Immigrant Visas: Returning Resident Visa

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.  You can learn more about Returning Resident Visas on usvisas.state.gov.

U.S. Legal Permanent Residents/Green Card Holders

Lost/Stolen Green Card (I-551)

We may be able to issue you a Boarding Foil that will permit you to return to United States. You must also prove that you have been outside the United States for less than one year and you are intending to return to the U.S. within 30 days.

How to apply:

  1. Before appearing to your appointment, you must pay the filing fee for I-131A  application form online using the USCIS online payment system./ You may pay the fee with your credit or debit card or U.S. bank account.  We do not issue refunds, regardless of the decision on the application.
  2. Prepare the following listed document:
  • A valid passport.
  • One recent photo,5cmx5cm taken in front of a plain white or off-white background without glasses.
  • Form I-131A completed and signed.
  • Evidence that you paid the fee (such as a printed copy of your payment confirmation page or a printed copy of your emailed receipt (see number 1 above).
  • Police Report of loss of your U.S. Residence Card.
  • Evidence shows your last departure from United States as, Flight ticket / electronic itinerary.

Be informed that the issuance of a Transportation foil may take more than a 5 business days.

Once in the United States, you will need to apply for the replacement of your Green Card.  For information on replacing your lost/stolen/expired green card upon reentering the US, please consult the Department of Homeland Security US Citizenship and Immigration Service website for detailed instructions

Returning Resident (SB1 visa)

A U.S. legal permanent resident ( LPR) or conditional resident (CR) who has remained outside the United States for more than one year, or beyond the validity period of a Re-entry Permit (PDF 1 MB), for reasons beyond their control may be eligible for a immigrant visa (SB-1) under limited circumstances.  To qualify for such 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 U.S. 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.

How to apply:

  1. Complete application  Form DS-117 to Determine Returning Resident Status,
  2. Your Permanent Resident Card, Form -551
  3. Your Re-entry Permit, if available
  4. Application fee $189 or equivalent in local currency (no refundable)
  5. Dates of travel outside of the United States (Examples: airline tickets, passport stamps, etc.)
  6. 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 U.S.)
  7. Proof that your protracted stay outside of the United States was for reasons beyond your control (Examples: medical incapacitation, employment with a U.S. company, accompanying a U.S. citizen spouse, etc.)
  8. Request an appointment by sending an email to IV-DVAlgiers@state.gov . provide accurate contact information and write on subject box “ DS-117 application request” .
  9. If the application is approved, you will be given instruction how to apply for immigrant visa (SB1) that requires a new fee and more supporting documents including medical examination.
  10. If the application is refused, the Consular Officer will provide you with further information.

Please Note: Individuals contemplating whether to submit an application for returning resident status should carefully consider whether their circumstances meet the criteria outlined above.  The application fee is non-refundable and the evaluation process is rigorous.