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 new immigrant visa to enter the United States and resume permanent residence. You can learn more about Returning Resident Visas on usvisas.state.gov.
If a resident alien’s stay abroad exceeded the one-year limit (or the expiration date of a re-entry permit), s/he is deemed to have lost their status as a permanent resident. However, s/he needs to come to the Embassy any Friday between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM (except the last Friday of each month and holidays) to apply for returning resident status. To qualify s/he must fill out application form DS-117 (PDF 296 KB) and submit evidence that:
- S/he had the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of departure from the United States;
- S/he departed from the United States with the intention of returning and s/he had not abandoned this intention; and
- S/he is returning to the United States from a temporary visit abroad and that her/his protracted stay was caused by reasons beyond her/his control.
Applicants must submit evidence with the application to support the above requirements, including proof of lawful permanent residence (examples: airline tickets, passport stamps, etc.), dates of travel outside of the United States, proof of ties to the United States and intention to return (examples: tax returns, evidence of economic, family and social ties to the United States), and proof that the applicant’s protracted stay was for reasons beyond his control (examples: medical incapacitation, etc.).