Immigrant Visas: Returning Resident Visa

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.

The following are the most frequently requested services the Immigrant Visa Unit receives about U.S. legal permanent residents.  For more information, click on the tabs below.

If you would like to relinquish you Legal Permanent Resident status, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office in San Salvador. The USCIS office is open for services on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., and it is located at the AID building within the Embassy premises.  Access is through the Consular gate located on Boulevard Santa Elena.  When approaching the gate, please use the DHS-USCIS line.  An appointment is not necessary, customers are served on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please visit the San Salvador Field Office page on www.uscis.gov.

If you need to contact the USCIS San Salvador Field Office, please call (503) 2501-3022.  You may also contact us by e-mail at ElSalvador.USCIS@uscis.dhs.gov or by fax at (503) 2288-3330.

If your Green Card was lost, stolen, or has expired, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office in San Salvador. The USCIS office is open for services on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., and it is located at the AID building within the Embassy premises.  Access is through the Consular gate located on Boulevard Santa Elena.  When approaching the gate, please use the DHS-USCIS line.  An appointment is not necessary, customers are served on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please visit the San Salvador Field Office page on www.uscis.gov.

If you need to contact the USCIS San Salvador Field Office, please call (503) 2501-3022.  You may also contact us by e-mail at ElSalvador.USCIS@uscis.dhs.gov or by fax at (503) 2288-3330.

If you are a U.S. legal permanent resident who has been out of the United States for more than a year, it is possible that you may qualify for returning resident status.  Returning resident status is for an alien who meets the following requirements:

  • was a lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States at the time of departure;
  • at the time of departure, had the intention of returning to the United States;
  • while residing abroad, did not abandon the intention of returning to the United States; and
  • is returning from a temporary residence abroad; or if the stay was protracted, this was caused by reasons beyond his or her control.

To apply for returning resident status, you must make an appointment with the Immigrant Visa Unit to file a Form DS-117 (Application to Determine Returning Resident Status) (279 KB) and explain your situation to a consular officer.  The fee to file a DS-117 is US$180.  Note that the fee is non-refundable, even if the DS-117 is denied.  To schedule an appointment, please contact us at:

U.S. Embassy San Salvador
Final Boulevard Santa Elena
Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad
Telephone: (503) 2501-2999
Fax: (503) 2501-2150