What is Form I-131?
Any non-U.S. citizen traveling outside the United States must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document with the exception of permanent residents.
Immigrant/non-immigrant Visa Holders
- Foreigners with immigrant or non-immigrant visas must file Form I-131 when traveling outside the United States.
- Traveling within the United States do not require Form I-131.
Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders)
- If travel duration is less than 2 years, permanent residents are not required to file Form I-131 when traveling outside the United States.
- If travel duration is longer than 2 years, permanent residents must file Form I-131 when traveling outside the United States.
- Traveling within the United States do not require Form I-131.
- Please note that for Permanent Residents who lose their green card while traveling outside of the United States, they must use Form 131A, Application for Travel Documents (Carrier Documentation) to obtain a reentry permit.
It is important applicants properly submit Form I-131 as failure to file I 131 may prevent the applicant from re-entering the country. When submitting, there are three types of travel documents for applicants:
- Re-Entry Permit
- For green card holders who want to be outside of the United states for 1 year or more, they must apply for a re-entry permit in order to return to the country. Typically, a green card is enough to pass through customs back into the United States but only if the departure duration is for 1 year or less. Permit is only available for permanent residents and is valid for 2 years.
- Refugee Travel Document
- This is only available for refugees and asylees who want to travel outside of the United States. Since people with refugee or asylum status do not have passports or green cards, they must apply for this travel document to be able to return to the country. The permit is valid for 1 year.
- Advance Parole
- Advance parole grants permission to reenter the United States for people who are adjustment of status applicants who are in transition and do not fall within any specific category of status, U visa holders, and those under a protected status. The permit is valid for 1 year.
While the USCIS does not require applicants to wait for approval before leaving the country, applicant should be aware the USCIS may request a fingerprinting appointment (biometrics service). Failing to show up at the appoint may lead to a rejection.
What are Form I-131 Instructions?
Filing fee and instructions for Form I-131 vary depending on the application type and age of the applicant.
|Application Type A||Form Fee||Biometric Service Fee||Total Fee|
|13 or younger||$575||None||$575|
|14 to 79||$575||$85||$660|
|80 or older||$575||None||$575|
|Application Type B/C||Form Fee||Biometric Service Fee||Total Fee|
|13 or younger||$105||None||$105|
|14 or 15||$105||$85||$190|
|16 to 79||$135||$85||$220|
|80 or older||$135||None||$135|
|Application Type D/E/F||Form Fee||Biometric Service Fee||Total Fee|
|Advance Parole – Type D (pending I-Form I-485/I-821
or approved Form I-821D)
|Advance Parole – Type E (humanitarian parole)||$575||None||$575|
|Advance Parole – Type F (humanitarian parole)||$575||None||$575|
Applicants under certain financial circumstances can file a fee waiver form (I-912) to waive the filing and biometric fees. An example of valid circumstance is an individual living at or below 150% of federal poverty guidelines.
In addition, no additional fee is necessary if the applicant meets one of the following criteria:
- Filing Form I-131 as Application Type B or D
- Filed Form I-485 with a fee after July 29, 2007
Who is Eligible for Form I-131?
Form I-131 is an application for a re-entry permit, or travel document, designed for citizens and permanent residents of the United States. Any individual who has received a green card, or is a citizen of the United States, is eligible to submit Form I-131.
What is the Latest Form I-131 Edition?
The most recent edition of Form I-131 is dated 09/30/20.
What are the Required Documents for Form I-131?
1. Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
2. Copy of your valid nonimmigrant visa (if applicable)
3. Copy of your passport identification page
4. Proof of payment of the filing fee
5. Two passport-style photos
6. Evidence of latest legal status in the U.S.
7. Evidence of relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (if applicable)
8. Evidence of employment authorization (if applicable)
9. Other relevant documentation (as applicable)
How to Submit Form I-131?
Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document) is used to apply for various types of travel documents, such as advance parole, re-entry permits, and refugee travel documents. To submit the form, you must first download and print the form from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. After completing the form, you must gather supporting documents and submit them along with the form.
Once your form is completed and all the necessary documents are gathered, mail them to the USCIS address listed on the form instructions. Be sure to include the filing fee or an approved fee waiver request. If you require expedited processing, you must also include a request for expedited processing and provide proof of emergency situation. You can also submit your application electronically via USCIS’s e-Filing system.
After the USCIS receives your application, they may contact you if they need additional information or documents. After they complete their review of your application, they will make a decision regarding your request for a travel document.
What are the Filing Tips for Form I-131?
1. Ensure that you have all the necessary documents and information required for Form I-131.
2. Double check and make sure that all the information and documents you provide are accurate.
3. Make sure that you sign and date the form after completing it.
4. Include supporting documents such as passport photos, travel itineraries, and other supporting evidence of your identity and purpose of travel.
5. Submit your application and fees with certified check or money order made payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”.
6. Mail your application and supporting documents to the address indicated on the form instructions, or submit online through USCIS ELIS if available to you.
7. Follow up on the status of your application with the processing time indicated on the USCIS website for Form I-131.
Are There Special Instructions for Form I-131?
Yes, there are special instructions for Form I-131. The form is used to apply for a re-entry permit, refugee travel document, or advance parole travel document. Depending on the document you are applying for, there are different instructions and fees you must follow.
You will need to provide evidence of your valid immigration status in the United States, and proof of identity. You will also need to submit proof of a valid purpose for travel and evidence of why you need the travel document. You may be asked to provide additional supporting evidence and documents.
You must also pay the filing fee, which can range from $575 to $575 for a re-entry permit or $575 for a refugee travel document or advance parole travel document. Additionally, if you are applying from outside the United States, you must pay an additional biometrics fee of $85.
When completing the form, you must provide detailed information about yourself and your travels. You must also make sure all information is accurate and truthful; any false or incomplete information may lead to delays or denials in your application.
Once your application is complete and all fees have been paid, you should submit your application to the office listed on Form I-131’s instructions.
What is the Form I-131 Fee?
The Form I-131 Fee is the fee that must be paid when filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The fee for Form I-131 is currently $575, although certain applicants may be eligible for a fee waiver or reduced fee.
Can I Apply for Form I-131 Fee Waiver or Reduction?
Yes, you can apply for a Form I-131 fee waiver or reduction if you meet certain requirements. To be eligible, you must: have a low income and financial hardship, be the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or be an asylum applicant. Additionally, you must provide evidence that the fee would create a significant financial hardship for you or your family. If you meet these requirements, you must submit Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, along with your application for Form I-131.
What is the Form I-131 Processing Time?
The processing time for Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document) can vary depending on the type of travel document you are requesting and your current immigration status. Generally, processing times can range from 3-5 months but can take longer in some cases. Applicants should check the processing times on the USCIS website for the most up-to-date information.
Form I-131 Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Form I-131?
A: Form I-131 is an application form used by non-U.S. citizens to obtain a travel document, such as a re-entry permit, advance parole, or refugee travel document.
Q: Who should file Form I-131?
A: Anyone who is not a U.S. citizen and needs to travel outside the United States is required to file Form I-131. This includes people with permanent residence status (green card holders), refugees, and asylees.
Q: How much does it cost to file Form I-131?
A: The fee for filing Form I-131 is currently $575 USD, which must be paid with a credit card, debit card, or check.
Q: How long does it take for Form I-131 to be processed?
A: The processing time for Form I-131 varies depending on the type of application and the current workload of the USCIS. Generally, it can take anywhere from 1 to 6 months or more for an application to be processed.
Q: What documents do I need to file Form I-131?
A: The documents required to file Form I-131 depend on the purpose of your application. Generally, you will need to provide proof of your identity, such as a passport or birth certificate, proof of your immigration status, such as a green card, and evidence of your travel plans.
Q: Where can I get more information about filing Form I-131?
A: The USCIS website has detailed information about filing Form I-131, including instructions and requirements for each type of application. You can also reach out directly to the USCIS if you have any questions about your application.