Please see below for more information on the other services the Immigrant Visa Unit offers.
Lost/Stolen/Expired/Damaged Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”)
For Permanent Residents Outside the United States for Less than One Year:
Lawful permanent residents who have been outside of the United States for less than one year can apply for a transportation letter to return to the United States if their permanent resident card (often called a “green card”) is expired, lost, stolen or damaged during a visit to Colombia. To make an appointment with us please call the Visa Information Center at: 325-9851 from Bogotá, at 1-325-9851 from other cities inside Colombia, or at 703-439-2325 from the United States or at http://colombia.usvisa-info.com/. Please create an account and then choose “schedule appointment.” From the list that appears, select “Immigrant Visas,” then choose “Transportation Letters,” and follow the instructions. On the day of your interview, please bring the following to the embassy:
- Completed form I-90 (available at http://www.uscis.gov/);
- Your valid passport;
- Your green card (if expired or damaged);
- Two color photos on white background (5x5 cm or 2 inx2in)
- Police report explaining the circumstances of the loss or theft (if applicable);
- Original letter from Migracion Colombia (formerly known as DAS) indicating entries into and departures out of Colombia. The office is located at Calle 100 # 11B-27, Edificio Platinum, Bogotá. Or you can provide official exit and entry stamps in your passport.
- I-797 Receipt Notice from USCIS demonstrating that a petition to remove conditions of residence has been filed (for individuals who were issued conditional resident status and whose green card has expired).
***NOTE: If your request for a transportation letter is approved, you will have to leave your passport at the embassy. Once ready, your passport will be returned to you by DHL in two weeks. ***
For Permanent Residents Outside the United States for More than One Year:
If you were a U.S. lawful permanent resident (LPR) but have been outside of the United States for more than one year and you did not obtain a reentry permit from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) before you left the United States, you cannot re-enter the United States without obtaining a special permission or a new immigrant visa. In most cases, applicants will need a family member in the United States to file a new I-130 petition on their behalf with USCIS. Please visit http://www.uscis.gov/ to learn how to file a new I-130 petition. In a small number of cases, former LPRs can qualify for returning resident status. Please see below for more information on returning resident status.
Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who have been outside the United States for more than one year can sometimes qualify for returning resident status. In general, most LPRs who have been outside the United States for more than one year should consider asking a U.S. citizen or LPR family member to submit a new I-130 petition with USCIS (http://www.uscis.gov/) because it is very difficult to qualify as a returning resident.
To qualify as a returning resident, you must prove that:
- You departed the United States with the intention of returning to an unrelinquished residence; and
- Your stay abroad was for reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible.
If you cannot prove both of these items, please think carefully before applying for returning resident status as payment for this service cannot be refunded if you fail to meet the legal threshold above.. Click here to learn more about the requirements for requesting returning resident status. If you meet all of these requirements, please book an appointment for a returning resident appointment online at http://colombia.usvisa-info.com/. To book an appointment, please call the Visa Information Center at: 325-9851 from Bogotá, at 1-325-9851 from other cities inside Colombia, or at 703-439-2325 from the United States or create an account and then choose “schedule appointment.” From the list that appears, select “Immigrant Visas,” then choose “Returning Residents,” and follow the instructions. On the day of your interview, you must bring the following to the embassy:
- A completed Application to Determine Returning Resident Status, Form DS-117 (available at http://travel.state.gov/visa/forms/forms_1342.html)
- Funds to pay the required application fee (Find the current fee by visiting http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1263.html and choosing “Application for Determining Returning Resident Status” from the list of Special Visa Services at the bottom of the page.) You can pay this fee in U.S. dollars or Colombian pesos, or with a Visa or MasterCard at the Immigrant Visa Unit Window No. 1
- Your Permanent Resident Card (current or expired), Form I-551
- Your valid passport
- Your Re-entry Permit (if applicable)
- Documents that prove when you left the United States (Examples: airline tickets, passport stamps, Migracion Colombia report showing entries into and exits out of Colombia, etc.)
- Proof of your ties to the U.S. and your intention to return (Examples: U.S. tax returns filed during the period you lived outside the United States, evidence of economic, family, and social ties to the U.S., etc.)
- Proof that your protracted stay outside of the U.S. was for reasons beyond your control (Examples: medical incapacitation, employment with a U.S. company, accompanying a U.S. citizen spouse, etc.)
****SPECIAL NOTE FOR LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS WHO GAVE BIRTH WHILE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES****
If you are a lawful permanent resident (LPR) who has returned to Colombia to give birth, your child may be able to travel to the United States without a visa. To qualify, the child must be born under one of the following circumstances:
- The child was born subsequent to the issuance of an immigrant visa to his or her accompanying parent who applies for admission during the validity of such visa; or
- The child’s mother was still a lawful permanent resident when she gave birth in Colombia during a temporary visit abroad;
- The child will enter the United States before s/he turns two; and
- The child will be taken to the United States by either parent on that parent’s first return to the United States after the child’s birth.
If you meet all of these requirements, you can purchase a ticket for the child without visiting the embassy. You should travel with the child’s original birth certificate and your lawful permanent resident card which you can show to the airline to board the airplane, and to Customs & Border Protection upon arrival in the United States.
8 CFR 211.1(b)(2) specifically authorizes a child who meets these criteria to travel without a visa, and states that an airline will not be fined for allowing such a child to travel to the United States.
If you or your child do not meet all of these criteria, you will need to file an I-130 petition for your child with USCIS. Learn more at http://www.uscis.gov/.
NOTE: Although the U.S. Embassy in Bogota has communicated this information to the airlines serving the United States from Colombia, we recommend that you print a copy of this information on this website to present to the airline when you check-in for travel.