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 Re-entry Permit, will require a new immigrant visa to enter the United States and resume permanent residence. 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 make an appointment for “Other Services” at https://lr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/ in order 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.
The $180 USD 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 U.S. dollars only, and must be paid at the Embassy at the time of your appointment.
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. There is a fee of $205 USD for the second step of the process.