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.

If you wish to apply for a Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa, you should do so at AIT Taipei in advance of your intended travel (at least three months in advance, if possible) to permit sufficient time for visa processing. As part of the visa application process, an interview at AIT Taipei is required.

When applying for a Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa, you should submit the following forms and documents:

  • A completed Application to Determine Returning Resident Status, Form DS-117 (PDF, 56KB)
  • Your Permanent Resident Card, Form -551
  • Your Re-entry Permit, if available
  • Application for Determining Returning Resident Status, Form DS-117. Select Fees for current Department of State fees.

You must also submit supporting documents that show the following:

  • Dates of travel outside of the U.S. (Examples: airline tickets, passport stamps, and your Taiwan Entry and Exit record(s), etc.)
  • Proof of your ties to the U.S. and your intention to return (Examples: tax returns, and evidence of economic, family, and social ties to the U.S.)
  • Proof that your protracted stay outside of the U.S. was for reasons beyond your control (Examples: medical incapacitation, employment with a U.S. company, accompanying a U.S. citizen spouse, etc.)

An appointment is required for this service. When you are ready for the application, please email us a written request along with a copy of completed Form DS-117, passports, green cards, and evidence to prove you have met the requirements. Once we have received, we will schedule you an appointment with our office within a 3-4 business day.

A Consular Officer will review your application and supporting documents to determine whether you meet the criteria for Returning Resident (SB-1) status. If you do, you will be instructed to prepare documents for the immigrant visa application. You will need to follow the same guidance as other immigrant visa applicants with locally filled and approved petitions.

If you do not qualify, it may or may not be possible to obtain a non-immigrant visa depending on whether you have established a residence abroad to which you will return. If you cannot submit convincing evidence of compelling ties abroad, you may consider applying for an immigrant visa through a new immigrant visa application.