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Apply for a Travel Document(I-131)

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Form I-131 - Application for a Travel Document

The Application for a Travel Document, Form I-131 is used mostly by non-citizen residents of the United States to request permission to leave the U.S. and return.

The form is used as a placeholder for a non-citizen's right to reside in the U.S. and is an important part of planning for international travel.


What travel documents can Form I-131 be used for?

Form I-131 is used mostly to apply for three different kinds of travel documents, which are used for people with different types of immigration status. The documents are:

  • A reentry permit
  • A refugee travel document
  • An advance parole document

Who can use Form I-131? What are the requirements?

Form I-131 can be used by people with the following statuses to get a travel document from the USCIS:

  • Permanent residents (Green Card holders)
  • Conditional permanent residents (such as Green Card holders who got their Green Cards through marriage or investment)
  • Refugees and asylees
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients
  • Other, rarer statuses

Requirements for filing Form I-131 include the ability to attend a biometrics appointment with the USCIS and supporting documentation that should be submitted along with the application form.

Supporting documentation for the Application for a Travel Document differs depending on a person's immigration status and what kind of document they apply for. Keep in mind that the USCIS only requires copies of supporting documentation and not the originals. The following is a sampling of required documentation:

  • Form I-551 or Form I-797 for a reentry permit
  • A document that shows refugee or asylee status for a refugee travel document
  • For an advance parole document, you will need to send in a copy of a document that shows your current status such as a copy of Form I-485 or I-821D.

Note: it is important to read the form instructions carefully when putting together your supporting documentation as everyone's case is different.


What is the process? How long does it take?

The process of applying for a travel document is similar to submitting other applications to the USCIS and follows this basic pattern:

  1. File your Form I-131 with supporting document to the appropriate USCIS office.
  2. Attend the biometrics (fingerprinting) interview at the USCIS.
  3. Based on the information provided, the USCIS will decide whether or not you will get a travel document in a process called "adjudication."

The application time can take three months from the time of sending your application in to receiving your travel document.


How much does Form I-131 cost?

Depending on the type of travel document you are applying for, the total cost of the application changes.

  • Re-entry Permit:
    • Application assistance fee: $150
    • USCIS Fee: $575
    • Biometrics fee: $85
    • Total: $595
  • Refugee Travel Document:
    • Application assistance fee: $150
    • USCIS fee (age 16 and older): $135
    • USCIS fee (younger than 16): $105
    • Biometrics fee: $85
    • Total for applicants 16 and older: $370
    • Total for applicants under 16 but older than 14: $340
    • Total for applicants younger than 14: $255
  • Advance Parole Document:
    • Application assistance fee: $150
    • USCIS fee: $575
    • Total: $725