Form I-131

To get a travel document, you must submit Form I-131, along with two passport photos and evidence of your need to travel.

Form I-131, also known as the Application for Travel Document and Parole, is used by green card holders and refugee travelers to obtain a temporary travel document or reentry permit. These documents allow them to travel abroad and return to the United States without affecting their immigration status. The document is useful for those who want to visit family members overseas or travel for work. USCIS Form I-131 requires applicants to provide information such as their date of departure and how long they will be gone. Applicants should also choose a place where they would like their travel document sent (e.g., their home address or a U.S. embassy or consulate).

USCIS recommends that you file the form at least 60 days before your trip. Once your application is approved, you will receive an appointment for a biometrics services appointment. This appointment is necessary to gather the physical data that will be used to identify you.

Do You Need I-131 for Green Card?

If you’re a permanent resident (green card holder) and plan to travel outside the United States for more than one year, you must file Form I-131 with USCIS before your trip. The form varies by type of travel document requested, such as a reentry permit, refugee travel document, or advance parole travel document. When filling out the form, be sure to provide accurate and complete information. In addition, be sure to sign the form in black ink. It is also important to provide an email and phone number where you can be reached while traveling. For best results, you should work with an experienced immigration attorney to prepare and submit your I-131. 

How Long Does It Take for I-131 to Get Approved?

The process can take up to a year or more. However, there are options to expedite the application. When filing Form I-131, you will need to include a valid passport and evidence of your eligibility to travel abroad. Evidence may include:

  • A letter from your doctor.
  • Notarized statements from family members.
  • Travel itineraries.

You should also provide an email address and U.S. phone number where USCIS can contact you. You should also sign the form with black ink. If you leave the United States before a decision is made on your application, the Department of Homeland Security will likely deny your readmission into the country. It is possible that DHS can revoke your advance parole while you are traveling overseas, so it is important to consult with an immigration attorney before departing.

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