Immigrant Visas: Returning Resident (SB-1) Visas

Overview

The SB-1 visa is for Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) who have been outside the United States for over one year, or beyond the validity of the Re-entry Permit for reasons beyond their control to return to the United States. If you apply for an SB-1 visa, the first step is to schedule an appointment with the U.S. Embassy Ashgabat Consular Section by sending an email to: consularashgab@state.gov. Please note that in the response to the significant challenges related to the global COVID-19 pandemic, routine services have been suspended since March 20, 2020. You can check the following site for updates on our operating status: https://tm.usembassy.gov/visas/

At the interview to determine Returning Resident Status eligibility

Pay a non-refundable filing fee at the U.S. Embassy. The U.S. Embassy accepts U.S. dollars in cash only. The U.S. Embassy does not accept checks. Please note that payment of the filing fee does not guarantee that the application will be approved.

  • Submit a completed Application to Determine Returning Resident Status, Form DS-117.
  • Provide proof of lawful permanent residence like your Green Card (I-551), Re-entry Permit/Travel Document, etc.
  • List the dates you traveled outside of the United States and provide proof of this travel (airline tickets, passport stamps, etc.)
  • Provide proof of your ties to the United States and your intention to return (tax returns, and evidence of economic, family, social ties to the United States, return tickets, etc.), and
  • Provide proof that your protracted stay outside of the United States was for reasons beyond your control (medical incapacitation, accompanying parents, etc.)

A consular officer will review all the submitted documents, conduct an interview, and determine your eligibility for an SB-1 visa.

After the interview to determine Returning Resident Status eligibility

If you are approved for Returning Resident (SB-1) status, the U.S. Embassy will provide you with specific instructions for the remainder of the processing for your SB-1 visa. Like other immigrant visas, you are required to meet all other documentary and legal requirements here to be issued an SB-1 visa.

If the consular officer has determined that you are not eligible for an SB-1 visa, this decision will not be reviewed or reconsidered. There is no appeal process.

If you do not qualify for returning resident status, then you will need to have a new petition filed on your behalf with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Another alternative for you to go to the U.S. for short visits is to apply for a tourist (B2) visa.

More information

For more information about SB-1 visa, visit the Department of State’s website.

For more information about lawful permanent residents, visit the website of the U.S. Embassy Ashgabat in Turkmenistan.