A permanent resident (called lawful permanent resident or LPR) or conditional resident (CR) must return to the United States within one year of departure to maintain permanent resident status. There is currently no change to the requirement that LPR(s) maintain their status.
If you plan on remaining outside the United States for longer than one year, you must apply for a re-entry permit (Form I-131) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Extensions of LPR status may not be obtained from outside the United States.
If you have obtained a re-entry permit (Form I-131) you must return to the United States within the validity period of the re-entry permit.
If you have been outside the United States for more than a year and do not have a re-entry permit, you will require a new immigrant visa to enter the United States and resume permanent residence. Applicants for SB-1 visas must prove to the consular officer that extenuating circumstances existed that prevented return to the United States through no fault of the applicant. You can learn more about Returning Resident Visas on usvisas.state.gov.
To apply for a Returning Resident (SB-1) visa, visit our scheduling page and follow the instructions to request an interview. You can schedule an interview at either the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi or the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai. You must bring the following documents to the interview:
- Completed Form DS-117;
- A valid passport;
- Two identical 2 x 2 inches photographs;
- The U.S. Embassy, New Delhi accepts ONLY cash payment (US dollar or Indian Rupee) for SB1 applications. If visiting the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, a credit card or bank draft can also be used. The bank draft must be issued in the name of “U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai”, and should be payable in Mumbai. Current fees for submitting an application for determining Returning Resident status can be found here. As the consulate rate of exchange can change, check the current consular rate of exchange here the day prior to your interview. Please note that visa fees are not refundable;
- LPR card;
- Evidence to demonstrate that your protracted stay outside of the U.S. was for reasons beyond your control