Eligibility to Fill Out Form I-131A
Before you fill out Form I-131A, make sure you’re eligible. If you’ve had your green card or reentry permit lost, stolen or destroyed while traveling abroad, you’ll most likely need to file Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation). If you are traveling outside the United States and your green card has expired, you probably don’t need to fill out Form I-131A. Most transportation carriers will allow you to board with an expired 10-year green card. If you have an expired green card, check with your carrier first.
If you’re a permanent resident whose been absent from the United States for one year or more, you may have a more serious immigration problem. It’s possible that you’ve abandoned your green card. If this sounds like you, contact an experienced immigration attorney.
RECOMMENDED: Green Card Abandonment: Risks of Travel Abroad
Form I-131A is only for permanent residents outside the United States. File Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, if you are presently inside the U.S. and your green card is lost, stolen or destroyed.
Fill Out Form I-131A
You may download instructions to fill out Form I-131A from the USCIS website. USCIS forms and instructions can be overwhelming. What’s more, mistakes can create significant delays and even rejections of an application. CitizenPath provides step-by-step guidance through the application on our website. Most applicants are able to fill out Form I-131A in about 10 minutes. What’s more, we guarantee accuracy so that USCIS will approve your application the first time.
Filing Form I-131A
After filling out the I-131A application, you must pay the USCIS filing fee and then file the Form I-131A at the closest U.S. embassy or consulate. You should expect processing to take approximately two weeks. However, every consular office’s processing time may be different. Some may be quicker. Once the consular office has issued the travel document, you may board a carrier bound for the United States.