Returning Residents - SB-1

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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.  To apply for an SB-1 visa, the first step is to make an appointment online to determine eligibility for Returning Resident Status here or contact the Call Center on this link before appearing at the U.S. Embassy Monrovia, Liberia for an interview.  Please see the full scheduling instructions below.

Determining Eligibility 

  • Pay a non-refundable filing fee for Application for Determining Returning Resident Status Form DS-117 at the U.S. Embassy.  The U.S. Embassy accepts U.S. Dollars. The U.S. Embassy does not accept checks or credit card payments. Please note that payment of the filing fee does not guarantee that the application will be approved.
  • Please note that the Consulate is closed on U.S. and Liberian holidays and on certain administrative days.
  • Forms and documents required for the application:
    • Submit a completed Application to Determine Returning Resident Status,  Form DS-117. You must complete ALL the fields in Form DS-117 as correctly as possible. ATTENTION: Field 12 of Form DS-117 requires you to list ALL periods that you have lived outside of the United States for six months or longer since your initial entry into the United States as a permanent resident. You must make sure you have included ALL these periods. Otherwise, you will be turned away and required to complete a new Form DS-117 before you can book another appointment.
    • Fee: USD $180 to submit form DS-117 and to be interviewed by an officer who will determine if the applicant qualifies as a returning resident. This fee is paid on the day you apply as a returning resident.
    • Proof of lawful permanent residence like your Green Card (I-551 Permanent Resident Card), Re-entry Permit/Travel Document, etc.
    • A valid passport
    • Proof of dates of travel outside of the United States (Ex: airline tickets, passport stamps, etc.)
    • 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
    • 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 a SB-1 visa.

Scheduling an appointment online 


To schedule an appointment online for an interview to determine Returning Resident Status eligibility:

  1. Determine the visa class you are apply for is SB-1.
  1. If you have not created a profile previously in our system, please click here to create a profile. After you have successfully created a profile, on your dashboard, click “New Application/Schedule Appointment” and proceed to respond to the questions as prompted. If you have an existing account, click here to sign in. After you have successfully signed in, on your dashboard, click “New Application/Schedule Appointment” and proceed to respond to the questions as prompted
  1. If you have forgotten your password, please click the “Forgot your password”. A temporary password will be sent to the email address registered in your profile. You may contact the call center if you require assistance.
  1. At Step 2 of the application process on your dashboard, select Immigrant Visa
  1. At Step 3 of the application process on your dashboard, select SB-1
  1. At Step 5 of the application process on your dashboard, please ensure that you enter your personal details correctly or update details if required.
  1. At Step 6 of the application process on your dashboard, please enter the name and details of your dependents, if any. If you are the primary applicant, please do not enter your name and details again at Step 6.
  1. You will be routed to the Schedule Consular Appointment page with the notification that your request for an appointment has been submitted. You will not be able to schedule an appointment until your request for an appointment has been approved by the U.S. Embassy. Please wait for the email notification from the Embassy to continue with the scheduling process.
  1. When you receive your appointment approval notification from the Embassy, login to your profile with your username and password and on your dashboard, click “Continue” to schedule your appointment to a suitable day and time as allocated by the U.S. Embassy.
  1. You will be required to bring a printed copy of your Appointment Confirmation letter, your current passport and all other supporting documents to the visa interview.
  1. Only applicants with scheduled appointments will be admitted into the U.S. Embassy.



More information

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