Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who have been outside the United States for more than one year and did not obtain a reentry permit from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) can sometimes qualify for returning resident status. In general, most LPRs who have been outside the United States for more than one year should consider asking a U.S. citizen or LPR family member to file a new I-130 petition with USCIS because it is very difficult to qualify as a returning resident.
To qualify as a returning resident, you must prove that:
- You departed the United States with the intention of returning to an unrelinquished residence; and
- Your stay abroad was for reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible.
If you cannot prove both of these items, please think carefully before applying for returning resident status as payment for this service cannot be refunded if you fail to meet the qualification. If you meet all of these requirements, please book an appointment for a returning resident.
To make an appointment with us please visit the Visa Information Center website at www.ustraveldocs.com.
Please create an account and then choose “I am a Returning Resident outside the U.S. for longer than one year”.
On the day of your interview, you must bring the following to the embassy:
- A completed Application to Determine Returning Resident Status, Form DS-117
- Funds to pay the required application fee. You can pay this fee in U.S. dollars, in cash or with a Visa or MasterCard at the U.S. Embassy
- Your Permanent Resident Card (current or expired)
- Your valid passport
- Your Re-entry Permit (if applicable)
- Documents that prove when you left the United States (Examples: airline tickets, passport stamps showing entries into and exits out of the country, etc.)
- Proof of your ties to the U.S. and your intention to return (Examples: U.S. tax returns filed during the period you lived outside the United States, evidence of economic, family, and social ties to the U.S., etc.)
Proof that your protracted stay outside of the U.S. was for reasons beyond your control (Examples: medical incapacitation, employment with a U.S. company, accompanying a U.S. citizen spouse, etc.)
You can learn more about Returning Resident Visas on usvisas.state.gov