Has anybody ever surrendered their green card?

Facebook stayme7o
Aug 24, 2018 15 Comments

Im familiar with the pros of being a permanent resident but want to know more about the cons. If it matters I’m Canadian.

I can see myself leaving the U.S. and continuing my career abroad in a decade or so. I know that it’s possible to fill out some forms to surrender GC but could you then come back to the U.S. on a TN/other status?

Curious to hear about personal experiences..


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TOP 15 Comments
  • Amazon / Eng Troll Food
    I know a few. They made their money oversea and decided to leave US. They don't want worldwide income to be taxed by US.
    Aug 24, 2018 0
  • Oracle grrrrrr
    A guy named Satya Nadella did that. He did so to get his wife to U.S. Just read the book :)
    Aug 25, 2018 0
  • Pacific Northwest National Lab rahjh
    Too late bro. If you are green card, you are subjected to exit taxes. For taxation purposes citizens and GC are no different. So why give it up?

    I think FACTA is what you should Google for about leaving and taxes
    Aug 24, 2018 5
    • Amazon laet
      You aren't subject to that tax until you are deemed to be a long term permanent resident, which happens on Jan 1 of the 7th year you have been a permanent resident for any part of the year.

      You need to make a stay or go decision before that day and can avoid the exit tax by surrending before that.
      Aug 25, 2018
    • Wells Fargo qUyB01
      What’s the issue with exit tax exactly? Shouldn’t you be worried about it only when u have a massive gain say on a house bought overseas or untaxed gain on stock? All your realised gains will be taxed already anyway as part of your yearly filing. Unless I am missing something. Is there some other penalty you pay?
      Aug 25, 2018
    • Pacific Northwest National Lab rahjh
      Ok I'm not super sure of the details but after some years of living in the US, and I believe h1b years might be counted, if you renounce citizenship or cancel green card, it will be treated as if you sold all your stocks and stuff, and so will be taxed accordingly. Not sure if there's penalty, but the premise is that taxwise you are treated as if you liquidated everything before leaving the country.
      Aug 25, 2018
    • Amazon laet
      All your assets (house, investments) are deemed sold and bought on one day. It can result in a massive tax liability all in one year.

      Normally those gains might not come due until retirement when you sell the asset to pay living expenses, a time when you would be in a low tax bracket.

      Instead they come due in a working year when you are in a high bracket and the large size of the gains coming due all in that one year can also push you into a higher bracket.

      You will also get crunched for cash unless you also actually sell those assets.

      You can avoid this by becoming a citizen in which case you can live outside the country and just file your annual return for life but never pay any exit tax. You would only pay the exit tax as a citizen if you actually renounced your citizenship.
      Aug 25, 2018
    • Wells Fargo qUyB01
      Ok so my understanding wasn’t flawed. Of course if you know you are leaving the country I am assuming you will plan your exit accordingly. Basically sell your US house, US investments etc on which you will have to pay tax anyway for that year. The only challenge is with overseas investments which you may not want to sell. First issue is you will get taxed in the US as if you sold them. Second issue is when you actually sell them abroad say few years later how can you claim a foreign tax credit on your US return? I believe you can claim foreign tax credits 10 years after you file the relevant US tax return but am not sure. Would talk to a CPA conversant with this topic just in case
      Aug 25, 2018
  • Amazon laet
    You will become subject to exit taxes between 5 and 7 years after getting the green card, when you are deemed to be a "long term permanent resident". It happens in Jan 1 of the 7th calendar year where you have been a PR for any part of the year, so if you became PR today it would be Jan 1, 2024.

    It might be worth surrendering your GC before that day if you knew you were going to be leaving, to avoid the exit tax.

    After that point it really makes more sense to get citizenship. You are then subject to filing an annual return with irs no matter where you live but if you do that no other exit tax.

    Problem with holding GC 7yr is that if you then leave the US for more than 12 months you will automatically lose the GC and get hit with the exit tax. It's unavoidable. So you can't ever line outside the US for an extended time without a big financial penalty.

    If you do surrender it there is no problem coming back to the US on other visas, but if you lose it by staying outside the US without surrending and they act to cancel it you will have serious problems getting back into the US in any status. So surrendering also protects your ability to come back.

    So basically make a stay or go decision before that day and either apply for citizenship or surrender the GC.
    Aug 25, 2018 0
  • Atlassian / Eng
    Luffy, M.D

    Atlassian Eng

    A prematurely grumpy somewhat old man
    Luffy, M.Dmore
    I know a ton of US-CA dual citizens. Unless CA law has changed recently you wouldn't lose your Canadian citizenship by getting US citizenshup as well. Why not just get your citizenship? Yes, there are tax annoyances, but it gives a lot of options.

    Given present politics, I'm not sure how long NAFTA or the TN visa will last. But as long as you leave voluntarily and file the right paperwork it shouldn't hurt your ability to get whatever exists then.
    Aug 25, 2018 0
  • Pacific Northwest National Lab rahjh
    Also since OP is Canadian go research the arrangement between US and Canada where you pay into SS here but can redeem on the Canadian SS system. Seriously OP, work here earn more money and retire in Canada better healthcare and associated costs.
    Aug 25, 2018 0
  • Deloitte mTYD58
    You have to be square with the IRS in order to be allowed to give it up.
    Aug 25, 2018 0
  • eBay / Eng baysucks
    You may lose your green card if you stay out of us for more than 6months unless you have a good reason. You can file for i131 before you leave and can extend for 2 years. I know someone who did it 5 years ago. But once you lose your GC you have to come again on h1, don't think there is a easy way out
    Aug 24, 2018 0
  • Cadence RubiksCube
    I know people who have done it and come back to us but they are retired people. And I don't know about any details. Sorry. You can check with company attorney. Also find out how long you can keep it before you have to surrender without staying in us in case you changed your mind. I know some countries offer dual citizenship that is also great option of applicable. I am not from Canada so there are many ifs
    Aug 24, 2018 0


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