Apply for a U.S. Visa | Immigrant Visa Information - Vietnam (English)

Returning Resident (SB-1) Visas

On this page:


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 make an online appointment to determine eligibility for Returning Resident Status here or contact the Call Center at 19006444 if you are in Vietnam or at +1-703-665-7350 if you are in the United States before appearing at the U.S. Consulate General of Ho Chi Minh City for an interview.

Scheduling an appointment online

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

  1. Visit the website here, and follow step-by-step instructions to create an account.
  2. Schedule an appointment for the interview online here or by phone through the Call Center at 19006444 if you are in Vietnam or 1-703-665-7350 if you are in the United States.


  • If you are unable to attend your appointment, you can cancel your appointment and reschedule it online.
  • If you have any inquiries or need assistance regarding creating an account and scheduling appointments online, you can go to or contact our Call Center at 19006444 if calling in Vietnam or +1-703-665-7350 if calling from the United States.

At the interview to determine Returning Resident Status eligibility

  • Pay a non-refundable filing fee at the U.S. Consulate.  The U.S. Consulate accepts U.S. Dollars or Vietnamese Dong in cash, or with the following credit cards in U.S. Dollars: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. The U.S. Consulate 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. 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.
  • 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 a 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. Consulate 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 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 and Consulate in Vietnam.