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Immigration Travel Documents

* WARNING: Consult with an attorney before filing these documents by yourself.

Advance Parole


Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, is used to apply for three different types of travel documents:

  • Advance Parole
  • Refugee Travel Document
  • Re-Entry Permit

Below you will find more information about these three types of travel documents. For more information on how to apply for these travel documents, see below.


If you have been in the United States illegally, then you may be subject to a bar to admission if you depart the United States, even if you have been issued a travel document.  For more information please see Section 212(a)(9) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
If you are an asylee who applied for asylum on or after April 1, 1997, then your asylum status may be terminated if you return to the country from which you were seeking protection See the �Fact Sheet: Traveling Outside the United States as an Asylum Applicant, an Asylee, or Lawful Permanent Resident Who Obtained Such Status Based on Asylum Status� to the right for more information.

Advance Parole

Advance parole is issued solely to authorize the temporary parole of a person into the United States. The document may be accepted by a transportation company (airlines) instead of a visa as an authorization to travel to the United States.

An advance parole document does not replace your passport. 

Advance parole is most commonly used when someone has Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status,  pending.  If you depart the U.S. while your I-485 application is pending without first obtaining advance parole, your case will be denied unless you fit into a narrow exception for those maintaining certain nonimmigrant statuses.

Advance Parole for Asylees

An asylum applicant who has a pending Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, and has not received a final decision may be allowed to travel outside the United States. 

If you are an asylum applicant and you intend to travel outside the United States and return  you must apply for and receive advance parole.  If you leave the United States without first obtaining advance parole, we will presume you abandoned your asylum application. 

Advance parole does not guarantee that you will be allowed to reenter the United States, rather, an immigration inspector from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) must inspect you and determine whether you will be allowed to reenter the United States. 

For more information, see the �Fact Sheet: Traveling Outside the United States as an Asylum Applicant, an Asylee, or Lawful Permanent Resident Who Obtained Such Status Based on Asylum Status� link to the right.

Refugee Travel Document

A refugee travel document is issued to a person who has been granted refugee or asylum status, or to a permanent resident who obtained a green card because they were a refugee or asylee.

If you hold refugee or asylee status and are not a permanent resident, you must have a refugee travel document to return to the United States. 

Derivative asylees and refugees must also obtain a refugee travel document before leaving the United States.

If you do not obtain a refugee travel document in advance of departure, you may be unable to re-enter the United States, or you may be placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

For more information, see the �Fact Sheet: Traveling Outside the United States as an Asylum Applicant, an Asylee, or Lawful Permanent Resident Who Obtained Such Status Based on Asylum Status� link to the right

Re-entry Permit

A re-entry permit allows a permanent resident or conditional resident to apply for admission to the U.S. upon returning from abroad during the permit�s validity, without having to obtain a returning resident visa from a U.S. Embassy or consulate. 

Permanent or conditional residents should apply for a re-entry permit if they will be outside the United States for one year or more.


Forms & Instructions

Purpose of Form :
To apply for a reentry permit, refugee travel document or advance parole travel document, to include parole into the U.S. for humanitarian reasons.
Number of Pages :
Form 3; Instructions 10.
Edition Date :
11/23/10 (02/12/10; 07/14/09; 03/24/09; 10/30/08; 05/27/08; 02/26/08 editions also accepted)
Where to File :

Please read the form instructions and Special Instructions section of the document.

Filing Fee :
$360. (Exceptions apply, an $85 biometric fee may be required, see form instructions for details.)
Special Instructions :

If you are filing Form I-131 together with Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, refer to the Federal Register Notice for your particular country�s TPS designation, for the filing location.

If you are filing Form I-131 by itself, based on your pending or approved Form I-821, file your form I-131 with the USCIS Dallas Lockbox facility.  See I-131 instructions.  You must include a copy of the I-797C Notice of Action showing that your application was accepted or approved.

Filing Period for Renewal of an Advance Parole Document:

If you are applying for renewal of your advance parole document (I-512L or I-512), USCIS will accept and adjudicate Form I-131 filed up to 120 days before the date your current Advance Parole document expires.

Biometric Services Requirement

All applicants for a Refugee Travel Document or a Reentry Permit must complete biometrics at an Application Support Center or if applying for a Refugee Travel Document while outside of the U.S. at an overseas USCIS facility.  If you are between age 14 through 79 and you are applying for a Refugee Travel Document or Re-entry Permit, you must also be fingerprinted as part of USCIS biometric services requirements. After you have filed this application, USCIS will notify you in writing of the time and location of your biometrics appointment. Failure to appear to be fingerprinted or for other biometric services may result in a denial of your application. All applicants for Re-entry Permit and/or Refugee Travel Documents between the ages of 14 through 79 are required to pay the additional $85 biometric fee. (See "What Is the Filing Fee" on Page 8 of the I-131 Filing Instructions).

Note: Widow(er)s of Deceased U.S. Citizens

If you filed a Form I-360 in 2009 and obtained a grant of deferred action based on the fact that you are the widow(er) of a U.S. citizen who died before you had been married at least 2 years, the grant of deferred action makes you eligible to apply for advance parole.  To obtain advance parole based on the grant of deferred action, you must file this Form I-131 with the filing fee specified in the Form I-131 instructions. 

But a recent change in the law may affect your ability to immigrate and to seek advance parole.  Section 568(c) of Public Law 111-83 amended the Immigration and Nationality Act so that you may be eligible to immigrate, even if you and your deceased spouse were married for less than 2 years when your spouse died.  This change took effect on October 28, 2009, when the President signed the new law. 

Because of this change in the law, USCIS will now treat your �deferred action� Form I-360 as a widow(er)�s visa petition.  This change means that, if you are in the United States, you may be able to file an adjustment of status application, Form I-485, even while your Form I-360 is still pending.  Instead of filing this Form I-131 based on the grant of deferred action, you may want to consider filing the Form I-131 with your Form I-485.  If you file the Form I-131 based on a pending or concurrently filed Form I-485, you do not need to pay the separate Form I-131 filing fee that you would need to pay if you file the Form I-131 based on the grant of deferred action.   

Your eligibility to immigrate as the widow(er) of a U.S. citizen ends if you remarry before you acquire permanent resident status. 

Important Lockbox Filing Tips:

  • Read and follow all form instructions for fees, filing location, and eligibility requirements.
  • If hand writing your application, ensure all entries are neat and legible.
  • When entering information on your application or petition, be sure to keep your information within the box or space provided. 
  • Use black or blue ink only. Do NOT use highlighters or red ink on your application as they may make your materials undetectable when scanned.
  • Ensure that you are using the correct edition of the form. The correct edition is always available for FREE download at the top of this page.
  • Ensure that printed forms do not have the data fields grayed out. Information entered into grayed-out data fields will not be detected by the machine scanners.
  • Ensure that you provide all required supporting documentation and evidence.
  • Ensure that the supporting documents written in a language other than English are accompanied by an English translation. 
  • Be sure to sign your application.
  • Be sure that you mail all pages of the application.
  • If you must change your form, we recommend that you begin with a new form, rather than trying to white out information. Our scanners may see through the white correction tape or fluid and make your form incorrect, possibly leading to processing delays or rejection.


  • The fee for a Refugee Travel Document for an applicant age 16 or older is $135, and for a child under the age of 16 years, it is $105.
  • A biometric fee of $85 is required for a Reentry Permit and a Refugee Travel Document for applicants ages 14-79 inclusive, unless the applicant resides outside of the United States at the time of filing their form.
  • No biometric fee is required for advance parole applicants.
  • The application fee and biometrics services fee may be paid with one check, however, we suggest that if you are filing more than one application, that you use a separate check or money order for each application in the package and biometric fees (if required). If a single check is submitted for multiple applications and one of the applications must be rejected, then all applications will be rejected.  The Lockbox can not accept overpayment and make partial refunds. Checks m


Last updated: 12/29/2009

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