* WARNING: Consult with an attorney before filing these documents by yourself.
Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, is used to apply for three different types of travel documents:
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 ï¿½Fact Sheet: Traveling Outside the United States as an Asylum Applicant, an Asylee, or Lawful Permanent Resident Who Obtained Such Status Based on Asylum Statusï¿½ to the right for more information.
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.
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 ï¿½Fact Sheet: Traveling Outside the United States as an Asylum Applicant, an Asylee, or Lawful Permanent Resident Who Obtained Such Status Based on Asylum Statusï¿½ link to the right.
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 ï¿½Fact Sheet: Traveling Outside the United States as an Asylum Applicant, an Asylee, or Lawful Permanent Resident Who Obtained Such Status Based on Asylum Statusï¿½ link to the right
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 permitï¿½s 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
Please read the form instructions and Special Instructions section of the document.
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 countryï¿½s 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 ï¿½deferred actionï¿½ Form I-360 as a widow(er)ï¿½s 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:
Last updated: 12/29/2009
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