Returning Resident (SB-1) Visas

A permanent resident who remains abroad for more than 12 months without obtaining a Reentry Permit will need to apply for a Returning Resident (SB-1) visa before reentering the U.S.

Eligibility Requirements for Returning Resident Visas

To qualify for an SB-1 visa, returning residents must be able to demonstrate the following:

  1. Lawful permanent resident status at the time of departure from the US
  2. Intention to return to the US at the time of departure
  3. While residing abroad, the intent to return to the US was never abandoned, and
  4. The applicant is returning from a temporary residence abroad, and if the stay was protracted it was due to circumstances beyond his/her control.

If the duration of travel abroad is less than one year, then a valid green card is the only requirement for reentry. If you know in advance that you will be leaving the US for more than one year but less than two years, an application for a Reentry Permit should be submitted to the USCIS at least 30 days prior to departure from the US.

How to apply for an SB-1 Visa?

To apply for an SB-1 Returning Resident visa, an application should be submitted to the nearest US consulate. Supporting documentation should be included with the application establishing continued unbroken ties to the US and, if applicable, that the trip was extended for reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible. Some examples of documentary evidence include: proof of lawful permanent residence (green card); a driver’s license issued within the last year; name and address of US employer and evidence of receipt of salary; evidence of children’s enrollment in US school; evidence of having filed US income tax returns; and evidence of property ownership in the US.

How does White & Associates help?

White & Associates is one of the few law firms with experience in this area. The stakes for such an application are extremely high because decisions of consular officers are not subject to administrative or judicial appeal. If you are refused, you may not be allowed to return to the United States — you will no longer be a permanent resident. Therefore, one should take this process very seriously. Enlisting the support of White & Associates can help you maximize your chances of success. If you would like assistance in this process, please contact us.