Things to Know About Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

People in the United States who had filed immigrant petitions and asylum or refugee applications, may travel abroad while their petitions are pending if they obtain the required travel documents. The USCIS Form I-131, must be filed, if you require a travel document. You need to file this form if you require an advance parole document, a re-entry permit or a refugee travel document.

Re-entry Permit

Green Card holders who intend to travel abroad for more than a year will have to obtain this permit, before their departure, in order to re-enter the country. Green Card holders and conditional permanent residents must both obtain this document, if they plan to remain outside the United States for more than a year but not more than two years. They will have to return to the United States before the re-entry permit could expire. They may not be required to obtain returning resident visas, if they hold valid re-entry permits.

Advance Parole Document

You may file Form I-131, if you wish to obtain an advance parole document. You need to obtain this document to travel abroad and get back to the United States, if you had filed Form I-485 and if it is pending. Your application for adjustment of status may be denied if you travel outside the United States without obtaining an advance parole document. You may use this document instead of a visa, to travel overseas and to return to the United States. Remember that this document may not be used instead of a passport.

Advance Parole for Asylees

Similarly, if you had filed an application requesting asylum, you may be permitted to travel abroad and return to the United States, if you obtain an advance parole document. You may travel abroad with this document, if your Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, is pending. If you try to travel abroad without obtaining an advance parole document, your application for asylum will be denied. Though you hold an advance parole document, you will be granted permission to enter into the United States, only after immigration inspection.

Refugee Travel Document

This document is issued to refugees and asylees in the United States. Being a refugee or an asylee, if you seek to travel abroad and return to the United States, you will have to file Form I-131, to obtain a refugee travel document. You may not be allowed to get into the country if you do not have this document. Similarly, you need to obtain this document, if you are a derivative asylee or refugee, in the United States. You may be placed in removal proceedings and you will be deported from America, if you try to re-enter the United States without a refugee travel document. Hence if you want to travel abroad and re-enter the United States, you will have to obtain this document, before you leave the United States.

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