Overview of Returning Resident Visas
An individual who is a permanent resident of the U.S (also known as Lawful permanent resident or LPR) or an individual who is a conditional resident (CR) who stayed abroad for more than the allowed period of a year or more than the time of validity of Re-entry permit will need to apply for a new immigrant visa in order to legally enter the U.S and continue permanently living in the U.S. A special visa (returning resident special immigrant visa) has been offered by the law to the lawful permanent resident who stayed outside the U.S for more than the allowed time due to exceptional circumstances that were not in his/her control. Through this article, we aim to outline the entire process of easily obtaining a Returning Resident Visa. For the answer to more queries contact Experienced Immigration lawyer at iasservices.org.uk
In case you are a lawful permanent resident who failed to return to the U.S within the green card travel validity period (1year) or the valid time of Re-entry permit (2 years) then you are eligible to apply for the grant of Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa to the local Embassy or consulate of U.S
In case your application for returning resident status gets a positive result then you would not need to submit the immigrant visa petition to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will need to appear in the interview for returning resident status, and then an immigrant visa. As an SB-1 applicant, you need to prove that you are eligible for an immigrant and benefit from a medical examiner. You would need to submit fees for both visa processing and medical benefits
Visa rules for spouse and children of a member of U.S Armed Forces or employee stationed abroad on the order of Government
In case you are a source or a child of a person working in the U.S Armed Forces or employee who is stationed outside on orders by the Government then you will have permission to use your Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551 in order to make a legal entry in the U.S even after the date of validity of the card has been passed.
You would need to meet any of the following criteria in order to be eligible for returning resident status.
- You had a lawful permanent resident status at the time you left the U.S
- When you left the U.S, you have an intention of returning and were willing to return until exceptional circumstances caused problems in your return
- You stayed abroad temporarily and the increase in the duration was unintentional due to inevitable reasons.
Process of Submitting the Visa Application
Getting in touch with the Embassy or Consulate at least 3 months before you are planning to travel to the U.S is the first step. This is done so that you don’t face any issues due to possible delays in the process of application approval. You will also be interviewed by the authorities at the consulate or embassy. This is an important part of your application. Do consult with the authorities of the U.S Embassy or Consulate in the country you are applying from to get the details specifically related to your country to avoid any issues in the future.
Following are the documents of evidence that you will be required to submit to the authorities to confirm your eligibility:
- Your PR Card
- Permit for Re Entry (If any)
Other documents that you might need to submit include:
- Proof of your dates of travel abroad (e.g the tickets for your flight or departure stamps on your passport.
- Proof that you have a settled life in the U.S and you intended to return (e.g tax returns, and evidence of economic, family, and social bond in the United States)
- Evidence that your stay outside the U.S was extended due to the unavoidable situation (e.g medical issues, employment with a U.S company outside the USA)
Following is the fees structure for the application processing for Returning Resident immigrant visas.
- The Department of State fee for Form DS-117 and to assessing the eligibility criteria for Returning Resident Status
After the approval of your Returning Resident Status, you would need to pay the fees for the following according to the process of immigration visa
- Fees for application processing of Form DS-260
- Fees for Medical exam and vaccination