U.S. Visas: Form I-131
Application for Travel Document
Form 1-131 is an application for re-entry permit, refugee travel document or advance parole.
What are the Requirements for Filing Form I-131?
VISANOW can prepare and submit the I-131 application if the I-131 applicant is presently in the U.S. in valid status. In certain situations, VISANOW can also prepare and submit the I-131 application if the applicant is outside the U.S.
If you are physically present in the U.S. as a permanent, or conditional, resident VISANOW can prepare and file an I-131 application for a re-entry permit on your behalf.
- A re-entry permit allows a permanent, or conditional, resident to apply for admission to the U.S. during the permit’s validity without having to obtain a returning resident visa from an American Consulate.
- A re-entry permit is not required for return from a trip of less than one year’s duration but any stay outside the US for 6 months–less than a year creates a rebuttable presumption that the permanent resident abandoned their status.
- Possession of a reentry permit does not relieve you of any of the requirements of the immigration laws except the necessity to obtain a visa from an American consulate.
- For the purpose of naturalization, any absence from the United States for one year or more will break the continuity of any required period of continuous residence in the United States and you will need to file Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes.
- Re-entry permits are typically valid for two years and are not renewable. A permanent resident may, however, return to the U.S. and reapply for another re-entry permit. A permanent resident may have up to almost six years’ absence from the U.S. without being required to apply for a special immigrant visa.
- Applicants for re-entry permits aged between 14 –79 must be fingerprinted, as part of the USCIS biometric services requirement. Failure to appear for the biometric appointment may result in denial of the re-entry permit.
Refugee Travel Document:
If you are in the U.S. in a valid refugee or asylee status, or you obtained permanent residence as a direct result of refugee or asylee status in the U.S., VISANOW can prepare and file an I-131 application for a refugee travel document on your behalf.
- If you are in the U.S. in valid refugee or asylee status you are generally required to have a valid refugee travel document to return to the U.S. after temporary travel abroad unless you are traveling to Canada to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa (see advance parole document below).
- You should apply for the refugee travel document before you leave the U.S.
- A refugee travel document is valid for one year and may not be extended.
- Applicants for refugee travel documents aged between 14 –79 must be fingerprinted, as part of the USCIS biometric services requirement. Failure to appear for the biometric appointment may result in denial of refugee travel document.
Advance parole document:
Applicants Outside the U.S.: If you are outside the United States and must travel to the United States temporarily for emergent business or personal reasons, you may apply for an advance parole document to be paroled into the U.S. on humanitarian grounds if you cannot obtain the necessary visa and any required waiver of excludability.
- Parole cannot be used to circumvent normal visa issuing procedures, and is not a means to bypass delays in visa issuance.
- Parole is an extraordinary measure, sparingly used to bring an otherwise inadmissible alien into the U.S. for a temporary period of time due to a very compelling emergency.
- An individual who is in the U.S. may file this application on your behalf.
Applicants Inside the U.S.: If you are in the United States you may apply for an Advance Parole document if any one of the following are applicable to you:
- An adjustment of status application is pending and you seek to travel abroad for emergent personal or bona fide business reasons;
- You have been granted Temporary Protected Status, or another immigration status that allows you to return to that status after a ” brief, casual, and innocent absence ” (as defined in 8 CFR 244.1) from the U.S.; or,
- You are classified as a refugee or asylee and you seek to travel abroad for emergent personal or bona fide business reasons, or you are traveling to Canada to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa.
How Long is the Approved I-131 Valid?
The validity of each approved I-131 varies; it is dependent on the basis of the application and the reasons for travel.
Are Dependents Eligible to file Form I-131?
Each individual must have an independent basis for filing the I-131 application and each applicant must file their own individual application.