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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT FORM I-131A APPLICATION FOR TRAVEL DOCUMENT (CARRIER DOCUMENTATION)

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

by Sharlene Sharmila Richards, Immigration Lawyer
Email at srichardslaw@aol.com

Q: I am a Permanent Resident who is traveling on short business trip abroad. I lost my wallet with my Permanent Resident Card. What do I need to do to return to the U.S.?
A: You may apply for a carrier documentation using Form I-131A. This form I-131A is filed in person at the USCIS International Field Office or with the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please make sure you contact the USCIS International Field Office or the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the foreign country where you are to ascertain that they will process the Form I-I131A at their location. The addresses for these U.S offices and Consulates can be found at https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/international-immigration-offices. Prior to appearing in person, you have to first pay the filing fee through the online payment system on the USCIS website and print out a copy of the proof of payment. Note: At the time of publication, the online payment link provided was not functioning.
Q: What is the use of Form I-131A?
A: The purpose of Form I-131A is to allow a Permanent Resident who is abroad to apply for a travel document if returning from temporary overseas travel of less than one year and the Permanent Resident Card has been lost, stolen or destroyed or for a Permanent Resident returning from temporary overseas travel of less than two years and the Re-Entry Permit has been lost, stolen or destroyed. Additionally, this Form can be used by Permanent Residents who have children under the age of two, born outside the US and the children are traveling with the Permanent Resident for the first time to the US.
Q: What are the Filing Fees for Form I-131A? How do I pay the Filing Fee?
A: The current Filing Fee is US $ 575.00. No additional biometrics fees are required. Payment can be made online using a credit or debit card or via U.S. bank account at https://public-prod-elis2.uscis.dhs.gov/efile/app/app/travel/#!/,
Q: I have an appointment at the U.S Consulate for carrier documentation. What documents do I need to bring with me to ensure that issuance of my carrier documentation goes smoothly?
A: Please take with you the completed and signed Form I-131A, your original and current passport (together with a copy of the biographic page of your Passport); proof of your Permanent Residence status, if available (such as copy of your Permanent Resident Card or your Immigrant Visa, whichever is applicable); proof of the last date of your departure from the US (such as travel ticket, boarding pass, travel itinerary); proof of your intended date of return to the US; one color passport-style photo (white background) of yourself taken within the last 30 days and proof or confirmation of payment of the Form I-131A Filing Fees.
Q: How long will the Embassy or Consulate take to issue the carrier documentation? What does the carrier documentation look like?
A: According to the information on the USCIS website, the Consulate or Embassy will generally issue the carrier documentation within two weeks. The carrier documentation is described as a boarding foil (similar to a visa) or could be in the form of a transportation letter which you will then present to the airline at time of boarding and when you arrive in the U.S., you will use the same document for admission or parole into the U.S.

Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.
My Bio
Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.


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