Application for Travel Document (Form I-131A)

Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)

Purpose

To allow lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who do not have a Green Card or reentry permit to apply for a travel document (carrier documentation) that permits a transportation carrier to allow them to board a flight or vessel to the United States without penalty.

Who May File or Receive Service

You may apply for carrier documentation if you are an LPR and:

  • You are returning from temporary international travel of less than one year and your Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card or Form I-551) has been lost, stolen or destroyed
  • You are returning from temporary international travel of less than two years and your reentry permit (Form I-327) has been lost, stolen or destroyed

The length of your absence from the United States will be measured from the time you departed the U.S. to the time you pay the fee for filing Form I-131A.

If you are an LPR with an expired Green Card, you may not need to file a Form I-131A. We encourage you check with your airline or vessel before filing a Form I-131A.

Although regulations generally require an LPR to travel with a valid Green card, CBP policy permits a transportation carrier bound for the United States to board an LPR without carrier documentation if you:

  • Are an LPR who has an expired Green Card that was issued with a 10-year expiration date, or
  • Are an LPR with an expired Green Card with a two-year expiration date AND you also have a Form I-797, Notice of Action, for Form I-751 or Form I-829 to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status. The Notice of Action extends the validity of the Green Card for a specified length of time, generally one year.

Filing and Other Special Instructions

If you believe you have maintained your lawful permanent residency and need to file Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation), with our office to reenter the United States, you must complete the following steps prior to receiving an appointment. We aim to process applications for carrier documentation within two weeks.

  1. Go to the USCIS website to obtain Form I-131A and filing instructions.
  2. Pay the filing fee for this form online using the USCIS online payment system. You may pay the fee with your credit or debit card or U.S. bank account. We cannot accept any other method of payment. As with all immigration fees, we do not issue refunds, regardless of the decision on the application.
  3. Request an appointment by forwarding the email you received from pay.gov to the closest embassy or consulate in Italy.

Please follow instructions received from the consulate or embassy. USCIS no longer processes forms I-131A at our office in Rome.

Child Born Abroad to a LPR

If you are an LPR and your child is born abroad during a temporary absence from the United States, your child may enter the United States without a visa before he or she turns two years old if your child accompanies you on your first return to the United States. CBP’s guidance indicates that an airline may board a child in this situation. If an airline refuses to board your child without carrier documentation, we can issue a transportation letter. You do not need to file Form I-131A or pay a fee for this service.

If your child does not come to the United States when you, the LPR parent first return to the United States, consult the U.S. Consulate or this USCIS office about the availability of an immigrant visa for your child.

Outside the U.S. For More than One Year

If you have been outside of the United States for more than one year without a reentry permit (or more than two years with a reentry permit), you will need to either seek a returning resident visa (SB-1) with the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy nearest to you, or consult with the USCIS office that has jurisdiction over the country in which you are traveling about an alternative travel document.

For information about maintaining your residency receiving your Green Card, see our After a Green Card is Granted page.