A permanent resident or conditional resident who has remained outside the United States for longer than one year, or beyond the validity period of a Re-entry Permit, due to circumstances beyond their control, will require a new immigrant visa to request re-entry to the United States to resume permanent residence.
How to File an Application for Returning Resident Status Determination:
STEP 1: Schedule an appointment at least three months in advance of your intended travel. Call the U.S. Embassy Manila’s Visa Information and Appointment Service at (+632) 548-8223 or (+632) 792-8988. Appointments are available Monday through Friday except on Philippine and U.S. holidays.
STEP 2: Please bring the following to the scheduled interview appointment:
- E-mail print-out of the Appointment Confirmation Page
- Completed Application to Determine Returning Resident Status (Form DS-117)
- Required non-refundable filing fee of $180. Pay the required non-refundable filing fee of $180 (or its local currency equivalent) at the Embassy’s consular cashier, in cash or a major credit card
- Alien Registration Receipt Card, Form I-151 or I-551 (“green card”)
- All valid and expired passports
- Re-entry Permit (Form I-327), if available
- Any supporting documents to justify the applicant’s failure to return to the U.S.
- 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 (Example: medical incapacitation)
- Enter your updated email and contact number on your DS-117 located in line number three.
- You will be instructed to reschedule if you arrive with an incomplete application.
- Payment of the filing fee does not guarantee that the returning resident status will be approved.
- You will need to be interviewed for both your application for returning resident status, and usually later for the immigrant visa. An SB-1 applicant is required to establish eligibility for an immigrant visa and have a medical examination. Therefore, this involves paying both visa processing fees and medical fees.
STEP 3: The interviewing officer will provide the applicant with an official determination notice after the interview. The passport and alien registration card (“green card”) will be returned to the applicant.
If approved for Returning Resident Status, applicants must still meet all other documentary and legal requirements to qualify for a new immigrant visa, obtain a new medical exam, and pay the immigrant visa processing fee of $205 with the Immigrant Visa Unit.
You can learn more about Returning Resident Visas on usvisas.state.gov.