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Returning Resident Visa
January 1, 2020

A permanent resident (called lawful permanent resident or LPR) or conditional resident (CR) who has remained outside the United States for longer than one year, or beyond the validity period of a Reentry Permit, will require a new immigrant visa to enter the United States and resume permanent residence.  You can learn more about on State Department visa page about Returning Resident Visas.

Green card holders who have been out of the United States for more than one year and wish to return to the United States may be eligible for a Returning Resident Visa, provided they can demonstrate that they left the United States with the intention of returning; have not abandoned this intention; and are returning to the U.S. from a temporary visit abroad. The LPR will be required to show that the protracted stay abroad was caused by reasons beyond his or her control, and for which he or she was not responsible.

To qualify for returning resident status, you will need to prove to the consular officer that you:

  • Had the status of a lawful permanent resident at the time of departure from the United States;
  • Departed from the United States with the intention of returning and have not abandoned this intention; and
  • Are returning to the United States from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay abroad was protracted, this was caused by reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible.
  • That you are eligible for the immigrant visa in all other respects.

Examples of such evidence include, but are not limited to, documentation regarding your status in the U.S. and dates of travel, proof that you have continued to file U.S. income tax returns and maintained economic or social ties to the U.S., and evidence that the protracted stay was caused by circumstances beyond your control.

To request an appointment to apply for a Returning Resident (SB-1) visa email us at BelgradeIV@state.gov

When applying for a Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa, you should submit the following forms and documents:

  • A completed Application to Determine Returning Resident Status, Form DS-117 (PDF 27KB)
  • Your Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551
  • Your Reentry Permit, and if available

You must also submit supporting documents that show the following:

  • Dates of travel outside of the United States (examples: airline tickets, passport stamps, etc.)
  • Proof of your ties to the United States and your intention to return (examples: tax returns, and evidence of economic, family, and social ties to the United States)
  • Proof that your protracted stay outside of the United States was for reasons beyond your control (examples: medical incapacitation, etc.).

The application fee of $180 filing for a Returning Resident visa is non-refundable, even if the DS-117 petition is not approved.  Additionally, if you are approved for Returning Resident (SB-1) status, you will be charged a $205 visa processing fee. Payment may be made in U.S. Dollars or Serbian dinar. Additionally, you may pay by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or Diners Club) if you are applying in person. Personal checks are not accepted.

For more detailed information on determining your returning resident status, filing and and processing fees, and immigrant visa (SB-1) processing click here.