Returning Resident Law and Legal Definition

A lawful permanent resident or conditional resident who has remained outside the U.S. for longer than one year, or beyond the validity period of a Re-entry Permit, will require a new immigrant visa to enter the U.S. and resume permanent residence. Any such legal Permanent Resident who has been outside the United States and is returning to the U.S. is referred to as returning resident. They are also referred to as a special immigrant.

The returning resident must submit an application to be readmitted to the U.S if such returning resident was outside of the United States for more than 180 days. The returning resident is generally required to have a re-entry documentation from USCIS or an immigrant visa from the Department of State if s/he was outside of the United States for more than one year and is coming back to his/her permanent home in the United States.