I-131, Application for Travel Document

Purpose of Form :
To apply for a reentry permit, refugee travel document or advance parole travel document, to include parole into the U.S. for humanitarian reasons.
Number of Pages :
Form 3; Instructions 10.
Edition Date :
11/23/10 (02/12/10; 07/14/09; 03/24/09; 10/30/08; 05/27/08; 02/26/08 editions also accepted)
Where to File :
Please read the form instructions and Special Instructions section of the document.
Filing Fee :
$360. (Exceptions apply, an $85 biometric fee may be required, see form instructions for details.)
Special Instructions :
If you are filing Form I-131 together with Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, refer to the Federal Register Notice for your particular country’s TPS designation, for the filing location.
If you are filing Form I-131 by itself, based on your pending or approved Form I-821, file your form I-131 with the USCIS Dallas Lockbox facility.  See I-131 instructions.  You must include a copy of the I-797C Notice of Action showing that your application was accepted or approved.
Filing Period for Renewal of an Advance Parole Document:
If you are applying for renewal of your advance parole document (I-512L or I-512), USCIS will accept and adjudicate Form I-131 filed up to 120 days before the date your current Advance Parole document expires.
Biometric Services Requirement
All applicants for a Refugee Travel Document or a Reentry Permit must complete biometrics at an Application Support Center or if applying for a Refugee Travel Document while outside of the U.S. at an overseas USCIS facility.  If you are between age 14 through 79 and you are applying for a Refugee Travel Document or Re-entry Permit, you must also be fingerprinted as part of USCIS biometric services requirements. After you have filed this application, USCIS will notify you in writing of the time and location of your biometrics appointment. Failure to appear to be fingerprinted or for other biometric services may result in a denial of your application. All applicants for Re-entry Permit and/or Refugee Travel Documents between the ages of 14 through 79 are required to pay the additional $85 biometric fee. (See "What Is the Filing Fee" on Page 8 of the I-131 Filing Instructions).
Note: Widow(er)s of Deceased U.S. Citizens
If you filed a Form I-360 in 2009 and obtained a grant of deferred action based on the fact that you are the widow(er) of a U.S. citizen who died before you had been married at least 2 years, the grant of deferred action makes you eligible to apply for advance parole.  To obtain advance parole based on the grant of deferred action, you must file this Form I-131 with the filing fee specified in the Form I-131 instructions. 
But a recent change in the law may affect your ability to immigrate and to seek advance parole.  Section 568(c) of Public Law 111-83 amended the Immigration and Nationality Act so that you may be eligible to immigrate, even if you and your deceased spouse were married for less than 2 years when your spouse died.  This change took effect on October 28, 2009, when the President signed the new law. 
Because of this change in the law, USCIS will now treat your “deferred action” Form I-360 as a widow(er)’s visa petition.  This change means that, if you are in the United States, you may be able to file an adjustment of status application, Form I-485, even while your Form I-360 is still pending.  Instead of filing this Form I-131 based on the grant of deferred action, you may want to consider filing the Form I-131 with your Form I-485.  If you file the Form I-131 based on a pending or concurrently filed Form I-485, you do
not need to pay the separate Form I-131 filing fee that you would need to pay if you file the Form I-131 based on the grant of deferred action.   
Your eligibility to immigrate as the widow(er) of a U.S. citizen ends if you remarry before you acquire permanent resident status. 
Important Lockbox Filing Tips:
  • Read and follow all form instructions for fees, filing location, and eligibility requirements.
  • If hand writing your application, ensure all entries are neat and legible.
  • When entering information on your application or petition, be sure to keep your information within the box or space provided. 
  • Use black or blue ink only. Do NOT use highlighters or red ink on your application as they may make your materials undetectable when scanned.
  • Ensure that you are using the correct edition of the form. The correct edition is always available for FREE download at the top of this page.
  • Ensure that printed forms do not have the data fields grayed out. Information entered into grayed-out data fields will not be detected by the machine scanners.
  • Ensure that you provide all required supporting documentation and evidence.
  • Ensure that the supporting documents written in a language other than English are accompanied by an English translation. 
  • Be sure to sign your application.
  • Be sure that you mail all pages of the application.
  • If you must change your form, we recommend that you begin with a new form, rather than trying to white out information. Our scanners may see through the white correction tape or fluid and make your form incorrect, possibly leading to processing delays or rejection.
  • The fee for a Refugee Travel Document for an applicant age 16 or older is $135, and for a child under the age of 16 years, it is $105.
  • A biometric fee of $85 is required for a Reentry Permit and a Refugee Travel Document for applicants ages 14-79 inclusive, unless the applicant resides outside of the United States at the time of filing their form.
  • No biometric fee is required for advance parole applicants.
  • The application fee and biometrics services fee may be paid with one check, however, we suggest that if you are filing more than one application, that you use a separate check or money order for each application in the package and biometric fees (if required). If a single check is submitted for multiple applications and one of the applications must be rejected, then all applications will be rejected.  The Lockbox can not accept overpayment and make partial refunds. Checks must be made payable to Department of Homeland Security.
  • The fee for a humanitarian based advanced parole request may be waived based upon a demonstrated inability to pay.  Humanitarian-based parole requests are Application Types “e” and “f” in Part 2 on Form I-131. Biometric fees may also be waived based upon a demonstrated inability to pay.  Applicants should consider using Form I-912, Fee Waiver Request, to ensure such requests are supported in accordance with 8 CFR 103.7(c).
  • See form instructions for additional details on fees.
Customer Service
  • If your form is rejected and you don't understand our explanation or disagree with that determination, please write to Lockboxsupport@dhs.gov before you re-file.  We will respond quickly to your concern.  Please include the form type, receipt number(s), and the applicant name and mailing address in your inquiries.  We specifically ask that Alien Numbers (A-numbers) NOT be included in email, as email is not a secure means of communication.
  • Lockboxsupport@dhs.gov can answer questions regarding applications and petitions which are pending acceptance or rejection at the Lockbox, and those which have been rejected.  Once your application has been accepted, the Lockbox has no information on the adjudication status. After your application or petition has been accepted by the Lockbox, if you have questions about the status of your pending application or petition, contact USCIS Customer Service at (800) 375-5283 or visit our website, www.uscis.gov, and use the InfoPass system to make an appointment at your local USCIS office.
  • Requests to withdraw an application or petition must be addressed to the office adjudicating your application or petition.
  • Requests to send files to a different office must be made to the office holding your file.  Call USCIS Customer Service at (800) 375-5283 to determine where your inquiry should be sent.
  • The Lockbox does not process refunds.  Information about refunds can be found by visiting our website and typing Refund Request in the Search box in the upper right hand corner of the homepage.
What Not to Send to a Lockbox Facility
  • Only applications with fees or fee waiver requests should be sent to any Lockbox. 
  • The following items are examples of items that should not be mailed to any Lockbox:
  • The Lockbox does not accept additional evidence submitted in response to a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID).  Send all documents and information requested through a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) to the office requesting the information.
  • The Lockbox does not process changes of address.  Please see our website for more information on change of address.
E-Notification: If you are filing Form I-131 at one of the USCIS Lockbox facilities and would like to receive an e-mail and/or text message that your application has been accepted, print off Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, complete it, and clip it to the first page of your application.