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SB-1 Visas: Applications for Returning Resident Visas

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Returning Resident Visas (SB1)

Permanent resident aliens, who were unable to return to the United States for reasons beyond their control within the travel validity period of the Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), or the Reentry Permit, may apply for a special immigrant Returning Resident (SB1) visa at the U.S. Embassy Warsaw.

To qualify for Returning Resident Status, you must show:

  • That you were a lawful permanent resident when you departed the United States,
  • That when you departed you intended to return to the United States and have maintained this intent,
  • That you are returning from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay was protracted, it was caused by reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible, and
  • That you are eligible for the immigrant visa in all other respects.
  • Schedule appointment using this service

If you have lost your permanent resident status, and you wish to apply for a Returning Resident visa, you must register online at http://www.ustraveldocs.com in order to schedule an appointment to file Form DS-117 Application to Determine Returning Resident Status and submit evidence to support the above requirements along with filing the form. For more information you must call the Visa Information and Appointment Service at +48 22 307 1361 from 8:00AM-8:00PM.

The $180 fee for filing the Form DS-117 - Application to Determine Returning Resident Status  may be paid in cash (either U.S. Dollars or the equivalent in PLN), or by credit card (for EU citizens).  The application fee is non-refundable. 

Please collect the following items to bring to your appointment at the U.S. Embassy:

  • A valid passport 
  • A completed DS-117 form 
  • Your permanent resident card Form I-551
  • Dates of travel outside of the United States (Examples: airline tickets, passport stamps, etc.)
  • Proof of your ties to the United States and your intention to return ( Example: tax returns, evidence of economic, family, or social ties, etc.)
  • Proof that your protracted stay outside of the United States was for reasons beyond your control (Examples: medical incapacitation, employment with a U.S. company, etc.)

If the application for Returning Resident Status is approved by the consular officer, the Consular Section will send you more detailed information on how to proceed with applying for an immigrant visa.

You will also have to be interviewed for the immigrant visa. The fee for an immigrant visa is accepted in cash $205 or the equivalent in PLN. Citizens of EU countries may pay with a credit card.

You must apply for an immigrant visa within six months from the date of approval, otherwise your DS-117 application will be terminated.

If Your Application to Determine Returning Resident Status is Not Approved:

  • You may want to apply for a new immigrant visa based on Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, if you have close family in the U.S.

            or

  • If you are still interested in going to the U.S., you can apply for a tourist (B2) visa. Please note that you must meet all conditions to qualify for this visa. Information on how to apply is at www.ustraveldocs.com


If you still have questions regarding your permanent residency, please contact the Embassy at publicwaw@state.gov or by phone +48 22 625-1042 from 2 – 4 pm.

You can also find more information on the website https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/returning-residents.html

Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status (I-407)

I-407 is used by lawful permanent resident aliens who are outside of the United States and want to abandon LPR status. If you wish to apply for a nonimmigrant visa, you may submit Form I-407 at the time of your nonimmigrant visa interview. Make sure to complete the form before you come to the Embassy.

For more information you may send us an email at publicwaw@state.gov or contact us by phone at +48 22 625-1042 from 2 – 4 pm.

Applying For Readmission At A U.S. Port Of Entry

If you are a permanent resident alien returning to the United States after being overseas less than 12 months (364 days or less), you may apply for readmission by presenting your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) to the immigration authorities at a U.S. port of entry.  You must also be able to show that you have not abandoned your permanent U.S. residence.

Exceptions For Military And U.S. Government Employees
The 12-month time limitation does not apply to the spouse or child of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, or of a civilian employee of the U.S. Government stationed abroad pursuant to official orders. In this case, the spouse or child must present the Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), not have relinquished residence, and be preceding or accompanying the member or employee, or be following to join the member or employee in the United States within four months of the return of the member or employee.

Reentry Permit

A permanent resident alien who intends to remain abroad for 12 months or longer should, at least 30 days prior to the proposed date of departure from the United States, apply while in the United States to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services - USCIS for a Reentry Permit. The permit has a maximum validity of two years and may not be extended. If a Reentry Permit is obtained, the alien may use it to reenter the United States within the period of validity of the permit.  Every alien applying for readmission must satisfy the immigration authorities that he or she is eligible in all respects for admission.