My wife and I have valid USA green cards. We are Egyptians. Our daughter is American and lives permanently in the States. We don't like to keep the green cards, as we will never move permanently to the States. We need only to visit our daughter for short periods once a year. Is it possible to submit back the green cards and apply for visit visas? How can I do this?

  • What’s wrong with keeping them ? – Hanky Panky Apr 19 '18 at 14:02
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    You have to file US tax returns, for one thing. – MadHatter Apr 19 '18 at 14:05
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    keeping the green cards need us - as I understand- not to stay outside USA more than continuous 6 months which is not suitable for me. staying in the States while having no income and no health insurance is impossible. Both of us - me and my wife - are above 70. – Fakhry Iskander Abdelmalek Apr 19 '18 at 14:21
  • @FakhryIskanderAbdelmalek just in case you're not aware, local etiquette is that when you're satisfied with an answer to your question, you accept it by clicking the "tick" outline next to it. This puts the question to bed, and stops it floating around forever like a querulous albatross. Please accept my apologies if you already know this. – MadHatter Apr 21 '18 at 6:07

Yes, this is possible; I have done it, though it was about a decade ago. I can't remember which form I completed to surrender my lawful permanent resident status, but it currently seems to be an I-407. It was surrendered when I was applying to enter the US. Once it was done I was admitted for that trip, but strongly advised to apply for a US B1/B2 visa even though I'm a citizen of a visa-waiver country.

When I did apply, after my return home, the application process was thorough, but it seemed fair, and the visa was approved. However, I don't think the US government plays games like "I'd like to surrender this green card, but only on condition that I get a visa", so you are taking the risk that your visa(s) won't be approved, and you'll find yourselves unable to visit your daughter. Note also that visas can be pretty easily revoked, which is not true for LPR status, and that possession of a visa is no guarantee of admission. You'd be putting yourself at the whims of the current US president and his tendency to make decrees affecting the travel of citizens of arbitrary nations, and you may not wish to do that.

But yes, it is perfectly possible.

  • Such a nice answer! – Hanky Panky Apr 19 '18 at 15:04
  • Note that technically it is a violation of the GC conditions to reside in another country. And as such the OP is already potentially at the whims of USCIS – Peter M Apr 19 '18 at 17:15
  • @PeterM it's not per se a violation to reside in another country; there are many circumstances under which temporary residence abroad is permitted. But LPR status can be revoked, and if an immigration inspector suspects that OP and his wife do not intend to reside in the US then they might end up before an immigration judge who would do just that. I suspect that subsequent visa applications would be tougher in that case than if the couple surrender their LPR status voluntarily. – phoog Apr 19 '18 at 20:20
  • @phoog I meant to imply permanently reside in another country. I recently had a friend tell me about her cousins who lived in India and just came to the US for the minimum required time in order to not lose their GC status. My friend didn't realize that was a violation. – Peter M Apr 19 '18 at 20:24

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