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 https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/returning-resident.htm.

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.

Individuals who wish to voluntarily record the abandonment of their lawful permanent resident (LPR) status must submit Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status via mail to:

For United States Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:

USCIS Eastern Forms Center
Attn: I-407 Unit
PO Box 567
Williston, VT 05495

For FedEX, UPS, DHL or other registered couriers:
USCIS Eastern Forms Center
Attn: I-407 Unit
124 Leroy Road
Williston, VT 05495

USCIS anticipate that processing times at the Eastern Forms Center, from receipt to completion, will be within 60 days, this does not include mailing time to or from outside of the United States. Once processed, you will receive an immediate e-mail followed up by a notice in the mail stating that your abandonment has been completed, or, if incomplete, the form and a rejection notice will be sent back.

Enter in the following link to access the Immigrant Visas: Returning Resident Visa – U.S. Embassy in   El Salvador (usembassy.gov)

A permanent resident who does not have a valid permanent resident card in his or her possession for any reason must apply for the issuance of a boarding foil. It is important to mention that this document is only issued to those permanent residents who have not been outside the United States for more than one year from their last departure from the United States.

To apply you need to complete the following:

  1. Complete and sign the form I-131A, which can be obtained at the following link:
    Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation) | USCIS
  2. Make the $575 payment online: https://my.uscis.gov/travel-document/
  • Present a copy of the receipt generated by the payment system.
  • If the applicant makes the payment for this application after having been away for the time indicated, the payment will not be refunded.
  1. Submit the police report of the theft/loss of your resident card.
  2. Submit the requirements mentioned in the form instructions on page 4:
  • Valid passport with photocopy of the biographical page and photocopy of the entry stamp to El Salvador
  • Photocopy of your resident card or Register Number (Alien number)
  • A color photo with white background, size 2×2 inches.
  • Evidence of departure from the United States (boarding pass, luggage stubs given to you by the airline when you left the United States, or you can obtain an immigration document from the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería de El Salvador where show your entries to the country).

Please do not change your travel date or purchase a new ticket until you receive your travel document, as this process can take up to 10 business days. To schedule an appointment, you must send evidence of all the above requirements (scanned in PDF format) to mailto:SNSBoardingFoils@state.gov. Then, you will receive a notification with your appointment date.

Enter in the following link to access the Immigrant Visas: Returning Resident Visa – U.S. Embassy in   El Salvador (usembassy.gov)

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
From El Salvador: 2113-3122
From the U.S.: (703) 745-5476
Email: support-elsalvador@ustraveldocs.com