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 returning resident visa (SB-1) to enter the United States and resume permanent residence.  You can learn more about Returning Resident Visas on

To determine your returning resident status, you must schedule an interview at the U.S. Embassy Nepal.   Please send an email requesting an interview appointment to  Following a thorough review and interview, a Consular Officer will determine whether you are eligible to apply for the SB-1 visa. To qualify for such 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 U.S. 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.
That you are eligible for the immigrant visa in all other respects.

You must bring the following documents to the interview:

Completed Form DS-117 – Application for Determining Returning Resident Status
A valid passport
Two recent color photographs. The photographs must be 2 inches x 2 inches (5 cm x 5 cm) in size, with no head covering, and showing a full, front-face view against a white background, without earrings or eyeglasses.
Current fees for submitting an application for determining Returning Resident status can be found here.
Lawful Permanent Resident card

You must also submit supporting documents that show the following:

  • 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 (examples: tax returns, and evidence of economic, family, and social ties to the United States)
  • 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) and for which you were not responsible.

All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable filing fee of $180 (or its local currency equivalent), which may be paid in cash, major credit card at the Embassy’s consular cashier.  The filing fee is NOT the visa application fee; this fee is for the determination of returning resident status. Payment of the filing fee does not guarantee that the returning resident status will be approved.

The one-year 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 card mentioned above, 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.