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Legal Permanent Residents - Frequently asked Questions

I have been outside of the U.S. for over one year and do not have a valid reentry permit form (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 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, the applicant must come to the Consulate in person once he/she has secured an appointment with the Embassy via e-mail at . For this appointment, the applicant must bring the following documents: valid passport, green card, completed form DS-117(pdf 296KB), payment fee of $380 (or the equivalent in SRD).

The applicant must provide evidence that he/she departed the United States with the intention of returning to an unrelinquished 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 be scheduled for a second appointment after assembling the regular documentation required of all immigrant visa applicants, such as medical exam, police certificates, birth certificates, etc.

I am an LPR 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 U.S. 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 issued by USCIS), the person must return to the U.S. within the validity of the reentry permit in order to retain status as an LPR. Reentry permits cannot be extended; applications are only accepted in the U.S. by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

I am an LPR with an expired validity on my Green Card and want to return to the U.S. What do I do?

As with all border procedures in the U.S., the Custom and Border Protection (CBP) officer has the sole authority to grant or deny entry in the U.S . However, a legal permanent resident of the U.S. in possession of an expired Form I-551 (green card) with ten-year validity may board an aircraft going to the U.S. if the expiration date is the only reason for not boarding the alien. No transportation letter is needed and no fines shell be made against the carrier for transporting such an alien. However, a condition permanent resident in possession of an expired Form I-551 with two-year validity must present evidence that the Form I-551 expiration date has been extended. (9 FAM 42.22 N2.1)

I lost my green card, what do I do?

If you have lost your green card, you may request the US Embassy to issue you a no fee 'Boarding Foil,' valid for one entry to the United States within 30 days of issuance. You should not leave the United States again until you have applied for and received your new card. You can apply for your replacement card electronically now, through the USCIS website

To apply for a Boarding Foil in Paramaribo, the Permanent Resident should bring the following:

  •  A valid passport
  • A completed I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. (Click on the link, print and answer ALL questions on pages 1-3.)
  • His/her alien registration number (A-number aka green card number, consisting of A-0 + eight digits)
  • Two recent 2" x 2" passport photographs. 
  • Police report of stolen or lost permanent resident card (if applicable)
  • Evidence of last departure from the United states (for example airline (e-)ticket or boarding pass) 

The Consular officer can only consider issuing a Boarding Foil upon verification of your status by the USCIS. As the Consulate General does not have direct access to USCIS records this may take from one to several days, usually no more than five workdays. For this process it is imperative that you provide us with your A-number (alien registration card number). Once permission is granted you will get an appointment to pick up your Boarding Foil. Boarding Foils will not be mailed.

If you do not have your principal residence outside the United States, you probably have lost your U.S. resident status. In that case you cannot apply for a new card and you are advised to follow the abandoning procedure below.

I am an LPR of the U.S. While I was abroad I gave birth to a child. Now I wish to return to the U.S. May I take my child with me?

As with all entry procedures in the U.S., the Custom and Border Protection (CBP) officer has the sole authority to grant or deny entry in the U.S. Nonetheless, a child under two years of age who was born to a permanent resident alien mother during a temporary visit abroad does not require an immigrant visa in order to travel to the U.S. if the alien parent is in possession of a valid Form I-551, a valid reentry permit, or an accompanying parent carry documentary evidence of his/her relationship to the child, including the child’s passport and birth certificate.

I am an LPR, but I wish to abandon my LPR status because I now live abroad.  What do I do?

If you wish to surrender your green card, please come to our office on a Tuesday (02:00-03:30) and Thursday (02:00-03:00) with your green card, passport, and a completed Form I-407 (abandonment of lawful permanent resident status). A Consular officer will interview you and accept your application.

Once the I-407 is submitted, you will revert to your previous status as a non-resident. The abandonment of lawful permanent residency is irrevocable.

If you wish to travel again to the United States you must apply for a non-immigrant visa by following the steps on our website


  • If you have left the U.S. without your permanent resident card, have a friend or family member send it to you by courier service.  This is quicker and cheaper than having to apply for a boarding foil. Furthermore, a boarding foil does not guarantee your entry into the U.S. You will still have to prove to the immigration officer at port of entry you are entitled to resident status. If there really is no way to arrange having your card sent over, please follow the guidance for a lost or stolen permanent resident card.

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