What is Form I-131?
Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, is the travel authorization form used by green card holders, applicants for adjustment of status, and refugees. Form I-131 can be used to apply for a re-entry permit, refugee travel document, or advance parole travel document.
What are the documents that can be applied for using Form I-131?
- Re-entry Permit– Enables a lawful permanent resident or conditional permanent resident (Green Card Holders qualify for both of these categories) to apply to be admitted into the United States after returning from extended travel abroad, without the need to obtain a returning resident visa from a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate.
- Refugee Travel Document– Can be allotted to an individual in valid refugee or asylee status or to a lawful permanent resident who obtained refugee or asylee status in the United States.
Notes: Individuals with asylee or refugee status and are not lawful permanent residents must have a Refugee Travel Document to return to the United States after traveling abroad unless they possess an Advance Parole Document. You should apply for a Refugee Travel Document before leaving the United States.
- Advance Parole– This allows you to physically enter the United States for a specific purpose without applying for a visa.
- This document can authorize you to appear at a port of entry to seek parole in the United States. However, someone who has been “paroled” has not been permanently admitted to the United States and remains an “applicant for admission” even while paroled.
- Although the document may be accepted by a transportation company instead of a visa as permission to travel to the United States, an Advance Parole Document cannot replace a required passport. Most Advance Parole Documents are issued for multiple entries; however, some are issued for single entries.
When to file Form I-131:
The timing for filing Form I-131 will vary depending on the purpose of the travel. It is important to note that this form must be filed for all applications before traveling outside the US.
In most cases, the ability to travel is only authorized once Form I-131 has been approved.
Often, Form I-131 is filed along with or in connection to other immigration forms. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applications, asylum applications, or applications to adjust status to permanent residence are the most common.
Lawful permanent residents or conditional permanent residents applying for re-entry permits are not required to file any additional forms along with their application.
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