Returning Resident Visa

Returning Resident Visa – In one of our earlier posts, we discussed what a reentry permit is and why it is needed for apermanent resident to travel outside of the United States if they plan to take a trip outside of the country for greater than one year. What happens when a permanent resident stays outside of the country beyond the validity of their reentry permit? Is their permanent resident status considered abandoned? This entry will attempt to discuss how a permanent resident can reenter the United States after a prolonged stay abroad.

What is a Returning Resident Visa?

A “returning resident” visa is also known as the SB-1 visa. Under U.S. immigration law, if a permanent resident has stayed outside of the United States for greater than one year, or greater than the two-year period permitted by their reentry permit, they may be eligible to apply for an SB-1 visa, which would permit them to return to the U.S. and continue their permanent residence.

How Does Someone Qualify for an SB-1 Visa?

The following proof needs to be provided to a U.S. consular officer during the visa interview:

  • The individual had the status of a permanent resident before they departed the United States;
  • They departed the United States with the intention of returning and they have not abandoned that intention;
  • They want to return to the United States after their temporary visit abroad and if their stay abroad was protracted, that this was caused by reasons which were beyond their control and for which they were not responsible.

How Does Someone Apply for an SB-1 Visa?

The applicant should have their permanent resident card and their reentry permit (if they applied for one earlier), along with a completed Form DS-117, which is the visa application. The applicant should also prepare supporting documentation which evidences their travel, proof of their ties to the U.S., and proof that their prolonged trip outside of the U.S. was due to circumstances beyond their control.

What Else is Required?

The individual will have to undergo a medical examination prior to their visa interview at the U.S. Consulate. They will also need to provide their passport, two new passport photos, and any other documents which may be requested by the consulate or embassy.

Consider setting up a consultation with an immigration attorney at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.

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