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Information for Legal Permanent Residents

As of June 2020, the consular section at the U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo assumed certain specific services previously provided by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) field office.  If you require USCIS assistance with any matter not specifically addressed below, please refer to https://www.uscis.gov/ for more information.

 **Fees for the below services are paid to USCIS online, not U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo.  The fees are NOT REFUNDABLE.   Please make sure you qualify and/or need a specific service before making any payment.**

The services provided include:

  • Boarding foils (i.e., travel document)
  • Pass back of Re-entry Permits
  • Acceptance of Returning Resident SB1 applications (DS-117)
  • Acceptance of locally filed I-130 petitions

Boarding foils

boarding foil is used for travel to the U.S. if a lawful permanent resident (LPR):

  1. Has a lost, stolen, damaged, or mutilated LPR card (“green card”); and
  2. Has been outside of the U.S. for less than 365 days and has retained their LPR status at the time of application.

A boarding foil is NOT necessary if the LPR card has expired card, and has not been lost, stolen, damaged or mutilated.  In other words, an LPR may travel back to the United States without penalty to an air carrier if the LPR has:

  1. An expired LPR card with a 10-year expiration date; or
  2. An expired LPR card with a 2-year expiration date (“Conditional Resident”) and valid Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating the status is extended; or
  3. Orders from the USG (civilian or military) showing the time outside of the U.S. was on official business

NOTE: Boarding foil fees are NOT refundable, regardless of the decision rendered.  We encourage you to consult with us at SantoDomingoConsBF@state.gov and your air carrier BEFORE submitting any payment for Form I-131A boarding foil application.


If you believe you qualify for a boarding foil, apply here:


–The Embassy will provide you with a specific appointment day and time only after you submit Form I-131A, pay the required fee, and are able to provide all required supporting documentation, per the instructions.

–After your interview, please allow 10 business days for processing and delivery of the boarding foil.

–A boarding foil allows for one return entry into the United States, within 30 days of approval.

Pass back of Re-entry permits

Applicants who have an approved Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and have been notified that their re-entry permit has been sent to Santo Domingo, may arrange to pick up their re-entry permit at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo by appointment only. Please email support-dominicanrepubilc@ustraveldocs.com to request a pick-up appointment and provide your full name, date of birth and alien registration number.

SB1 Visa

A Returning Resident Visa (SB1) is different from a Boarding foil or re-entry permit.

Permanent resident aliens, who were unable to return to the United States for reasons beyond their control within the travel validity period of the Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), or the Re-entry Permit, may apply for a Returning Resident (SB1) visa.

An LPR may consider applying for SB1 Visa if the LPR has:

  1. Remained outside of the U.S. for over a year; OR
  2. Remained outside of the U.S. for over 2 years with a re-entry permit; AND
  3. Believes they were unable to return due to the circumstances beyond their control; AND
  4. Maintained intent to return to the US for residency purposes.

To qualify for Returning Resident Status, you must show:

  • That you were a lawful permanent resident when you departed the United States,
  • That when you departed you intended to return to the United States and have maintained this intent,
  • That you are returning from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay was protracted, it was caused by reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible, and
  • That you are eligible for the immigrant visa in all other respects.

If you have lost your permanent resident status, and you wish to apply for a Returning Resident (SB1) visa, you must contact the Consular Section by completing our contact form, and attaching the “Application to Determine Returning Resident Status” (form DS-117), in order to schedule an appointment to submit evidence to support the above requirements along with filing the form.

Please find more information about the application process, including information on current fees, at Travel.State.Gov, the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

The fee for filing the “Application to Determine Returning Resident Status” (Form DS-117) is non-refundable if your application is denied. Payment is accepted in cash (US$ or DOP) or credit card.

If the application for Returning Resident Status is approved by the consular officer, the Consular Section will send you more detailed information on how to proceed with applying for the visa.

  • Locally accepted I-130 petitions: The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo only accepts locally filed petitions in limited, exceptional circumstances.  More information is available here.