A Legal Permanent Resident who has remained outside the United States for longer than one year or longer than what was permitted under a Re-entry permit, may be considered to have abandoned his/her permanent resident status, and thus unable to return to the US. However, if the LPR remained outside the US due to circumstances beyond his/her control, a Returning Resident Visa can be sought at a US embassy to return to the US. By filing for a Returning Resident visa, a person can avoid the requirement that someone (petitioner) files an immigrant visa petition on their behalf to begin the immigrant process from scratch.
To qualify for a Returning resident visa, a person will need to prove the following:
“Had the status of a lawful permanent resident at the time of departure from the United States;
Departed from the United States with the intention of returning and have not abandoned this intention; and
Are returning to the United States from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay abroad was protracted, this was caused by reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible.”
In addition to completing the required application (DS-117), the person will need to provide documentation such as a copy of their green card, evidence of their travel, proof of ties to the US, proof of intention of maintaining a residence in the US, and proof that the reason for staying outside the US for one year or more was beyond his/her control.
The person seeking the returning resident visa must convince the consular officer that they are eligible for the visa through the documentation discussed above and through the visa interview.
If you wish to apply for a returning resident visa, please contact our office for a free assessment of your case at 248-557-3645