How to Apply – Step 1

Step 1 – Filing an Immigrant Visa Petition DS-117

If you wish to apply for a Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa, you should contact the U.S. Embassy Tokyo or Consulate General Naha in advance of your intended travel (at least three months in advance, if possible) to permit sufficient time for visa processing. As part of the visa application process, an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate is required. Please complete the Interview Request Form to request an appointment. Due to security concerns and space constraints, only those with appointments will be admitted.

Required Documentation

Applicants must appear in person to file a DS-117 and pay the application fee. Do not schedule an appointment until you have read the instructions carefully and assembled ALL of the necessary documents on the DS-117 Checklist below.

DS-117 Checklist of Necessary Supporting Documents

  • Any foreign language document must be accompanied by a full English translation that the translator has certified as complete and correct. The translator must certify that he/she is competent to translate the foreign language into English. It is not necessary to have the translation notarized.
  • It is strongly recommended that applicants keep a duplicate file copy of all documents submitted in connection with the application. The embassy does not provide copying services.
Form DS-117: Completed application to determine Returning Resident Status (This collection has been temporarily removed. For information on applying for returning resident visas please contact the consular section at which you intend to apply.)
Form I-551 and/or Form I-327, if available: Original “green card” and/or “re-entry permit”, if available
Applicant’s original passport(s): Current and/or old passport(s) showing your identity, admission into the United States as a legal permanent resident, and the Japanese immigration stamp on your return to Japan from the U.S.
Proof of ties to the U.S. and intent to return: U.S. tax returns and evidence of economic, family, and social ties to the United States.
Evidence of stay abroad for reasons beyond the applicant’s control: Evidence that the protracted stay abroad was beyond your control.
Application fee (It is non-refundable, even if you are found ineligible for returning resident status.)
English translations of all documents written in a foreign language.