular Section in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Form DS-117, Application to Determine Returning Resident Status. View current fee.

The fee listed will be paid directly to the Embassy Cashier. Payment is accepted in cash, or credit card.

Application for Boarding Foil: I-131A filing fee is payable to the USCIS via online payment.

Abandonment of Permanent Resident Card: No fee.