United States flag icon

Official websites use .gov A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Need help? Visit a USCIS office

We want your feedback, citizenship.

  • Sign In Create Account
  • Create Account
  • Find a doctor
  • Find an English or citizenship class
  • Learn about the naturalization process
  • Learn about citizenship rights and responsibilities
  • Schedule an appointment

USCIS Guide

Find Answers to Immigration Questions

I-131: Application for Travel Document

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.
  • 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:

  • 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 .
  • 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 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.

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.

en_US

Form I-131: The Advance Parole Travel Document Explained

If you have or are applying for a green card, DACA status, or certain humanitarian visas, and you want to travel outside the United States, you need to get a travel document from the U.S. government. You apply for this document by filing Form I-131: Application for Travel Document with USCIS. This allows you to get what’s called an Advance Parole document. Below is a guide on how to apply for Advance Parole step-by-step as well as tips for to plan for your temporary travel.

Jonathan Petts

Written by Jonathan Petts .  Updated September 24, 2023

What Is Advance Parole?

An Advance Parole document allows current green card applicants to leave the United States for temporary travel and return without disrupting their green card (permanent resident card) application process. There are a few situations you can be in while applying for Advance Parole, such as: having a pending application for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or being a DACA recipient. In this article, we are focusing on individuals applying for Advance Parole with a pending green card application . 

To apply for Advance Parole, you must file Form I-131: Application for Travel Document with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Green card applicants looking to travel abroad for any reason must obtain Advance Parole before leaving the United States. If you leave the U.S. without the proper travel documents, USCIS will close your green card application.  

Why Do I Need Advance Parole?

You need Advance Parole if you have a pending green card (permanent resident card) application and want to take a trip outside the United States. If you leave the United States without Advance Parole and USCIS hasn’t approved your green card application, the agency will consider your case abandoned and likely deny for application.

If USCIS closes your green card application, you have to start the process over again, which is expensive and time-consuming. To avoid this, you need to complete Form I-131: Application for Travel Document and apply for Advance Parole before leaving the U.S.

You do not need to apply for Advance Parole if you are waiting for USCIS to process your Form I-485 and you are: 

A temporary worker under a valid H-1 visa (or their spouse or child)

An intra-company transferee under a valid L-1 visa (or their spouse or child)

Who Is Eligible for Advance Parole?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines eligibility on a case-by-case basis. You’re eligible to apply for Advance Parole if you fall within one of these categories:

You submitted an adjustment of status green card application using Form I-485

You applied for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)* 

You submitted an asylum application or you are an asylee

You currently have a pending application for temporary resident status under Section 245(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

USCIS granted you TPS, T nonimmigrant, or U nonimmigrant status 

USCIS or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) granted you humanitarian parole under Section 212 (d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

You received benefits through the Family Unity Program

You’re a DACA recipient

*On July 1, 2022 USCIS began issuing a new travel authorization document for people who receive TPS. This new form is called: Form I-512T, Authorization for Travel by a Noncitizen to the United States.

Who Is Not Eligible for Advance Parole?

You aren’t eligible for Advance Parole if one or more of the following applies to you:

You are residing in the United States without valid immigration status after entering unlawfully many times

You have a valid reentry permit or refugee document 

You are on a J visa or a visa with a foreign residence requirement

You are a beneficiary of a private immigration bill approved by Congress

You are currently in the middle of a removal proceeding (deportation)

You are an asylee or a refugee, but you’re not adjusting your status to a green card 

If you’ve been in the United States unlawfully, you may file for Advance Parole. However, even if granted, you still may be barred from reentry by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

If you’ve lived in the United States without status for any period of time, you should always consult an immigration lawyer before traveling abroad. If you can't afford a lawyer, you can contact a legal aid office for help.

How Do I Apply for Advance Parole? A Step-by-Step Guide

First, you will need to complete the official application form, called Form I-131: Application for Travel Document. When you have completed the form, you will have to gather the government filing fees and supporting documentation, and then finally submit them together with Form I-131 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Step 1: Complete Form I-131

Form I-131 is officially called the Application for Travel Document. This document is used for anyone applying for a Reentry Permit, a Refugee Travel Document, and Advance Parole. You cannot submit your travel permit request to the U.S. government without completing and signing this form. 

You can complete the form in two ways — either online by creating a MyUSCIS account or on paper by downloading, printing, and completing the most recent version of Form I-131 from the USCIS website. You will need your Alien Registration Number (A Number) to complete your application.

Step 2: Gather Fees & Supporting Documents for Form I-131

When you have completed Form I-131, it is time to gather the $575 filing fee and the required supporting documents. You must include these supporting documents with the Form I-131 application:

Your receipt notice from USCIS after filing Form I-485, if your green card is pending

Two passport-style photographs 

USCIS-issued document showing the validity of your current immigration status — this could be an approval/receipt notice ( Form I-797 )

A photocopy of a government-issued identification document (ID), which must include your name, date of birth, and a photo — examples of acceptable forms of ID include a passport, drivers license, and employment authorization document (EAD)

Marriage certificate (if applying for Advance Parole based on your spouse’s pending green card application)

Child’s birth certificate (if applying for Advance Parole for a child based on a pending child green card application)

Detailed evidence explaining your reasons for traveling — you can explain your reasons with a Declaration of Support Letter

If any of your supporting documents aren’t in English, USCIS requires the documents be accompanied by a certified English translation .

It’s also a good idea to include a cover letter for your application. This short letter explains what supporting documents are in your application and helps keep things organized.

Step 3: Submit Your Application

You can submit your completed Form I-131: Application for Travel Document and supporting documents to USCIS either online or by mail. To submit online, you must first create a MyUSCIS account . Then you can submit your petition through your account on the USCIS website.

If you choose to submit your USCIS forms by mail, you will have to send your application packet to a specific USCIS filing address. The address depends on where you live and what mail service you use to send your forms. For Advance Parole applicants who have a pending Form I-485 (green card) application, you’ll send your documents either to the USCIS lockbox in Chicago, Dallas, or Phoenix. The USCIS website lists these addresses .

If You’re Filing Form I-131 Overseas

If you’re filing Form I-131 overseas, you must first get permission from your local U.S. embassy or consulate. You’ll have to set up an appointment with your local U.S. embassy to make your request in person. The State Department has an up-to-date list of all U.S. embassies and consulates.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Advance Parole?

The filing fee for Form I-131 is $575. If you cannot afford this filing fee, you may be able to apply for a fee waiver by filing Form I-912 . You can also check out our tips for fundraising the fees .

You can pay using a money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or credit card. All checks should be made payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” If you’re using a credit card, you must also file Form G-1450 : Authorization for Credit Card Transactions with your Form I-131 application. USCIS can only process your credit card payment using Form G-1450. 

How Long Does It Take To Get Advance Parole?

It’s currently taking USCIS 6 to 18 months to process Advance Parole applications. Processing times vary a lot by USCIS service center and may change over time. Your Form I-131 application can be delayed if you didn’t fill it out completely and correctly, mail it to the correct address, and ensure USCIS received it. 

The application processing time may take longer if the USCIS service center handling your case is experiencing significant processing backlogs. You can see USCIS’ current processing times on its webpage.

I Have an Emergency. Can I Get Advance Parole Quicker?

In some cases, USCIS will expedite applications. This can reduce the processing time to 30 days. To expedite your Advance Parole document application, you must demonstrate to USCIS that:

You’ve suffered a financial loss to your company or person

You’re experiencing an emergency

You have a valid humanitarian reason

You’re affiliated with a nonprofit organization requesting an expedited application for culture or social interests benefiting the United States

Your request is made by the Department of Defense or another U.S. government agency to promote the national interest

USCIS made an administrative error

You have another compelling interest determined by USCIS

USCIS grants emergency Advance Parole requests based on its officers’ discretion in emergencies. To do this, you will have to visit the nearest USCIS office with the following documents:

A completed Form I-131

Evidence supporting the emergency request

Two passport-style photos

Successful emergency Advance Parole requests are usually processed on the same day. 

What You Need To Know When Traveling With Advance Parole

Once you’ve successfully applied for Advance Parole, you cannot leave the United States until you’ve received your physical travel document. 

Typically, an Advance Parole document allows you temporary travel for up to one year abroad. However, USCIS reserves the right to revoke your Advance Parole document for any reason. If this happens, you cannot return to the United States without a valid U.S. visa or other documentation. 

You should also be mindful of scheduled fingerprinting ( biometric services ) and interview appointments. Although your travel permit may allow temporary travel for up to one year, you may miss many of these appointments without regularly returning to the U.S. 

The same goes for regularly receiving mailed communications (such as a notice of action ) from USCIS, which help you understand the status of your application. It’s best to make arrangements to receive mail while traveling abroad or update your mailing address with USCIS.

Reentry Into the U.S.

It is important to know that even if you have a valid Advance Parole document , there is no guarantee you can reenter the U.S. after traveling abroad. When arriving at a port of entry upon your return to the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will conduct an inspection and determine your admission back into the U.S. Unfortunately, DHS could deny your reentry. 

It is also possible for DHS to revoke your Advance Parole at any time, including while you are abroad. This can happen even if your Form I-131 application has been approved and you have the correct Advance Parole documents. With these risks, it is crucial to determine whether temporary travel outside of the United States is necessary.

Continue reading and learning!

SimpleCitizen

  • USCIS Forms

Form I-131, Application for Travel: Everything You Need To Know

In order to enter the United States after traveling abroad you will have to apply for a travel document. The Form I-131 , Application for Travel Document is part of the application for several travel documents, some for simple re-entry and others for rare humanitarian crisis. These are the travel documents that the Form I-131 is required for:

travel document from the uscis

  • Re-entry Permit: for lawful and conditional permanent residents traveling abroad to re-enter the country.
  • Refugee Travel Document: for refugees or residents with asylum status traveling abroad to re-enter the country.
  • Advanced Parole Document for Individuals Currently in the United States: advanced parole is permission for an immigrant to enter the United States for a specific purpose. A “paroled” individual remains an “applicant for admission” and they can continue filing for a different immigration status.
  • Advanced Parole Document for Individuals Outside the United States: this rare measure is used to allow individuals to travel to the United States for a short time to seek parole, who in normal circumstances would be considered inadmissible. This is used in cases of urgent humanitarian need or for significant public benefit.

How to Apply

You can download the PDF document from the USCIS website free of charge here . You can print it off, or you can type in your information into the PDF.

*Note: if you are typing the information in the PDF file be sure not to alter the bottom of the page with notes, staples, spills or anything else after you’ve printed it out. The USCIS uses 2D barcode technology to read information that was typed into the application.

Have a question about Form I-131? Ask it in the discussion board.

How much does it cost?

Re-entry permit: $575.

+ A biometrics services fee of $85 is required for applicants ages 14 through 79.

Refugee Travel Document: $105 to $220

$135 (for an applicant age 16 or older) or $105 (for a child younger than 16)

A biometrics services fee of $85 is required for applicants ages 14 through 79.

Advance Parole Document: $575

All fees are paid by check or money orders. They must be drawn from a financial institution that is located in the United States. It must be payable in U.S. dollars, and should be made to be payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,  written exactly like that. If you do not live inside the United States, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate and they will give you instructions for payment. 

USCIS fees do change sometimes. You can check the updated amount here or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. If you cannot pay the fee then check out the USCIS’ guide for Filing for a Fee Waiver .

What evidence needs to be attached?

Each travel document requires different evidences to be submitted along with the Form I-131 . However, each document does require a copy of an official photo identity document showing your photo, name, and date of birth.

In addition, the Re-entry Permit requires:

  • A copy of the front and back of your Form I-551; or
  • If you have not yet received your Form I-551, a copy of the biographic pages of your passport and a copy of the visa page showing your initial admission as a lawful permanent resident, or other evidence that you are a lawful permanent resident; or
  • A copy of the Form I-797 , Notice of Action, approval notice of an application for replacement of your Form I-551 or temporary evidence of lawful permanent resident status.

For the Refugee Travel Document  you just have to attach a copy of the document that proves your refugee or asylee status (with the the expiration date). This document was issued to you by the USCIS. 

The requirements for the Advance Parole Document for Individuals Who Are Currently in the United States are a lot more extensive. Here they are according to USCIS.

  • A copy of any document issued to you by USCIS showing your present status, if any, in the United States.
  • An explanation or other evidence showing the circumstances that warrant issuance of an Advance ParoleDocument; or
  • If you are an applicant for adjustment of status, a copy of a USCIS receipt as evidence that you filed the adjustment application; or
  • If you are traveling to Canada to apply for an immigrant visa, a copy of the U.S. consular appointment letter; or
  • If USCIS has deferred action in your case under DACA, you must include a copy of the Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing that the decision on your Form I-821D was to defer action in your case. If ICE deferred action in your case under DACA, submit a copy of the approval order, notice or letter issued by ICE. You must complete Part 4. of the form indicating how your intended travel fits within 1 of the 3 purposes below. You must also provide evidence of your reason for travel outside of the United States including the dates of travel and the expected duration outside the United States. If your advance parole application is approved, the validity dates of your Advance Parole Document will be for the duration of the documented need for travel.

Examples of acceptable evidence:

Educational purposes.

(a) A letter from a school employee acting in an official capacity describing the purpose of the travel and explaining why travel is required or beneficial; or

(b) A document showing enrollment in an educational program requiring travel.

Employment Purposes

A letter from your employer or a conference host describing the need for the travel. 

Humanitarian Purposes

(a) A letter from your physician explaining the nature of your medical condition, the specific medical treatment to be sought outside of the United States, and a brief explanation why travel outside the U.S. is medically necessary; or

(b) Documentation of a family member’s serious illness or death

For applications for an Advance Parole Document for an Individual Who is Outside the United States  there are different evidences required depending on if you are applying under a Family Reunification Parole policy there are different evidence requirements. Applications independent of a Family Reunification Parole policy have different requirements as well.

Both the Refugee Travel Document and Advance Parole Documents need passport-style photos attached to the application.

Where do you send the Form I-131?

Once you have filled out the form and gathered all supporting documentation, you’re ready to send it in! But where you send the form is different depending on your situation. Here is the address list of where to send your application

Was this article helpful?

Related articles.

  • Cómo preparar y enviar el Formulario I-693
  • Cómo obtener las vacunas requeridas o solicitar una exención
  • ¿Qué es el formulario I-797?
  • How to File as a Joint Sponsor
  • What is the USCIS Form I-765 Filing Fee?
  • Form I-765 EAD Step by Step Guide

Leave a Comment Cancel

travel document from the uscis

An official website of the United States government

Here’s how you know

Official websites use .gov A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( Lock Locked padlock icon ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Visit the USAGov homepage

Travel documents for foreign citizens returning to the U.S.

If you are a citizen of another country and have been living in the U.S., you may need special documents if you leave the U.S. and then return.

Travel documents for permanent and conditional permanent residents

If you are outside the u.s. for less than one year.

If you are a permanent or conditional permanent resident who has been away from the U.S. for less than one year, you will only need to show your Green Card upon re-entry to the U.S.

If you are outside the U.S. for one year or longer

If you are a permanent or conditional permanent resident who has been outside the U.S. for one year or longer, apply for a re-entry permit before you travel. Use Form I-131 - Application for Travel Document .

  • For permanent residents, the re-entry permit is valid for two years from the date of issue.
  • For conditional permanent residents, the re-entry permit is valid for two years after the date of issue. Or it is valid up until the date you must apply for removal of the conditions on your status , whichever date comes first.

Travel documents for other foreign citizens living in the U.S.

If you are a foreign citizen re-entering the U.S., the documentation you need may depend on your immigration status:

  • Advance parole - You may use advance parole to re-enter the U.S. without applying for a visa. It is commonly used for re-entry by people in the process of applying for permanent residence, applying for a status adjustment, or applying for asylum.
  • Refugee travel document - You may be able to use this document to re-enter the U.S. if you have refugee or asylum status.

If you need help, contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) .

LAST UPDATED: May 22, 2024

Have a question?

Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They will get you the answer or let you know where to find it.

talk icon

Logo Williams Law

Form I-131 – How to Apply for a Travel Document

Form I-131 – How to Apply for a Travel Document

Let us help you start your application today!

Last updated: April 2, 2024.

By Asel Williams, Esq . · Columbia Law School · Licensed immigration attorney

Application for Travel Document, or Form I-131, is a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form which allows applicants to apply for a Reentry Permit, Refugee Travel Document or Advance Parole.

This article will discuss how adjustment of status (Form I-485) applicants who are currently in the U.S. can apply for a travel document, or Advance Parole.

If you need to apply for a Refugee Travel Document or Re-Entry Permit, see our guides:

Refugee Travel Document

Reentry Permit

What is Advance Parole?

An Advance Parole document (Form I-512) is a form of temporary travel authorization that allows someone living in the U.S. to travel abroad while awaiting their green card.

Nonimmigrants in the United States such as adjustment of status applicants must obtain Advance Parole to obtain permission to reenter the United States after traveling abroad without jeopardizing their status.

Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status , is used by a person in the United States to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

Adjustment of status applicants must be granted Advance Parole before leaving the United States.

If they have not obtained Advance Parole prior to traveling abroad, they cannot be permitted to re-enter the United States upon their return from abroad.

An Advance Parole serves the following functions:

  • It enables an alien to come back to the U.S. after traveling abroad without having to obtain a visa to enter the U.S.
  • It preserves the pending Adjustment of Status application that the alien has filed

Attention: If you are an adjustment of status applicant and travel outside the United States without an Advance Parole Document while Form I-485 is pending, your case will be presumed abandoned and denied.

If you apply for an Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) and then enter the U.S. on a visa instead of an Advance Parole document, your pending I-485 petition can be considered to have been abandoned (except in the situations that you come back with valid H-1 and L-1 visas).

For example, if you are an applicant for Adjustment of Status, then leave the U.S. and re-enter on a non-immigrant visa such as an F-1 visa, you will be considered to have abandoned your adjustment of status application. 

What is a Reentry Permit?

If you are a lawful permanent resident and you expect to spend significant time outside the United States but intend to return to the U.S, you will need a Reentry Permit.

Form I-131 can be used by green card holders to apply for a reentry permit.

Normally, if you are a permanent resident, you can use a green card to reenter the United States after traveling abroad.

However, your green card will be assumed to be abandoned if the absence is one year or more.

A Reentry Permit can help prevent this problem.

Lawful permanent residents or conditional permanent residents who plan to travel outside the United States for more than one year, but less than two years, can apply for a Reentry Permit. 

Reentry Permit can serve as a passport for a U.S. permanent resident if he/she has no passport and cannot obtain it from the country of his/her nationality.

If you are a permanent resident and you are outside the country for more than a year without a Reentry Permit, you will most likely be denied reentry into the U.S. on the ground that you have abandoned your permanent resident status.

What is a Refugee Travel Document?

If you have a refugee or asylum status and you wish to travel outside the United States, and you wish to return later to the U.S, you can apply for a Refugee Travel Document .

You can use your Refugee Travel Document to travel in place of a passport.

If you do not obtain a Refugee Travel Document before you leave the U.S., you can be unable to re-enter the United States, or you can be placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

To apply for a Refugee Travel Document, file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.

You should file a Form I-131 before you leave the United States and expect processing times of approximately 3 to 5 months. However, it can take longer.

A Refugee Travel Document is valid for up to one year. During this time, you can use the document multiple times.

Form I-131 – The difference between an Advance Parole and a Reentry Permit

Advance Parole is issued to you if you do not have permanent resident status. 

A Reentry Permit is issued to you if you are a permanent resident of the U.S.

The two documents are dissimilar in physical appearance: Advance Parole is a single piece of paper bearing your photo, whereas a Re-entry Permit looks like a passport.

An Advance Parole functions much like a visa to the United States while a Reentry Permit functions like a passport.

If you have an Advance Parole document, you still need a foreign passport to enter into the United States.

If you are a permanent resident with a Reentry Permit you do not need a foreign passport to enter the United States.

Another difference is the duration: Advance Parole is valid for one year, whereas a Reentry Permit is valid for two years.

Form I-131 – Who Can File It?

If you are in the United States, you can apply for Advance Parole if you have:

  • An application for adjustment of status (Form I-485) pending.
  • Been granted benefits under the Family Unity Program.
  • A pending application for Temporary Protected Status ( TPS ) Form I-821 or been granted Temporary Protected Status.
  • Have been granted T or U nonimmigrant status

If you have an application pending with USCIS, and you leave the United States on advance parole, you can miss important notices from USCIS regarding your application, including requests for additional evidence ( RFE ).

If you do not respond timely to these notices, USCIS can deem your application abandoned and you will not receive the benefit you seek.

It is very important that you make appropriate arrangements to ensure you do not miss any such important notices from USCIS.

What are the benefits of Advance Parole?

Applying for Advance Parole comes with the following benefits:

  • It will enable you to return to the U.S. after traveling abroad without the necessity of obtaining a visa.
  • It preserves whatever Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) applications that you have pending with the USCIS.

Form I-131 Checklist

If you are applying for Advance Parole, you will need to submit the following:

  • An accurately completed Application for Travel Document, Form I-131
  • A receipt notice for Form I-485
  • Two passport photos
  • Your biographical information
  • Phone number and current address
  • Form I-131 fees

Form I-131 Fees

Certain applicants may be eligible for a Fee Waiver. 

Form I-131 Processing Time

USCIS takes approximately 3-5 months to process your Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.

However, if you are experiencing an extremely urgent situation, you can visit your local USCIS office to request an Advance Parole Document on an emergency basis. 

You can’t leave the country until you have your approved travel document in hand, so you should expect to spend the 3-5 months after submitting your green card application in the United States.

How long will my Advance Parole document be valid?

An Advance Parole Document is valid for one year after it was issued.

How can I renew my Advance Parole document?

If you are yet to receive your green card and you plan to travel after that year has elapsed, it is advisable to renew your travel document.

You can file a renewal application as early as 100 days before your current Advance Parole document expires. It is important to submit the renewal as early as possible.

The renewal Advance Parole document will usually be processed within the same timeframe as that for the initial application, which is 5 months or longer. It’s important to plan early to avoid gaps in your ability to travel.

To renew your Advance Parole document, submit Form I-131 with a copy of your current Advance Parole document, a copy of the receipt notice from your green card application, and two passport-sized photos.

Form I-131 – Expedited Processing

It takes at least 90 days or more for USCIS to process your Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.

You may, however, be able to get expedited processing of a travel document in certain situations. Such situations include:

  • Severe financial loss to company or person
  • Emergency situations
  • Humanitarian reasons
  • A nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States
  • Department of Defense or National Interest Situation
  • Compelling interest of USCIS.

How can I request an Expedited Processing on Form I-131?

Since it takes more than 90 days to obtain a travel document, it is always advisable to apply for one as early as possible.

However, when there is an emergency that needs your attention abroad, there are steps you can take as an applicant to apply for one on an expedited basis. The tips are discussed below:

Write a cover letter requesting expedited processing. In the cover letter, outline the reasons for your expedited request. If the criteria outline above is met, USCIS can expedite your application for Advance Parole. 

To prove that one of the criteria has been met, you can submit evidence. Such evidence can include a medical report if the situation involves someone who is sick.

Gather the necessary evidence that proves your urgent need. It is important that you gather the required documentation that supports your reason for expedited processing.

As discussed above, you can provide proof of fatality, hospital records or a letter from the doctor. Keep in mind that the kind of evidence you will submit will determine if your request for the expedited processing of the travel document will be successful.

Prepare your application for the Travel Document . Complete Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. It is important that you prepare the application accurately.

Include the cover letter, filing fee, and all the supporting documentation according to the filing instructions. You can also use an overnight method to mail your expedited request. 

Contact USCIS .  It is advisable that you contact USCIS one week after filing to follow up on your request.

Can I file Form I-131 from abroad?

If you are outside the United States, you can apply for an Advance Parole Document if you:

  • Need to visit the United States temporarily for an urgent humanitarian reason or for significant public benefit
  • Unable to obtain the necessary visa and any required waiver of inadmissibility or consent to reapply for admission.

Under these conditions, an Advance Parole Document is granted on a case-by-case basis for a temporary period, according to any conditions that can be placed on parole.

Someone in the United States can also file the application for you.

Returning to the United States without a travel document

Before departing the United States, you need to understand the risks associated with traveling abroad while your Adjustment of Status application is pending.

You should obtain your travel document before leaving the United States. If you depart from the United States before the Advance Parole Document is issued, your application for an Advance Parole Document will be considered abandoned.

Returning to the United States with a travel document

Even if you have an Advance Parole Document and you leave the United States, it can impact your ability to return to the United States.

An Advance Parole Document does not entitle you to parole or guarantee that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will parole you into the United States upon your return. 

If you are using an Advance Parole Document to leave and return to a port of entry in the United States, you are considered an applicant for admission upon your return.

You will be subject to inspection at a port of entry and you cannot be admitted if you are found to be inadmissible under any applicable provision of immigration law.

If the Department of Homeland Security determines that you are inadmissible, you can be subject to expedited removal proceedings or to removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

In conclusion, it is important to apply for an Advance Parole Document if you are an adjustment of status applicant and you intend to travel abroad. 

Related Links:

Form I-131 instructions – how to fill out

Advance Parole

travel document from the uscis

Marriage green card

Family green card, adjustment of status, affidavit of support, u.s. citizenship, remove conditions on residence, married to a u.s. citizen and living in the u.s., married to a u.s. citizen and living abroad, marriage green card income requirements, married to a green card holder and living abroad, married to a green card holder and living in the u.s., how long does it take to get a marriage based green card, marriage green card - how much does it cost, form i-130, petition for alien relative, cost to petition a relative, form i-130, form i-130 is approved - what to do next, uscis case processing times, how to fill out form i-130a, form i-751 checklist, 1-888-922-6632, [email protected], 42 broadway, suite 12-437, new york, ny 10004, mon-fri 9am - 7pm est., trustpilot reviews, avvo reviews, all immigration forms are available free of charge on u.s. citizenship and immigration services (uscis) . “selflawyer” (messis, llc) is not affiliated with uscis or any other government agency. © 2021 selflawyer (messis, llc). all rights reserved.

Image of chandelier light

IMMIGRATION LAW BLOG

Stay up-to-date on the latest immigration law news, with the Cohen & Tucker team's insights behind the headlines

Application for Travel Document: Form I-131 Explained

How to apply for advance parole.

travel document from the uscis

If you’re waiting to be issued a green card or you have an active case with immigration, USCIS doesn’t want you to leave the country without advance permission. 

Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, allows people with pending cases to obtain permission to travel outside of the country temporarily. This is what you should know about how, when, and why to use form I-131.

What Is Form I-131?

Form I-131, Application for Travel Document is used to apply for an advance parole document. Advance parole allows people who are not permanent residents or U.S. citizens to leave and re-enter the United States under specific circumstances for a limited amount of time. 

The word “parole” is often associated with a criminal being let out of prison before they’ve completed their term. In immigration, the term “parole” means something different . You aren’t in trouble, and you certainly aren’t regarded as a criminal. The term as used by immigration means that you’ve received special permission to travel while your application is pending and you are “paroled” into the U.S. to continue the application process. 

If you are not yet a permanent resident or a citizen, you may need an approved Form I-131 before you can depart the country without jeopardizing your immigration status or ongoing applications with USCIS. 

Leaving the country without obtaining a travel document could be interpreted as abandoning your USCIS case. A travel document shows intent to return to the United States.

Who Needs Form I-131?

If you have a pending application with USCIS for asylum or adjustment of status, you aren’t allowed to leave the country. This would result in your application being deemed abandoned. 

If you encounter a situation where you need to briefly leave the country (like to complete the sale of your old home, visit a sick family member, or attend the wedding of a loved one), you need permission from USCIS to travel. 

A travel document will give you permission to come and go before you become a permanent resident or asylee of the United States. Once you receive permanent resident status, you’ll no longer need a travel document for trips outside of the United States shorter than 12 months. If you become a citizen, you won’t need a travel document for any trips outside of the United States, regardless of their duration. 

Form I-131 can also be used to apply for a re-entry permit, which can allow permanent residents to remain outside the United States for a year or more.

How Do You Use Form I-131 for a Re-Entry Permit?

USCIS wants you to file Form I-131 before you leave the country. If you’re a lawful permanent resident of the United States, they want you to travel for less than one year at a time. If you’re a permanent resident who stayed outside of the United States for one year or more without a travel document, you may need to take a few extra steps before you return. 

If you’ve been gone for more than twelve months, you’ll likely be taken aside at the airport for secondary inspection by the Department of Homeland Security . Immigration officials can claim that you attempted to abandon your permanent resident status and attempt to have it revoked, which will lead to a lengthy legal battle. You may be placed into removal proceedings and ultimately returned to your country of origin if you cannot establish you did not intend to abandon your residence.

If you had a legitimate reason for staying outside of the United States for a year or more, you can apply for a returning resident visa. Consular officials will consider situations like serious illness or injury to you or a family member to be a pressing circumstance. They no longer consider COVID-related claims. 

After viewing your case, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate may issue you a returning resident visa. A returning resident visa will allow you to enter the United States with minimal risk to your resident status. 

The best course of action if you need to remain outside the U.S. for a year or more is to apply for a re-entry permit before departing the U.S. This shows your that you do not intend to abandon your lawful permanent residence.

What Happens If You Leave the United States Without an Approved Form I-131 Travel Document?

If you leave the United States without completing Form I-131 and receiving a travel document while you have a case pending with USCIS, they will deny your case. If you leave the United States while your case is still pending, USCIS considers your departure as abandonment of your case. 

Can You Leave the United States Before You Receive Your Travel Document?

You’re technically allowed to leave the United States before you receive your travel document if your Form I-131 has been reviewed and approved. However, it is always best to have the actual advance parole document on hand before leaving the country. 

Can You Get an Emergency Travel Document With Form I-131?

USCIS is willing to consider emergency processing of many documents on a case-by-case basis. If you’re dealing with an urgent situation, like the death or severe illness of a family member overseas, you can request an emergency appointment with USCIS regarding your travel paperwork. 

You’ll need to arrive at your appointment with your passport and passport photos, completed I-131 travel document forms, and proof of an emergency. You can have your family member’s doctor write an official letter declaring the situation to be an emergency and present that letter as evidence. 

USCIS may be able to issue you an emergency travel document that will allow you to return home right away. They won’t charge you an expedited processing fee for a legitimate emergency. 

Is It Safe To Travel With a Pending Immigration Case?

USCIS would prefer that you didn’t leave the country while your immigration case is pending, even if your application for a travel document was approved. If you miss vital communication with USCIS, like an interview appointment or a request for more information, your immigration case can be denied. 

If you intend to travel while your immigration case is still in progress, it’s vital to check the USCIS website for updates on your case frequently . Ask someone you trust to check your mail for you every day and inform you of correspondences relating to your immigration case. If the phone number you have on file with USCIS can’t be used to reach you while you’re away, update your contact information before you leave. Be prepared to return if USCIS needs you to come back.

When Should You Complete and File Form I-131 to Request Advance Parole?

It’s important to apply for a travel document a few months before you’ll need it. You aren’t allowed to leave the country on advance parole until you’ve been approved and received your travel document. If you leave without an approved travel document, you may not be able to re-enter the United States. 

USCIS estimates the wait time for a travel document to be approximately 90 days, but USCIS perpetually manages a large backlog of cases. It often takes them a while longer to process documents that aren’t considered to be emergency cases. It may take them up to 150 days to issue you a travel document, so you should plan accordingly. You should apply for a travel document even if there’s a chance that your green card may be approved by the time you need to leave the country. 

Life can be unpredictable. You have no way of knowing if an emergency may pull you back home before you’ve received your green card. If you have any strong ties to a country other than the United States, you can file form I-131 at the same time you file the forms for your green card. It’s better to have a travel document and not need it than it is to need a travel document and not have it. You’ll be able to leave at a moment’s notice if you have a valid travel document.

How Long Does a Travel Document Last?

Travel documents may be issued for up to five years from the issue date. You need to return to the United States before the expiration date on your advance parole docuement. You’re allowed to return to the United States and leave again as long as you return before your travel document expires.

If you believe you’ll need to stay outside the United States for longer than the validity, you must return and request another travel document. Your green card will likely be issued before your travel document expires. If that’s the case, return to the United States temporarily to retrieve your official green card. Once you have your green card, you’re free to travel outside of the United States for a maximum of one continuous year. 

If you intend to apply for citizenship , keep in mind that the residency requirement states that you must live primarily in the United States for at least five continuous years before applying or three continuous years if you received your green card through marriage. 

Traveling too frequently or spending too much time outside of the United States may interfere with your ability to apply for citizenship. It’s okay to visit your family back home for a few weeks every year, but be mindful of lengthy visits.

Can You File for a Travel Document Extension?

There is no process for extending a travel document that already exists. If you have a travel document that’s about to expire and need more time, you must return to the United States and file a new Form I-131. Processing times and fees aren’t different if you’re filing for a new travel document. 

The process will work the same exact way as it did the first time, and the waiting period will depend on USCIS’s current caseload. You’ll want to plan accordingly if you think you’ll need to be out of the country after your travel document’s expiration date. Because the waiting period can be several months long, it’s better to cautiously return to the United States and reapply for a travel document before your current travel document expires. 

Can Filing a Form I-131 Prevent You From Being Detained When You Return?

CBP may detain people with pending immigration cases when they re-enter the country, as well as lawful permanent residents who have been outside of the United States for a long period of time. 

Filing Form I-131 won’t prevent you from being pulled aside when you arrive in the United States. Border protection officers want to verify your travel documents and your pending case with immigration before allowing you to pass. It may be an intimidating situation, but there’s typically no reason to worry. If you’ve attended every immigration appointment and responded every time they contacted you, you’ll typically be allowed to re-enter the United States.

If you missed important calls, letters, or appointments while you were gone, you may not be allowed to re-enter. You’re expected to manage your side of your immigration case even if you’re traveling with a valid travel document. Always be mindful of important dates and letters USCIS may send. Ask a trusted person to check your mail in the United States while you’re away.

Do You Need Legal Assistance With Form I-131?

Knowing how and when to file Form I-131 and understanding the rules around traveling with an active green card application is crucial for immigrants who need to leave the United States. The experienced team of immigration attorneys at Cohen, Tucker + Ades may be able to help you navigate the situation.

Contact us for a consultation to review the details of your immigration case. We’ll be able to advise you of your options.

The Use of Parole Under Immigration Law | American Immigration Council

What is Secondary Inspection? | Study in the States | U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Emergency Travel | USCIS

How to check your immigration case status | USAGov

Not sure which option is right for you? Request a confidential consultation today.

ZontLaw

FILLING OUT THE I-131  APPLICATION FOR TRAVEL DOCUMENT

PREPARING THE I-131

If you are not an American citizen, it may be difficult — if not impossible, for you to reenter the United States after you have been overseas without a proper travel document. You should use Form I-131, Application for Travel Document to obtain a travel document before you leave the United States

Who should use this form?

If you need to apply for certain travel documents, this is the form you should complete and submit to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Specifically, you should use this form if you need a:

  • Reentry Permit.  If you are a lawful permanent resident (you have a Green Card) or a conditional permanent resident (you have a conditional Green Card) and you have been overseas, this type of permit will allow you to apply for admission to the United States upon your return, as long as the permit is valid. If you get a reentry permit, you don’t need a returning resident visa from a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate.
  • Refugee Travel Document.  You are eligible to apply for this type of travel document if you are a refugee or asylee with valid status, or if you are a lawful permanent resident who got your Green Card while you were an asylee or a refugee in the United States. If you have valid asylee or refugee status, but you  do not have a Green Card, you must have this type of travel document to return to the United States after you have been overseas. The only exception to this rule is if you have an Advance Parole Document (see explanation below). You must show your travel document to a Department of Homeland Security(DHS) officer at the U.S. port-of-entry (most likely an airport) when you come back. He or she will then determine whether you are allowed to enter the country.
  • Advance Parole Document for Individuals Who Are Currently in the United States.  You can apply for this type of travel document  if you are currently in the United States and you have a pending application for U.S. immigration benefits or a change in your nonimmigrant status. If granted by DHS, you can use it instead of a visa for your return to the U.S. from another country and will allow you to seek re-entry upon your return. Be aware, however, that it is not a replacement for a passport.

How to fill out the Application for Travel Document

Following is a simple line-by-line guide to completing Form I-131. Please note that  all applicants  must complete the first four parts, and Part 8. You should also complete the section associated with the type of travel document you need. For example, if you are applying for a Refugee Travel Document, you should complete Part 6. If you have someone else complete the form based on the information you provide, he or she should complete Part 9. Be sure to type your answers or write them in black ink, and don’t forget to sign the form in the proper place.

The following information is provided as a general guide to completing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and is not meant to be legal advice. Anyone with questions about travel outside of the U.S. should consult an experienced, knowledgeable immigration attorney before completing this form.

Part 1: 👤 “Information About You”

1a. through 1c. name.

This is where you should put your real name. Do not use any nicknames, aliases, and so forth.

2a. through 2i. Physical address

Provide the complete address where you are now living. If you are living at someone else’s house, put their name in Box 2a.

3 through 9. Other information

You probably have an Alien Registration Number or A-Number if you have previously communicated with USCIS or any other U.S. government agency related to immigration. If so, write or type it in Box 3. The information required for Box 4 and Box 5 is self-explanatory. In Box 6 “Class of admission”, write or type the relevant information from the visa you last used to enter the United States. For instance, if you initially came here as a visitor on a temporary business visa, write or type “B-1.”

If you are using I-131 to apply for a reentry permit, which means you already have a green card, Class of Admission is asking for the three-letter code representing your immigrant category under which you became a permanent resident.

If you are using I-131 to apply for Advance Parole, which means you are not yet a permanent resident, Class of Admission is asking for your non-immigrant visa you last used to enter the U.S. This is usually, but not always, a two-letter code you get at the port of entry. For example, F1, B2, H1, TN, etc.

If you can’t find the information or aren’t sure what to write here, consult a qualified immigration attorney. The information required for Box 7 and Box 8 is self-explanatory. However, it is very important that you enter your real date of birth in the proper space. Do not, under any circumstances, put false information on this or any other USCIS form. It is unlikely that you will have a social security number, but if you do have one, enter it in Box 9.

  Part 2. ⚖️ “ Application Type”

1a. through 1f. select the type of travel document.

Mark the box that best explains your circumstances and the type of travel document for which you are applying. Do not mark more than one box.

2a. through 2p. For Advance Parole

You do not need to provide any information here unless you are applying for Advance Parole for someone else who is currently outside of the United States.

  Part 3. ⚙️ Processing Information

1 and 2. length of trip and date of departure.

f you know when you are leaving the U.S. and how long you will be gone, enter that information in these boxes. If not, use a general designation, such as “to be determined” or “TBD.”

3a. and 3b. Deportation and removal from the United States

These questions pertain to deportation or removal proceedings. You must answer these questions honestly. Please note, however, that answering “yes” to this question may prevent you from obtaining some travel documents.

4a. through 4c. Information about prior travel documents

If you have ever received a Reentry Permit or a Refugee Travel Document, you must mark the “Yes” box for Box 4a. and provide the requested information.

5. through 10. Alternate addresses

In this section USCIS asks you where to send the travel document. Therefore, it is very important that you mark the correct box and provide a valid address in the space provided if it is different from the one you have provided in another section.

Part 4. ✈️ Information About Your Proposed Travel

1a. purpose of trip.

In this space, explain why you are going overseas. Use an additional piece of paper if you need more room.

1.b. List the countries you intend to visit

This is self-explanatory. Use another sheet of paper if you need more room.

Part 5. ↩️ Complete Only If Applying for a Re-entry Permit

You should only answer these questions if you applying for a Reentry Permit. If you are not applying for this type of travel document, leave this part blank.

1a. through 1f. Length of time spent overseas

Mark the box that best describes the amount of time you have spent outside of the United States (in another country or countries) since you got your Green Card or in the past five years. Be sure to note the instruction, “whichever is less.” This means if you have had your Green Card for 20 years, you should mark the box that best describes the amount of time you have spent abroad in the last five years.

2. Prior tax filings

Here USCIS is asking about the taxes you filed after you got your Green Card. If you have any questions about this, consult a qualified immigration lawyer or financial professional before answering this.

Part 6. 🔁 Complete Only If Applying for a Refugee Travel Document

You should only answer these questions if you are applying for a Refugee Travel Document. If you are not applying for this type of travel document, leave this part blank.

1 through 4c. Refugee or asylee / Country travel

This set of questions is fairly simple. Again, you must be honest. Do not include any false, misleading, or inaccurate information on this or any other USCIS application.

 Part 7. ⤴️ Complete Only If Applying for Advance Parole

You should only answer these questions if you are applying for Advance Parole. If you are not applying for this type of travel document, leave this part blank.

1a. and 1b. Number of trips

USCIS wants to know if you need Advance Parole for one trip, or for several trips. Mark the appropriate box. You will not need to answer the rest of these questions if you are applying for Advance Parole for yourself and you are currently in the United States.

 Part 8. 🖋 Signature of Applicant (Read the information on penalties in the Form instructions before completing this Part.)

If you are filing for a Re-entry Permit or Refugee Travel Document, you must be in the United States to file this application.

1a. through 2. Signature and date

This is where you must sign and date the form, and provide your phone number. USCIS will not accept this form if it is not signed.

Part 9. 📄 Information About the Person Who Prepared This Application, If Other Than the Applicant

1. through 6b. information about the person who filled out this form.

If someone else, such as an attorney, completed this form based on the information you provided, they must complete and sign this part in the appropriate space.

 Call today for a free consultation

One of the advantages of having a green card is the ability to petition on behalf of family members who would like to join you in the United States, but it’s still a very complicated process. The best chance of success comes from working with an experienced asylum attorney.  We are highly experienced in the family petition process. Our attorneys, translators, and support staff will work with you individually to give you the best chance of success possible. We know how difficult the process can be, and we will be with you every step of the way.

Your citizenship or your residency status is something you should entrust to a professional. Call the top New York Immigration Attorneys toll-free at 1-888- ZONTLAW /  1-888 -966-8529 .

Should I postpone my trip until I actually get my travel document?

The rule is that you must apply for the document while you are still in the United States. It is better if you have your travel document before you leave, but it is not necessary. You can arrange to have it sent to a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate in the country you are traveling to by marking the appropriate box on Form I-131.

Why do I need a Reentry Permit if I have a Green Card?

You only need this type of permit if you are going to be away for longer than one year. It serves as proof that you still intend to live in the United States, which is a requirement for Lawful Permanent Residents.

How long does it take to get a reentry permit approved?

With expedited processing, the total processing time can be anywhere from 2 to 4 months.

How much does it cost to apply for a reentry permit?

The filing fee is $575 If filing for a Reentry Permit for an applicant who is: 14 years of age and older but under 80 years of age;

The filing fee is $575 if filing for a Reentry Permit for an applicant who is: Under 14 years of age or 80 years of age or older;

$85*  – A biometric services fee is required for applicants 14 through 79 years of age.

How long is a Reentry Permit valid?

How long does advance parole take to be approved.

It usually takes about two to three months to process an Advance Parole application.

How much does advance parole cost?

The filing fee is $575 if filing for an Advance Parole Document. Type E and F (Humanitarian parole) 

The filing fee is $575 if filing for an Advance Parole Document for Dependent Spouse/ Unmarried Minor Children of an Individual Seeking or in the United States Based on Entrepreneur Parole. *A biometric services fee is required for applicants 14 through 79 years of age.

$85 *A biometric services fee is required for applicants 14 through 79 years of age.

No fee is required, If you filed Form I-485 on or after July 30, 2007, and you paid the required Form I-485 application fee

How long is Advance Parole valid?

How long is a refugee travel document valid.

Contact Attorney Igor Litvak

Zontlaw Client Guest

ONE OF OUR LEGAL SERVICES: ATTORNEY APPLICATION REVIEW

THE TRADITIONAL LEGAL SERVICE: FULL ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION

APPLICATION REVIEW

  • Check Your Eligibility
  • Attorney’s Consultation(s) (The lawyer will guide you through the application process)
  • Less Questions, Faster Application (Easy-To-Use Software To Fill Out Immigration Forms)
  • Instant Alerts Help You Avoid Mistakes (Automatic Help and Tips on Complicated Questions; Instant Alerts To Help Avoid Mistakes; Automatic Help and Tips on Complicated Questions)
  • Technical Support (Access And Share Your Completed Forms After You File)
  • Ensures Completeness (Instant Alerts To Help Avoid Mistakes)
  • Documents checklist (Personalized Supporting Documents and Evidence Checklist)
  • Personalized Instructions (Personalized Guidance And Instructions On Where To File)
  • Case submission (Automatic Case preparation guidance)
  • Case Status Online Check (Link to case Updated)
  • Shipping Label With Tracking Number

USCIS Cover Letter Samples

Sample uscis cover letter by form type.

Form I-90 | Form I-129F | Form I-130 | Form I-131 | Form I-485 | Form I-751 | Form I-765 | Form I-821D | Form N-400 | Form N-565 | Form N-600

A cover letter is an overview document that gives the USCIS officer a quick summary of what to expect in the application package. Generally, it should include an outline of the contents. In some cases, it may be a good way to communicate any special circumstances that you have.

Use each sample USCIS cover letter as an example only. You’ll need to customize it to fit your own specific situation. Although supporting documents listed in the letter may be representative of a typical case, you may need different evidence based on the way you prepared the USCIS form. Use CitizenPath to get step-by-step instructions and a checklist of supporting documents.

Form I-90 Cover Letter Sample

Form i-129f cover letter sample, form i-130 cover letter sample, form i-131 cover letter sample, form i-485 cover letter sample, form i-751 cover letter sample, form i-765 cover letter sample, form i-821d cover letter sample, form n-400 cover letter sample, form n-565 cover letter sample, form n-600 cover letter sample, tips when writing a letter.

The USCIS generally is not required when filing an immigration application or petition. However, it is recommended. A well written letter projects care and professionalism. If you present your case with pride and attention to detail, it’s more likely that a USCIS officer will notice the importance you place on the request. With this in mind:

  • Keep your cover letter short and simple;
  • Use typed English on single-sided white paper;
  • Proofread before sending.

What to Include in Your USCIS Cover Letter

Our examples are for informational purposes only. You must review and customize the letter for your specific use. In general, a USCIS cover letter should contain the following elements:

  • USCIS address
  • Date of filing
  • Subject line that identifies the relevant benefit
  • Short introductory paragraph describing the purpose of the letter
  • List of the documents in your package that support your request for the immigration benefit
  • Name and signature

USCIS sample cover letter for CitizenPath immigration

The USCIS filing fee, supporting documents, and mailing address will vary based on form and other factors. You may find this information on the USCIS website . If you’re using CitizenPath to prepare your application or petition , you’ll receive filing instructions that are customized to your situation. Our filing instructions include easy-to-follow directions and a checklist of supporting documents.

What Customers Say About CitizenPath

Immigration Form Guides Form I-90       Form I-129F       Form I-130       Form I-131       Form I-131A       Form I-134       Form I-485       Form I-751       Form I-765       Form I-821D       Form I-864       Form N-400       Form N-565       Form N-600

Sign Up to Receive Free Monthly Information for Your Immigration Journey

© Copyright 2013-2024, CitizenPath, LLC. All rights reserved. CitizenPath is a private company that provides self-directed immigration services at your direction. We are not affiliated with USCIS or any government agency. The information provided in this site is not legal advice, but general information on issues commonly encountered in immigration. CitizenPath is not a law firm and is not a substitute for an attorney or law firm. Your access to and use of this site is subject to additional Terms of Use .

CitizenPath is a Reviews.io Trusted Website

How to prepare your immigration documents for USCIS

Your Guide to USCIS Document Preparation

Immigrating to the United States is a detailed and meticulous process that requires the careful preparation of various documents. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency responsible for administering the nation's immigration system, and it has strict requirements for the documentation that applicants must submit. Preparing your immigration documents correctly can have a significant impact on the success of your application. This comprehensive guide will walk you through each step of the preparation process to ensure that your documents meet USCIS standards.

Understanding USCIS requirements

Before you start gathering your documents, it is important to understand the specific requirements for the type of application you are submitting. USCIS provides detailed guidelines for each type of immigration benefit, including family-based petitions, employment visas, naturalization, and more. These guidelines outline the required documents, acceptable formats, and specific details that must be included in each document.

Types of petitions:

1. Family-based petitions: Includes spouse visas, parent-child petitions and sibling petitions.

2. Employment-based visas: H-1B , L-1, EB-1, EB-2 and other employment-based visas.

3. Naturalization: Application for US citizenship .

4. Asylum and refugee status: Protection for those fleeing persecution.

Fill out USCIS forms accurately

Carefully complete all required USCIS forms. Common forms include:

Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)

Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)

Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization) Double-check for accuracy and completeness. Errors can lead to delays or rejections.

Required documents

Personal identification: Birth certificates, passports, and national ID cards.

Civil documents: Marriage certificates, divorce decrees, and death certificates.

Educational credentials: Diplomas, transcripts, and certificates.

Employment records: Job offer letters, employment verification, and pay stubs.

Financial documents: Bank statements, tax returns, and affidavits of support.

Criminal records: Police clearance certificates and court documents if applicable.

Format Specifications

Clear and legible copies: Documents must be clear and readable.

Certified translations: Any document not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.

Original or certified copies: Originals or certified copies may be required for some documents.

Proper notarization: Certain affidavits and statements may need to be notarized.

Gathering the necessary documents

Start by making a checklist of all the documents you need, based on the type of application you are submitting. Collect each document in its original form and make clear, legible photocopies. Make sure all information is up to date and accurate.

Personal identification

Birth certificates: Must include your full name, date and place of birth and the names of your parents.

Passports: Include copies of the photo page and any relevant visa stamps.

National ID cards: Ensure they have not expired and contain all relevant information.

Civil documents

Marriage certificates: Must be notarized and include full names of both spouses, date and place of marriage.

Divorce decrees: Include final divorce decree with judge's signature and date.

Death certificates: If applicable, provide certified copies of death certificates for deceased family members.

Educational credentials

Diplomas and transcripts: Provide copies of all diplomas and transcripts, translated into English if necessary.

Professional licenses: Attach copies of all professional licenses or certifications.

Employment records

Job offer letters: Must be on company letterhead and include job title, salary, and employment start date.

Employment verification: Provide letters from current and previous employers verifying your employment history.

Pay stubs: Include recent pay stubs as proof of employment.

Financial Documents

Bank statements: Provide copies of recent bank statements showing sufficient funds.

Tax returns: Include copies of tax returns for the past three years.

Affidavits of support: If required, provide affidavits of support from sponsors.

Criminal records

Police clearance certificates: Obtain from your country of residence.

Court documents: Provide certified copies of any court documents related to criminal charges or convictions.

Translating non-English documents

Any document that is not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. USCIS requires that the translator provide a signed statement attesting to the accuracy and completeness of the translation, as well as the translator's competence to translate from the foreign language into English.

Steps for translating documents

Select a certified translator: Use a professional translation service or a translator certified by a recognised organization.

Provide clear copies: Ensure that the translator receives clear copies of the original documents.

Include a certification statement: The translator must provide a statement certifying the accuracy of the translation.

Check the translation: Check the translated document for accuracy and completeness.

Certified translation requirements for USCIS and MotaWord

When submitting immigration documents to the USCIS, it is imperative that all non-English documents are accompanied by a certified translation. USCIS requires certified translations to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the information provided by applicants. A certified translation is more than just a translation of the text; it includes a signed statement from the translator attesting to the accuracy and completeness of the translation, as well as the translator's competence in both the source and target languages. This certification assures USCIS that the translated document is a faithful representation of the original, which is critical to a fair evaluation of the applicant's information.

USCIS's strict requirements for certified translations are designed to prevent misunderstandings and errors that could potentially change the outcome of an immigration application. The translation must include all text, seals, stamps and signatures that appear in the original document, ensuring that no detail is overlooked. This meticulous process helps to maintain the authenticity and reliability of submitted documents, allowing for a smoother and more efficient review process by USCIS officers.

MotaWord, a leading provider of translation services, specializes in delivering high-quality, certified translations that meet USCIS standards. With an extensive network of professional translators fluent in over 110 languages, MotaWord ensures that every translation is accurate and culturally relevant. The company employs a rigorous quality assurance process in which multiple translators collaborate and review each document to ensure accuracy. This collaborative approach not only improves the quality of translations, but also significantly reduces turnaround times, allowing applicants to receive their certified translations within 12 hours.

When you choose MotaWord for your USCIS certified translations , you benefit from their extensive experience and commitment to excellence. Their translators are well-versed in the specific terminology and legal nuances required for immigration documents, ensuring that every translated document complies with USCIS guidelines. In addition, MotaWord's transparent pricing model and user-friendly platform make it easy to upload documents, receive instant quotes and track the progress of your translation project. By partnering with MotaWord, you can be confident that your certified translations will be handled with the utmost care and professionalism, increasing the likelihood of a successful immigration application.

You may also need to have your foreign degree evaluated

When immigrating to the United States, individuals with foreign academic credentials may need to have their degrees evaluated to ensure that they meet US educational standards. This evaluation is essential for a variety of purposes, such as applying for jobs, enrolling in educational programmes, or obtaining professional licenses. The evaluation process involves a detailed comparison of foreign academic credentials with their U.S. equivalents, providing a clear understanding of how an international degree aligns with the U.S. education system.

USCIS and other US institutions often require a thorough evaluation of foreign degrees to verify their authenticity and equivalence. This process helps immigration officials, employers, and educational institutions understand an immigrant's academic background and facilitates fair and informed decisions about the applicant's qualifications. Without an official evaluation, foreign degrees may not be recognized, potentially hindering career opportunities or further education in the United States.

MotaWord offers comprehensive credential evaluation services to help immigrants meet these requirements efficiently. Leveraging their expertise in translation and academic evaluation, MotaWord ensures that your foreign academic credentials are accurately evaluated and recognised in the U.S. Their team of experts understands the intricacies of different educational systems and provides detailed evaluations that reflect the true value of your international education.

With MotaWord's credential evaluation services, you can streamline your immigration process and avoid the risk of delays or rejections due to unverified academic credentials. MotaWord not only translates your academic documents, but also works with credential evaluation specialists to provide a complete and reliable service. This dual approach ensures that both the content and context of your academic achievements are properly conveyed, helping you to effectively present your qualifications to the USCIS and other US institutions. Trusting MotaWord with your transcript needs means you will receive an accurate, professional and timely service that will help you on your way to a successful future in the United States.

Formatting and organizing your documents

Proper organization and formatting of your documents can streamline the review process for USCIS officers. Follow these guidelines to ensure your submission is well-organized and easy to review.

Document organization

Use a checklist: Refer to your checklist to ensure all required documents are included.

Label each document: Clearly label each document with its name and purpose (e.g., "Birth Certificate," "Marriage Certificate").

Group related documents: Group documents by category (e.g., personal identification, civil documents) and use dividers or folders to separate them.

Number the pages: Number the pages of each document to ensure nothing gets lost or out of order.

Document presentation

Use clear plastic sleeves: Protect original documents by placing them in clear plastic sleeves.

Avoid staples: Use paper clips or binder clips instead of staples to keep documents together.

Provide a table of contents: Include a table of contents at the beginning of your submission to help USCIS officers navigate your documents.

Submitting your documents

When you are ready to submit your documents, follow the instructions provided by USCIS for your specific application. Some applications may require you to submit documents online, while others require physical copies to be mailed.

Submitting physical copies:

Use a secure envelope: Place all documents in a secure envelope or box.

Include the application form: Ensure your completed application form is included.

Use trackable mail: Send your documents via a trackable mail service to ensure they are delivered safely.

Submitting online:

Scan documents clearly: Ensure all scanned documents are clear and legible.

Upload in the correct format: Follow USCIS guidelines for acceptable file formats (e.g., PDF).

Submit via the USCIS Online Portal: Use the official USCIS online portal to submit your documents.

Common mistakes to avoid

Avoiding common mistakes can help ensure your application is processed smoothly and without unnecessary delays.

1. Incomplete forms: Ensure all forms are fully completed and signed.

2. Missing Documents: Double-check that all required documents are included.

3. Incorrect translations: Use certified translators to avoid errors in translation.

4. Illegible copies: Ensure all copies are clear and readable.

5. Not following instructions: Follow USCIS instructions carefully to avoid processing delays.

Tips for a successful application

To increase the chances of your application being approved, consider the following tips:

Start early: Begin gathering documents well in advance to avoid last-minute stress.

Stay organized: Keep all documents organized and in one place.

Double-check everything: Review your application and documents multiple times for accuracy.

Seek professional help: If you are unsure about any part of the process, consider seeking help from an immigration attorney or certified immigration consultant.

Stay informed: Regularly check the USCIS website for updates and changes to requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Do I need to submit original documents or copies?

A1: USCIS usually requires copies of documents, but you should have the originals on hand in case they are requested.

Q2: Can I translate my documents myself?

A2: No, USCIS requires translations to be certified by a qualified translator who is fluent in both the original language and English.

Q3: How can I tell if my translation is certified?

A3: A certified translation includes a statement from the translator attesting to the accuracy and completeness of the translation, as well as the translator's qualifications.

Q4: What happens if I submit incomplete or incorrect documentation?

A4: Incomplete or incorrect documentation may result in a delay or rejection of your application. It is essential that all documents are accurate and complete.

Q5: How can I check the status of my application?

A5: You can check the status of your application online using the USCIS Case Status Tool or by contacting USCIS directly.

Preparing your immigration documents for the USCIS is a critical step in your immigration journey. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can ensure that your documents are accurate, complete, and properly formatted, increasing the likelihood of a successful application. Remember to stay organized, double-check everything and seek professional help if needed. With careful preparation, you can navigate the USCIS process with confidence and ease.

ASENE DUYAR

Published on Jun 19, 2024

Translation Cost Calculator

This article was translated by MotaWord Active Machine Translation.

Our proofreaders are currently working on this article to provide the best experience for you.

Learn more about MotaWord Active.

Travel Plans After Citizenship Interview

  • Last updated Jun 24, 2024
  • Difficulty Beginner

Elani Piper

  • Category Travel

can I travel abroad after citizenship interview

If you're wondering whether you can travel abroad after your citizenship interview, the answer is: it depends. In the US, for example, there is no restriction on international travel after your citizenship interview. However, you must meet certain requirements, such as maintaining continuous residence and being physically present in the country for a specified period. In Australia, you can travel abroad before your citizenship application is finalised, but you must provide an intended return date or evidence of your return to the country.

What You'll Learn

Extended travel can impact the application process, continuous residence requirements, physical presence requirements, travel restrictions and covid-19, naturalization interview and biometrics appointment.

quartzmountain

Secondly, extended travel can affect your ability to meet the continuous residence and physical presence requirements. To maintain continuous residence, you must not spend more than 180 days abroad during the naturalization period. If your trip exceeds six months, the USCIS will consider your continuous residence requirement disrupted, leading to a denial of your application. Additionally, the USCIS examines the frequency of your travel. To be eligible for naturalization, you must spend at least half of your time in the United States, fulfilling the "physical presence" requirement. Frequent, short trips that result in you spending more than half your time outside the country will make you ineligible for naturalization.

Therefore, it is crucial to carefully plan your travel during the application process. Ensure that you do not miss any appointments and that your trips are not too long or frequent. If you must travel for an extended period, consider asking a relative or friend to monitor your emails for any appointment notifications. Alternatively, you may want to travel after submitting your biometric information, as your presence won't be required soon afterward.

Uncovering the Location of the Nexus Pass Travel Document Number

You may want to see also

To be eligible for citizenship, applicants must demonstrate that they have resided continuously in the US for at least five years before submitting their application. This period is shortened to three years for applicants who are married to a US citizen.

Continuous residence means that an applicant has maintained a permanent dwelling place within the United States for the specified period of time. Short trips abroad do not typically disrupt the continuous residence requirement, but long absences will. For the purposes of naturalization, a trip abroad that is less than six months will not disrupt continuous residence. A trip of more than six months but less than a year is presumed to break continuous residence, and a trip of 12 months or longer will definitely break it.

Absences of more than six months but less than a year may disrupt an applicant's continuous residence unless the applicant can prove otherwise. To overcome this presumption, applicants will need to provide evidence that they did not disrupt their residence and continued to maintain strong ties in the United States. This may include documentation that the applicant:

  • Did not terminate their employment in the United States or obtain employment while abroad
  • Had immediate family remain in the United States
  • Retained full access to their United States abode

Absences in excess of one year will break an applicant's continuous residence. If an applicant has a break in their continuity of residence, they will need to accrue another four years and one day of continuous residence before applying for naturalization.

There are exceptions to the continuous residence requirement for applicants working abroad for:

  • The United States government, including the military
  • Contractors of the United States government
  • A recognised American institution of research
  • A public international organisation
  • An organisation designated under the International Immunities Act
  • A denomination or mission that has a bona fide organisation in the United States for the purposes of performing ministerial or priestly functions or engaging as a clergyman or clergywoman, missionary, brother, nun, or sister

What Happened to the Once-Booming Florida Ot Travel Jobs?

To be eligible for US citizenship, applicants must meet the "continuous residence" and "physical presence" requirements. These are separate but complementary criteria, both serving to demonstrate an applicant's attachment to the United States.

Continuous Residence

To satisfy the continuous residence requirement, applicants must show that they have:

  • Resided continuously in the US for five years before applying, or
  • Resided continuously in the US for three years if they are qualified spouses of US citizens.

"Continuous residence" means that the applicant has maintained residence within the United States for the required period of time. Extended absences from the US may disrupt an applicant's continuous residence.

Absences of more than six months but less than one year may disrupt an applicant's continuous residence unless the applicant can prove otherwise. Absences of one year or more will definitely disrupt an applicant's continuous residence.

Physical Presence

Physical presence means that the applicant has been physically present in the US for a specified period of time over the previous five years. Generally, applicants must have 30 months of physical presence in the US to be eligible for naturalized citizenship. However, this requirement is reduced to 18 months of physical presence if applying based on marriage to a US citizen.

Physical presence is a cumulative requirement. Each day that an individual is outside the United States counts towards this requirement. For example, an individual who took a 30-day trip and five 1-day trips would have been absent for a total of 35 days.

  • A denomination or mission that has a bona fide organisation in the United States for the purposes of performing ministerial or priestly functions or engaging as a clergyman or clergywoman, missionary, brother, nun, or sister.

Travel After Citizenship Interview

There is no restriction on international travel after a citizenship interview. However, it is important to consider any COVID-19 restrictions, as many states require a quarantine period for travellers. The USCIS will not permit applicants to enter its offices for an interview or oath ceremony if they have recently travelled.

To summarise, applicants for US citizenship must meet both the continuous residence and physical presence requirements, demonstrating their attachment to the United States.

Getting to the Stage: Does America's Got Talent Cover Travel Expenses?

As of June 25, 2021, the New York State Travel Advisory is no longer in effect, and travelers arriving in New York are no longer required to submit traveler health forms. However, the CDC recommends that all travelers, domestic and international, continue to follow CDC travel requirements.

The CDC has implemented measures to prevent the spread of contagious diseases during travel, such as COVID-19. They use a "Do Not Board" list to prevent travelers from boarding commercial airplanes if they are known or suspected to have a contagious disease. Sick travelers are also placed on a "Lookout" list to detect them if they attempt to enter the United States by land or sea. These lists are typically reviewed every two weeks, and individuals are removed once they are confirmed to be no longer contagious.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends getting up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines before traveling and taking other precautions such as wearing a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated areas, including on public transportation. If you have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19, consider taking additional precautions such as improving ventilation, spending more time outdoors, and avoiding sick people.

If you have a weakened immune system or are at increased risk of severe disease, it is advised to consult a healthcare professional before traveling. Additionally, consider getting travel insurance in case you need medical care abroad. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms before, during, or after travel, consider getting tested and follow local public health recommendations.

Exploring the Possibility: Traveling to Canada on an F1 Visa OPT

The naturalization process is how a person becomes a U.S. citizen. It involves several steps, including submitting an application, attending a biometrics appointment, and attending a citizenship interview and exam.

Biometrics Appointment

After your application has been accepted, you will receive an appointment notice if biometrics are required. This notice will include the date, time, and location of the appointment. At the appointment, your fingerprints, photograph, and signature will be collected. These biometrics allow the USCIS to confirm your identity and run background and security checks.

You must bring the following documents to your biometrics appointment:

  • Appointment notice (Form I-797C, Notice of Action)
  • Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)
  • A second form of identification (e.g., driver's license, passport, or state identification card) with your photograph on it

Naturalization Interview and Exam

The citizenship interview usually takes place about eight months after the USCIS receives your application. You will receive a letter with the date and location of your interview, as well as a list of documents to bring. The interview involves a USCIS officer asking questions about your application and background. You will also take an English and civics test unless you qualify for an exemption or waiver.

The English test has three components: reading, writing, and speaking. The civics test covers important U.S. history and government topics. It is important to prepare for both components of the exam to avoid retakes.

You must bring the following documents to your naturalization interview:

  • Interview appointment notice
  • Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card
  • State-issued identification (e.g., driver's license)
  • All valid and expired passports and travel documents issued to you that document your absences from the United States since becoming a permanent resident

Affordable Ways to Travel from London to Paris

Frequently asked questions.

Yes, you can travel abroad after your citizenship interview. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. For instance, if you are applying for US citizenship, you must maintain a continuous residence in the US during the application process.

Extended travel during the application process can impact appointment timing and the overall process. It is crucial to attend the naturalization interview, biometrics appointment, and oath ceremony.

Continuous residence and physical presence requirements are interrelated but distinct. Continuous residence refers to the requirement that applicants must demonstrate they have resided in the country for a specified period before submitting their application. Physical presence, meanwhile, refers to the requirement that applicants spend at least half of their time in the country.

There are no restrictions on international travel after the citizenship interview. However, it is important to consider any COVID-19 restrictions. Many countries currently require a quarantine period for incoming travellers.

There are three key appointments that must be attended: the naturalization interview, the biometrics appointment, and the oath ceremony.

Elani Piper

  • Elani Piper Author Editor Reviewer

Pop Panupong

  • Pop Panupong Author Reviewer Traveller

It is awesome. Thank you for your feedback!

We are sorry. Plesae let us know what went wrong?

We will update our content. Thank you for your feedback!

Leave a comment

Travel photos, related posts.

Exploring Gibraltar: Traveling with a Schengen Visa Made Simple

Exploring Gibraltar: Traveling with a Schengen Visa Made Simple

  • Mar 21, 2024

Maintaining the Freshness: A Guide to Cleaning Travel Size Perfume Atomizers

Maintaining the Freshness: A Guide to Cleaning Travel Size Perfume Atomizers

  • May 11, 2024

The Joys and Benefits of Traveling: Insights from an IELTS Speaking Test

The Joys and Benefits of Traveling: Insights from an IELTS Speaking Test

  • May 28, 2024

Should I Keep the Traveler's Chosen? A Guide to Deciding on Keeping this Exotic Hand Cannon

Should I Keep the Traveler's Chosen? A Guide to Deciding on Keeping this Exotic Hand Cannon

  • May 12, 2024

Top Destinations for Beer Lovers: Where to Travel If You Like Beer

Top Destinations for Beer Lovers: Where to Travel If You Like Beer

How to Travel from London to Belgium: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Travel from London to Belgium: A Comprehensive Guide

  • May 09, 2024

Security Alert May 17, 2024

Worldwide caution, update may 10, 2024, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

  • Travel Advisories |
  • Contact Us |
  • MyTravelGov |

Find U.S. Embassies & Consulates

Travel.state.gov, congressional liaison, special issuance agency, u.s. passports, international travel, intercountry adoption, international parental child abduction, records and authentications, popular links, travel advisories, mytravelgov, stay connected, legal resources, legal information, info for u.s. law enforcement, replace or certify documents.

Travel.State.Gov Newsroom

U.S. Passports News

International Travel News

U.S. Visas News

Intercountry Adoption News and Notices

Share this page:

Update on Change to U.S. Travel Policy Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination for nonimmigrant travel

Worldwide Visa Operations: Update

Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB-4) Announcement

Suspension of Visa Services in Sudan

Diversity Visa 2024 Update

Nonimmigrant Visa Fee Increases to Take Effect June 17, 2023

India EB-3 Retrogression

Expiration of Covid-Era Visa Application Fee Receipts

Digital Visa Authorization (DVA) Proof of Concept

Final Rule Governing Public Charge Grounds of Visa Ineligibility

Visa Waiver Travel for Israeli Citizens

Important Update on Waivers of the Interview Requirement for Certain Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants

Department of State to Process Domestic Visa Renewals in Limited Pilot Program

Visa Information for Nationals of Haiti

Department of State/AILA Liaison Committee Meeting March 20, 2024

Emami Litigation - Notice to Class Members

Easing the Nonimmigrant Visa Process for U.S. College Graduates

On June 18, 2024, the Biden-Harris Administration announced actions to more efficiently facilitate employment-based nonimmigrant visas for those who have graduated from college in the United States and have a job offer.

This initiative will allow certain individuals to more quickly receive nonimmigrant work visas if they are deemed eligible. 

As part of this initiative, the Department will clarify existing guidance to consular officers related to when they should consider recommending that DHS grant a waiver of ineligibility, where applicable. 

Q: What will these process clarifications mean for current NIV ineligibility waiver processing steps?

These clarifications will describe when consular officers should consider recommending that the Department of Homeland Security waive ineligibility for these applicants on an expedited basis, in conjunction with visa applications overseas.  However, the processing steps will remain the same. 

Waiver requests are adjudicated by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Admissibility Review Office. 

For additional information related to visa ineligibility waivers, please visit our website: Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws (state.gov) .

Q: How can an individual apply for a petition-based nonimmigrant work visa?

Before an applicant can apply for an H-1B or other temporary worker visa, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must generally first approve a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129 .  For more information about the petition process, see Working in the U.S. and Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Workers on the USCIS website.  Once USCIS approves the petition, it will send the prospective employer a Notice of Action, Form I-797.  

Individuals may apply for a nonimmigrant visa after USCIS has approved the petition. There are several steps in the visa application process. The order of these steps and how applicants complete them may vary at the U.S. embassy or consulate where they apply. Please visit the embassy or consulate website for instructions on how to apply.

Individuals will need to complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 and schedule an appointment for their visa interview at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Q: If an applicant needs a visa ineligibility waiver, how can they request one as part of a standard interview? 

Applicants who are denied a visa will generally be notified by the consular officer of the basis for the ineligibility, and whether they are eligible for a waiver of their ineligibility.  

If an applicant is ineligible for a visa based on certain grounds of inadmissibility in Section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, they may be eligible for a waiver.

Waiver requests are adjudicated by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Admissibility Review Office, based on a recommendation from the Department of State. 

For additional information related to visa ineligibility waivers, please visit our website: Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws (state.gov)

For questions related to waiver approvals, we refer you to the Department of Homeland Security. 

Q:  How long are current interview appointment wait times for employment-based nonimmigrant visas at overseas posts?

Currently, interview wait times for H-1B visas are minimal at most of our overseas posts.

Please visit our website to check the current interview appointment wait times for employment-based visas at our overseas posts: U.S. Visas (state.gov)

Q: How will forthcoming edits to the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) clarify existing guidance to consular officers?

Upcoming FAM updates will clarify when consular officers should recommend that DHS grant a waiver of the applicant’s ineligibility, consistent with the waiver process that is already available under existing law to individuals seeking nonimmigrant visas, and consistent with Department regulations that describe the types of cases in which consular officers should consider recommending a waiver of ineligibility.  It is not conferring any new benefits and is not limited to DACA recipients.

These updates will also encourage consular officers to consider recommending expedited review of waiver requests in conjunction with certain nonimmigrant visa applications overseas, consistent with existing Department regulations and guidance.

This will result in certain individuals to potentially more quickly receive work visas if DHS approves a waiver of ineligibility.   

While leaving the United States to apply for a visa is not without risks, this policy will clarify when consular officers should consider recommending waivers, so that individuals and employers can make informed decisions and streamline the process so that those who qualify can get to work quickly.  

Q:  When will the guidance be issued?

Updated guidance for consular officers will be issued within the next 30 days.

External Link

You are about to leave travel.state.gov for an external website that is not maintained by the U.S. Department of State.

Links to external websites are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State of the views or products contained therein. If you wish to remain on travel.state.gov, click the "cancel" message.

You are about to visit:

IMAGES

  1. Commonly Used Immigration Documents

    travel document from the uscis

  2. USCIS Form I-131 Download Fillable PDF or Fill Online Application for

    travel document from the uscis

  3. Form I-131

    travel document from the uscis

  4. Information About Your Immigration Document

    travel document from the uscis

  5. A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Travel Document Numbers USCIS

    travel document from the uscis

  6. What Is a Travel Document from USCIS

    travel document from the uscis

VIDEO

  1. IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL WHILE VAWA & ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS IS IN PROCESS?

  2. I-131 Form (Refugee Travel Document) is for

  3. How to Get an Emergency Travel Document While Waiting for a Green Card

COMMENTS

  1. Application for Travel Document

    I-131, Application for Travel Document. Alert: Beginning July 1, 2022, we will issue a new travel authorization document to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries: Form I-512T, Authorization for Travel by a Noncitizen to the United States, at our discretion if we find the beneficiary merits this authorization.

  2. Travel Documents

    Travel Documents. If you wish to return to the United States lawfully after traveling outside the United States, you generally must have a: Valid entry document, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) or nonimmigrant visa; or. Valid and unexpired travel document. The type of document you need varies depending on your immigration status ...

  3. PDF Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

    2. Application Type. a. I am a permanent resident or conditional resident of the United States, and I am applying for a reentry permit. b. I now hold U.S. refugee or asylee status, and I am applying for a Refugee Travel Document. c. I am a permanent resident as a direct result of refugee or asylee status, and I am applying for a Refugee Travel ...

  4. PDF Form I-131, Instructions for Application for Travel Document

    Each applicant must file a separate application for a travel document. NOTE: Do not file Form I-131 if you are seeking release from immigration custody and you want to remain in the United States as a parolee. You should contact ICE about your request. Reentry Permit.

  5. International Travel as a Permanent Resident

    In general, you will need to present a passport from your country of citizenship or your refugee travel document to travel to a foreign country. In addition, the foreign country may have additional entry/exit requirements (such as a visa). For information on foreign entry and exit requirements, see the Department of State's website.

  6. USCIS

    Fee. The current filing fee is $575.00. You must submit your filing fee before going to a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate to file your Form I-131A. You must bring evidence of payment with you when you appear in person at your nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate to file Form I-131A. USCIS does not refund fees, regardless of any action we take ...

  7. Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-131, Application for Travel ...

    Filing Form I-131 to request a TPS Travel Authorization Document based on an approved Form I-821, or to request an Advance Parole Document based on a pending Form I-821. You must include a copy of the receipt notice (Form I-797C) showing we accepted or approved your Form I-821. USCIS Dallas Lockbox. U.S. Postal Service (USPS): USCIS Attn: I-131 TPS

  8. Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

    Certain non-citizens can file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to obtain various travel documentation. The application has different uses depending on the non-citizen's immigration status in the United States. When filing, applicants may request the following types of travel documents from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ...

  9. USCIS

    Before you submit your payment for Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation), answer a few questions to make sure you pay the correct filing fee. These questions are intended to help you determine your correct filing fee should you decide to submit Form I-131A. Start. Go directly to pay the fee for the I-131A ...

  10. I-131: Application for Travel Document

    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 ...

  11. Application for Carrier Documentation

    I-131A, Application for Carrier Documentation. Use this form if you are: A lawful permanent resident (LPR), including an LPR with conditions, and wish to apply for a travel document (carrier documentation) that allows you to board an airline or other transportation carrier without the airline or transportation carrier being penalized; or. Not ...

  12. Form I-131: The Advance Parole Travel Document Explained

    If you have or are applying for a green card, DACA status, or certain humanitarian visas, and you want to travel outside the United States, you need to get a travel document from the U.S. government. You apply for this document by filing Form I-131: Application for Travel Document with USCIS. This allows you to get what's called an Advance Parole document. Below is a guide on how to apply ...

  13. Form I-131, Application for Travel: Everything You Need To Know

    The Form I-131, Application for Travel Document is part of the application for several travel documents, some for simple re-entry and others for rare humanitarian crisis. These are the travel documents that the Form I-131 is required for: Re-entry Permit: for lawful and conditional permanent residents traveling abroad to re-enter the country.

  14. Travel documents for foreign citizens returning to the U.S

    Travel documents for other foreign citizens living in the U.S. If you are a foreign citizen re-entering the U.S., the documentation you need may depend on your immigration status: Advance parole - You may use advance parole to re-enter the U.S. without applying for a visa. It is commonly used for re-entry by people in the process of applying ...

  15. PDF Form I-131

    Application for Travel Document USCIS Form I-131 Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services OMB No. 1615-0013 Expires 04/30/2022 Action Block Receipt To Be Completed by an Attorney/ Representative, if any. For USCIS Use Only Fill in box if G-28 is attached to represent the applicant.

  16. Form I-131

    Application for Travel Document, or Form I-131, is a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form which allows applicants to apply for a Reentry Permit, Refugee Travel Document or Advance Parole. This article will discuss how adjustment of status (Form I-485) applicants who are currently in the U.S. can apply for a travel document, or ...

  17. Application for Travel Document: Form I-131 Explained

    October 19, 2023. Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. If you're waiting to be issued a green card or you have an active case with immigration, USCIS doesn't want you to leave the country without advance permission. Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, allows people with pending cases to obtain permission to travel outside ...

  18. Filling Out the I-131 Application For Travel Document

    How to fill out the Application for Travel Document. Following is a simple line-by-line guide to completing Form I-131. Please note that all applicants must complete the first four parts, and Part 8. You should also complete the section associated with the type of travel document you need. For example, if you are applying for a Refugee Travel ...

  19. The Advance Parole Card

    The fastest and easiest way to apply for a travel document is as part of the original marriage green card application package you send to USCIS, by including Form I-131 ("Application for Travel Document") along with the main forms ( I-130 and I-485 ). You must attach a copy of your photo identification (such as a copy of the photo page of ...

  20. Expedited Processing of a Travel Document

    Generally, it can take several for USCIS to process your Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. Check USCIS processing times for the latest estimates. However, you may be able to get expedited processing of a travel document in certain situations. Criteria for Expedited Processing on Form I-131

  21. I-131 travel document : r/USCIS

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. ... I-131 travel document . I-130 & I-485 (Family/Adjustment of status) Recently got married here, my wife is a L1 visa holder and she needs to renew her I-94 by the end of August requiring her to leave the country ...

  22. PDF USCIS Travel Document

    On October 24, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began issuing a redesigned Travel Document (Reentry Permit Form I-327/Refugee Travel Document Form I-571). The current travel documents (2007 Version) will remain valid until the expiration date on the travel document. CBP Publication Number 0984-1119.

  23. USCIS Cover Letter for Immigration Benefits

    A cover letter is an overview document that gives the USCIS officer a quick summary of what to expect in the application package. Generally, it should include an outline of the contents. ... Use this USCIS cover letter template when you are filing Form I-131 to request an advance parole travel document. Refer to the sample as an example and ...

  24. How to prepare your immigration documents for USCI

    Immigrating to the United States is a detailed and meticulous process that requires the careful preparation of various documents. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency responsible for administering the nation's immigration system, and it has strict requirements for the documentation that applicants must submit.

  25. Travel Plans After Citizenship Interview

    Travel After Citizenship Interview. There is no restriction on international travel after a citizenship interview. However, it is important to consider any COVID-19 restrictions, as many states require a quarantine period for travellers. ... All valid and expired passports and travel documents issued to you that document your absences from the ...

  26. USCIS Issues Notices Extending Certain TPS EADs Through March 9, 2025

    USCIS is issuing Form I-797, Notice of Action, to certain Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries who are eligible to re-register for TPS or have a pending application to renew their Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD). This notice further extends the validity of their EADs through March 9, 2025.

  27. PDF Policy Alert

    Citizenship and Immigration Services . Office of the Director . Camp Springs, MD 20588-0009 . October 24, 2023 PA-2023-30 . Policy Alert . ... • Explains that a travel day, where a fraction of the day is spent in the country of nationality or last residence, counts towards satisfaction of the 2-year foreign residence requirement. ...

  28. DHS Trusted Traveler Programs

    On the profile page, you will need to associate the account with your PASSID (membership number). See the back of your Trusted Traveler card or your approval letter. From your Dashboard, select the Renew button on your Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST program membership section. You must declare your citizenship (if you are a US Citizen, you ...

  29. Process to Promote the Unity and Stability of Families

    On June 18, 2024, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a key step toward fulfilling President Biden's commitment to promoting family unity in the immigration system. DHS will establish a new process to consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests for certain noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens who have been continuously ...

  30. Easing the Nonimmigrant Visa Process for U.S. College Graduates

    Before an applicant can apply for an H-1B or other temporary worker visa, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must generally first approve a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129. For more information about the petition process, see Working in the U.S. and Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Workers on the USCIS website. Once USCIS ...