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Legal Permanent Resident

Legal Permanent Residents

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Legal Permanent Residents              

Important Notice for Legal Permanent Residents (LPR): Effective April 16, 2012, LPRs who have lost their green card will be issued a boarding foil instead of a transportation letter. To learn more about this process, please scroll down to question #3.

1. I have been outside of the United States for over one year and do not have a valid reentry permit (Form I-327), may I return to the U.S.?
A legal permanent resident who remains outside the U.S. for over one year without a valid reentry permit has jeopardized his/her legal resident status.  If such a person wishes to return to the U.S. as a legal resident, two options exist: 1. obtain a new immigrant visa petition or 2. file an application for a Returning Resident (SB-1) visa. 

In order to apply for an SB-1 visa, please email the Consular Section at KabulIV@state.gov to arrange for a time to come to the Embassy for an appointment to determine Returning Resident status.  Please include your Alien number (number beginning with letter “A”), full name and date of birth in your email request for an appointment.  At the time of this interview, the applicant must present the following documents: a valid passport, his/her green card, completed forms DS-117 (available here) and appropriate fees.  The applicant must provide evidence that he/she departed the United States with the intention of returning to an un-relinquished residence and that his/her stay abroad was for reasons beyond his/her control and for which he/she was not responsible.  There is no guarantee the application will be approved, and no refunds are available for denied applications.  If the application is approved, the applicant will then be scheduled for an immigrant visa appointment after assembling the regular documentation required of all immigrant visa applicants, such as a medical exam and police certificates.  This second appointment will likely be scheduled after two to three months.

When you arrive at our office to make your initial application, please join the queue for pending immigrant visa cases.  Please note that completing the process may require a few hours depending on conditions, and you will not be allowed to enter the Embassy with any of the prohibited items listed on our website.

2. I am a legal permanent resident of the U.S. but I wish to remain outside the U.S. for over one year.  Is it possible to do so?
Under current regulations a legal permanent resident of the United States (i.e. a person holding a green card) must return to the U.S. within 364 days of the last departure in order to retain status as a permanent resident.  If the person has obtained a reentry permit (form I-327), the person must return to the United States within the validity of the reentry permit in order to retain status as a permanent resident.  Reentry permits cannot be extended, and applications are only accepted in the U.S. by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  See http://www.uscis.gov/ for more information.

3. I have lost my "Green Card", what do I do now?        
If you have lost your green card, the U.S. Embassy may be able to issue you a Boarding Foil (formerly known as a transportation letter) that will permit you to return to the United States. In order to apply for a boarding foil at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, you must submit a completed Form I-90 (available at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-90.pdf), your passport, a police report regarding the loss of the green card, evidence of the most recent date of departure from the United states (typically a plane ticket/boarding pass), Alien registration number (A-number aka green card number, consisting of A-0 + eight digits). and two recent passport-sized photographs of yourself.  Once you have assembled these documents and photos, please contact the Consular Section at KabulNIV@state.gov to arrange for a time to come to the Embassy and apply for the boarding foil.

We often need several days in order to confirm an applicant’s LPR status with other offices.  When you arrive at the Consular Section, please join the line for pending immigrant visa cases. 

All boarding foils issued by our office are valid for 30 days.  If your application for a boarding foil is approved and you fail to travel within the 30 day window, you will have to follow the same process to obtain a new boarding foil.

4. I have a valid reentry permit (Form I-327) but have lost my green card or it is expired.  May I travel to the U.S.?
Per 8CFR 211.1, an alien in possession of a valid form I-327, Permit to Reenter the United states (i.e. reentry permit), does not require a visa to reenter the United States.  Therefore, you may travel with only your valid reentry permit.

5. I am a legal permanent resident of the U.S.  While I was outside the U.S., I gave birth to a child.  Now I wish to return to the U.S.  May I take my child with me?
As outlined in 9 FAM 42.1 N1.1, a child under two years of age who was born of a Permanent Resident Alien mother during a temporary visit abroad does not require an immigrant visa in order to travel to the United States if the alien parent is in possession of a valid Form I-551 (i.e. green card), a valid reentry permit, or an SB-1 visa.  The child must be admitted to the U.S. within two years of birth and the accompanying parent must be applying for readmission upon first return after the birth of the child.  We suggest that the accompanying parent carry documentary evidence of his or her relationship to the child, including the child's passport and birth certificate.

6. I am a legal permanent resident, but I wish to abandon my LPR status because I am now living abroad.  How do I do so? 
If you wish to surrender your green card and abandon LPR status, please contact the Consular Section at KabulIV@state.gov to arrange for a time to come to the Embassy. When you arrive for your appointment, you will be required to present your green card, passport, and a completed form I-407 (Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status).  You may obtain this form here.  A consular officer will interview you and accept your application. 

If you would like to apply for a visitor visa on the day you surrender the green card, you should schedule a non-immigrant visa interview via our website.  However, if you only intend to surrender your green card, please join the line for pending immigrant visa cases on the date of your appointment.  Please note that completing the process may require a few hours depending on conditions, and you will not be allowed to enter the Embassy with any of the prohibited items described on our website.  We cannot accept Forms I-407 and green cards sent directly to our office by mail.

7. My legal permanent resident relative passed away while in Afghanistan.  Can the Embassy assist me in getting a death certificate from the Afghan government so I can claim my relative’s Social Security benefits?
No.  The Consular Section may assist in obtaining a death certificate from the Afghan government only if the deceased was an American citizen.  However, a local attorney may be able to assist you in completing the formalities.  Click here for a list of attorneys who practice in our district.