Returning Resident: SB-1


U.S. immigration law assumes that beneficiaries of Immigrant Visas will live permanently in the United States. Immigrants who depart the United States with the intention of returning and have not abandoned that intention but have stayed out of the United States for more than twelve months due to circumstances beyond their control, require a new IV to return to live in the United States.  If you have lapsed immigrant status, you may be eligible for status as a returning resident or you may seek to be the beneficiary of a new immigrant visa petition.

The burden of proof to show evidence of continuing U.S. ties is on the applicant.

How to Apply

Submit DS-117 Application

To apply for status as a returning resident alien, you must start by submitting DS-117 form at least three months in advance of your intended travel.  When you are ready to submit your DS-117 form, please send an email to and request for an interview date and time.

You can download the DS-117 form and instruction.  Please bring the following when you submit the DS-117 form:

  1. Alien Registration Receipt Card, Form I-151 or I-551 (“green card”)
  2. All valid and expired passports
  3. Re-entry Permit (Form I-327), if available
  4. Dates of travel outside of the United States (Examples: airline tickets, passport stamps, etc.)
  5. Proof of your ties to the United States and your intention to return (Examples: tax returns, and evidence of economic, family, and social ties to the United States)
  6. 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.)

The consular officer will conduct an interview to determine whether you meet the criteria for Returning Resident status (SB-1) based on your DS-117 and supporting documents.  You will need to pay the non-refundable DS-117 application fee at the Consular cashier, on your DS-117 interview day.  Payment can be made in Rupiah cash or credit card.

Gather the Required Documents and Prepare for the Immigrant Visa Interview

If your DS-117 application is approved, you will be processed as all other IV applicants. You will receive an email notification from with a list of documents required for SB-1 immigrant visa interview.  Once you have all required documents, you must schedule your interview appointment through U.S. Visa Information Service

The Immigrant Visa Interview

On the interview date, a consular officer will adjudicate the application based on the visa interview and documents submitted at the interview by the applicant. The issuance or denial of the immigrant visa is up to the discretion of the interviewing officer.

You must bring your current passport and all old passports. Bring the forms and documents listed in the Instruction Package to the visa interview. At the interview, you will also need to pay for the immigrant visa application processing fee, which is a separate fee from the DS-117 application fee that you have already paid. Applications without all these items will not be accepted.

Only applicants with appointments will be admitted into the U.S. Embassy. Due to the limited space in our interview waiting room, only beneficiaries may enter; the petitioner may accompany the applicant. Other accompanying parties, including friends, employees, or attorneys, must wait outside. Children under 16 years old may be accompanied by one parent or guardian to the interview. Beneficiaries are strongly advised not to finalize travel arrangements, dispose of their property, or give up their jobs until after they have been issued visas. Quitting a job, leaving school, selling property and/or closing bank accounts prior to visa issuance may be risky, as in certain cases visa issuance may be delayed for some time.