I-131A, Application for Travel Document (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.

Form I-131A allows you to apply for a travel document if you are:

  • Returning from temporary overseas 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; or
  • Returning from temporary overseas travel of less than two years and your Reentry Permit has been lost, stolen or destroyed.   

We measure the length of your absence from the time you departed the U.S. to the time you pay the Form I-131A fee. You must have been an LPR when you left the U.S. and still be an LPR when you return to the U.S. If you abandoned your LPR status or if we terminated it, do not file Form I-131A.

If you are an LPR with an expired Green Card or are traveling with a child under 2 years old, please read the Special Instructions section below to determine whether you need to file Form I 131A.

Number of Pages

Form 5; instructions 6

Edition Date

02/13/19. Starting 04/30/19, we will only accept the 02/13/19 edition. Until then, you can use the 12/23/16 edition. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Where to File

You must file Form I-131A in person at a USCIS international field office or with a Consular Section at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Before appearing in person, you must submit the filing fee through the online payment system on our website (see the Filing Fee section below). When you appear in person to file Form I-131A, you must bring evidence that you paid the fee, such as a copy of the payment confirmation page or a copy of the email payment receipt notice.

Before submitting your filing fee, please contact the nearest USCIS international field office or Consular Section at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate or visit its website to verify that they can process the Form I-131A, and carefully read the form instructions.

Filing Fee

$575. There is no biometric services fee. Anyone can pay this fee from anywhere in the world, as long as they enter the correct first and last names, date of birth, and A-Number as they appear on the your Green Card or Reentry Permit. Whoever pays the fee must pay through our online payment system using a credit or debit card or U.S. bank account.

When you send a payment, you agree to pay for a government service. Filing and biometric service fees are final and non-refundable, regardless of any action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request.

If you receive an error message when paying the fee, you should contact a USCIS international field office or a Consular Section at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate with the error message for assistance. You cannot use a fee waiver for this form.

Checklist of Required Initial Evidence (for informational purposes only)

Please do not submit this checklist with your Form I-131A. It is an optional tool to use as you prepare your form, but does not replace statutory, regulatory, and form instruction requirements. We recommend that you review these requirements before completing and submitting your form. Do not send original documents unless specifically requested in the form instructions or applicable regulations.

If you submit any documents (copies or original documents, if requested) in a foreign language, you must include a full English translation along with a certification from the translator verifying that the translation is complete and accurate, and that they are competent to translate from the foreign language to English.

Bring the following evidence when you go to the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate to submit your Form I-131A:

  • Your original passport
  • One copy of your passport’s biographic page (showing your photograph and personal information)
  • Evidence that you are a lawful permanent resident
  • A copy of your tickets, itinerary, or any other evidence indicating your most recent date of departure from the United States and the day you intend to return to the United States
  • One passport-style photograph of yourself taken within 30 days of filing this application

Special Instructions

If you are an LPR with an expired Green Card

If you have an expired Green Card, you may not need to file Form I-131A. Although regulations generally require an LPR to travel with a valid Green Card, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policy permits a transportation carrier bound for the United States to allow you to board without carrier documentation if you:

  • Are an LPR with an expired Green Card that was issued with a 10-year expiration date (and you have been outside of the U.S. for less than a year);
  • Are an LPR who has an expired Green Card with a two-year expiration date and you also have Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing that you filed a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, or Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (and you have been outside of the U.S. for less than a year). The Notice of Action extends the validity of the card for a specified length of time, generally one year; or
  • Are an LPR military service member or employee of the U.S. government (or an LPR dependent of such an individual) on official U.S. military or government travel orders, regardless of time outside of the United States.

Check with your airline or transportation carrier before you file Form I-131A because, in some situations, they may still refuse to let you board even if you are in one of the categories above. In that case, you will need to file a Form I-131A.

If you have a child who was born outside the United States and is coming to the U.S. for the first time

You may need to request carrier documentation if:

  • You are an LPR or have an immigrant visa,
  • Your child is under 2 years old, and
  • Your child is traveling with you to come to the United States for the first time.

We recommend checking with your airline or transportation carrier first to ensure they will board your child in these circumstances without carrier documentation. If the airline or transportation carrier refuses to board your child without carrier documentation, we can issue a boarding letter. In this situation, you do not need to file Form I-131A or pay a fee for this service.

If you are requesting a refund 

Please contact the nearest USCIS international field office or consular section at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate to request a refund. If you need further assistance, you may call our UCSIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY: 800-767-1833).

If you are changing your address

You can change your address through your Case Status Online user account at any time. For more information, please see our change of address webpage. If you experience any technical difficulties, please call the UCSIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY: 800-767-1833).

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