The United States is where you want to live now, but you still want to travel outside of the country. To do so legally, you have to make sure you have the appropriate travel documents so you don’t have problems getting into or out of the country. For example, if you are looking to travel outside the United States for more than a year and are currently a U.S. permanent resident, you must fill out the I-131 (Application for Travel Document).
You must then submit this form to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It can be scary to get ready to travel if you are afraid of losing your permanent resident status in the United States. However, the team at New Frontier Immigration Law can help with your case.
What Is the I-131 Application Form?
The I-131 application allows you to travel outside of the United States while maintaining your permanent residency status. With an I-131 form, you can apply for various special statuses, allowing you to go outside the country and then come back. In general, your application will fall under one of three categories:
- A re-entry permit: This option is for permanent or conditional residents of the United States who want to be outside of the country for longer than a year but still plan on returning.
- A refugee travel document: You would need this type of form if you are currently holding a U.S. asylee or refugee status.
- An advanced parole document: This document would help you come into the United States for a specific purpose. You might have the option to apply for this document while you are currently inside or outside the country.
The I-131 form also grants travel permission to Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) long-term residents. If you know you want to travel outside the United States for more than a year, you should start working on your I-131 as soon as possible. This can ensure you have the proper paperwork ready before you travel.
What Information Will I Need to Include on the I-131 Application Form?
The I-131 Application for Travel form is about five pages long. On it, you must provide specific information so the government can see if you meet the eligibility criteria. Some of the information you will need to provide includes:
- Your name and where you currently live
- Your alien registration number or other identifying information, such as where you were born and the country where you currently hold citizenship
- What type of application you are applying for (The form lists several options, and you pick the one that applies to you.)
- When you plan to leave and how long you intend to be gone
- The purpose of your trip and the countries you intend to visit
For those applying for a re-entry permit, you will need to indicate how much time you have spent outside the United States in the last five years or since you became a permanent resident. You will also need to tell if you have ever failed to file a federal income tax return.
What Are the Special Considerations of the I-131 Form?
It is essential to be as thorough and accurate as possible with your information. Make sure to fill out all relevant sections of the I-131 form before submitting it, as it might not be accepted if you exclude certain information from the form. You will need to submit the form to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS will notify you of their decision and the follow-up steps you would need to take, such as an interview.
If you are a current green-card holder in the United States and do not plan to be outside the country for more than a year, you probably do not need to fill out an I-131 form. Getting the right legal help can ensure that your paperwork is in order before traveling outside of the United States.
Note that if you have an attorney help you prepare your I-131 form, a particular section of the document requires you to give information about the person who helped you prepare the form.
How Can an Immigration Lawyer Help Me?
At New Frontier Immigration Law, we understand the ins and outs of the required paperwork for people seeking a new life in the United States. We can help you go over your information and help make sure you have everything for the Form I-131. If the USCIS rejects your paperwork, we can also help you through the appeals process.
We can help you keep track of everything with your case and answer your questions about this form. Our attorneys understand the complex laws and regulations that may impact your application and help you navigate what you find confusing.
Many of our clients have been highly satisfied with our services. Here’s what just one of them had to say:
“Hillary is an amazing lawyer! Not just because she won’t quit but, because she truly cares about what she does. It’s hard in todays times to find someone as passionate as Hillary is about what she does. Our case turned complicated and had Hillary not fought for us we would have had a very different outcome. Thankful, we had Hillary and I’m happy to say my beautiful daughter-in-law and my grandson are now firmly in the embrace of their family! Thank you Hillary!” — Kara
Get Started With a Strategic Session Today
The legal team at New Frontier Immigration Law is ready to help you with your case. We want to go over what you need help with and what options you have available. Our immigration lawyers will do everything we can to help you with your case. You can contact us online to get started with a strategic session today.