A lawful permanent resident (also called an LPR or a green card holder) including a 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. You can learn more about Returning Resident Visas on www.usvisas.state.gov In addition to this link, a quick reference guide is below.
- Visit http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/returning-residents.html
- After following the instructions contained in the link above, you can book a returning resident appointment at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-KE/iv
- After your returning resident interview appointment, you will be informed by the Consular Officer as to whether you have been approved for SB1 Returning Resident status.
- If you are APPROVED for returning resident (SB1) status, follow the step two.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are not approved for Returning Resident (SB1) in STEP ONE, then you should not proceed to STEP TWO. If you are not approved for Returning Resident (SB1) status then you may have to regain your permanent resident (LPR or green card status) by pursuing the petition process with USCIS.
You can download form DS-117 here (PDF 702 KB).
- Fill an online DS 260 form https://ceac.state.gov/IV/Login.aspx
- Book an immigrant visa appointment by following this link https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-KE/iv
- (Please remember at this stage, you will be booking an immigrant visa appointment and not a returning resident appointment)
- Gather all the relevant documents including a police certificate, original birth certificate, two (2) passport size photos, etc. For additional visa interview preparation instructions, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process/interview/prepare.html
- Make sure you complete your medical examination. Visit https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process/interview/prepare/medical-examination.html for more information
- Appear for your interview on the designated interview date and time