In order to board a flight to the United States, every Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States must present evidence that qualifies under that status. This evidence can be a valid Green Card, a properly stamped immigrant visa, or other documentation from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
If your Green Card has expired, has been lost or stolen, or you have no way to prove your current LPR status, you may request a valid Travel Document or Boarding Foil for an entry into the United States within 30 days of issue, through the form I-131A before the consulate. Because this process can be complex, you should consider consulting a lawyer. We will not be able to provide you with legal advice.
If you plan to apply for a Travel Document you must gather the following documents:
- Form I-131A, complete and signed Travel Document Application. Please, click on the link, print it and answer ALL the questions.
- Fee payment (must bring evidence of payment, in the form of receipt sent by email or confirmation page).
- Passport with a minimum validity of six months.
- A color photo, size 2 “x2”, white background.
- Police report documenting when the “Green Card” was stolen (if applicable).
- Evidence of Permanent Legal Residency (for example: passport copies with entry stamps or exit stamps from the United States, DHS approval forms, original or copy of your “Green Card”, etc.).
- Original air ticket (boarding pass) of your last departure from the United States.
When you have ALL the documents mentioned above, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your appointment.
You do not qualify for a Travel Document:
- If you have stayed outside of the United States for 1 year or more.
- If you are no longer a Legal Permanent Resident, or if the applicant wishing to return to the United States cannot provide convincing evidence of ties abroad, you can apply for an immigrant visa under the same terms you originally immigrated to, if that is still possible.
A Travel Document is not necessary in the following cases:
- A resident with conditional status in possession of his I-551 card (valid for 2 years), who has been outside the United States for less than one year, and has a receipt issued by DHS dated within the last six months, indicating that he has applied to the removal of the conditions of his status (Form I-751, Petition to remove Conditions on Residence).
- A legal resident employee of the United States Government, civil or military, who is outside the United States with official orders, can present his/her residence (I-551) valid or expired even though he/she is outside of the United States for one year or more. Additionally, the spouse or resident child of that employee who lives abroad under orders, and accompanies or follows him/her, may return with an expired I-551 if he/she enters within four months of the employee’s return to the United States. The official orders must mention that the resident’s spouse or son/daughter is authorized to accompany the employee abroad for a specific period of time. It is important that you present the official government orders to the airline along with your I-551.
Note: Occasionally a transportation company will not accept the official orders to board the LPR and will request a boarding foil from the consular section.