Returning Resident Aliens
If you have obtained a U.S. legal permanent resident card, but have lost legal permanent resident status because of a protracted stay abroad and now wish to re-enter the United States as a returning resident (SB-1), prepare the following documents:
- Original passport, green card, re-entry permit and/or other valid identification documents
- An explanation in English, explaining the reason for your overstay
- All evidence attesting to the reason for your overstay. For example, if a medical condition prevented you from returning to the United States, provide all relevant medical records, such as hospital records and doctor’s statements. Translate all material into English.
When you have assembled the documents required and completed form DS-117 (PDF 296 KB) , Application to Determine Returning Resident Status, return to the Embassy any Friday between 09:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. (excluding American and Lebanese holidays, as well as the last Friday of each month. After paying the application fee of $275, a consular officer will interview you. At that time, the officer will only determine if you are eligible to apply for an SB-1 visa.
If the officer determines you are eligible, the Embassy will send you an IV instruction packet and you must wait for a second interview. On the day of the second interview, you must pay an additional visa-processing fee of $220.
Approval of the opportunity to apply for an SB-1 Visa does not guarantee the Embassy will approve your visa. A consular officer will make this decision only after he/she has conducted the second interview and reviewed all documents presented.
You must have evidence in both interviews that extreme circumstances beyond your control prevented your return to the United States. Whether or not an officer approves your application at either interview, the Embassy cannot refund either fee.
All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format. To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a free version by clicking the link above.