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 travel.state.gov.
To qualify for Returning Resident 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 United States 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, and
That you are eligible for the immigrant visa in all other respects.
If you have lost your permanent resident status, and you wish to apply for a “Returning Resident visa,” you must contact the Consular Section by e-mailing OsloLPR@state.gov in order to schedule an appointment to file an “Application to Determine Returning Resident Status” (Form DS-117) and submit evidence to support the above requirements along with filing the form.
Those applying for Returning Resident status should obtain and provide the following documents to the consular officer at the time of their appointment:
- Form DS-117 Application to Determine Returning Resident Status (PDF 56 KB)
- Photo ID (such as a passport, driving license, etc.);
- Evidence showing how they acquired U.S. legal permanent resident status (a copy of an immigrant visa, USCIS admission stamp, an adjustment of status approval notice, etc.);
- Evidence showing the date when they last departed from the United States (e-tickets, boarding passes, etc.);
- Evidence showing prior continuous residence in the United States (U.S. employment records, proof of children’s enrollment in a U.S. school, past U.S. income tax returns, property ownership in the United States, etc.);
- Evidence showing that they had a definite reason for a temporary travel abroad;
- Evidence showing that the extended stay abroad was for reasons beyond their control;
- Notarized English translations of all documents presented if the originals are in a language other than English;
- A non-refundable application fee of 180 USD. This fee is payable at the time of the appointment to the Consular Section in U.S. dollars or the equivalent in Norwegian currency, in cash or by credit card.
Please find more information about the application process, including information on current fees, at travel.state.gov, the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
If the application for Returning Resident Status is approved by the consular officer, the Consular Section will send you more detailed information on how to proceed with applying for the visa.