All United States Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) or Conditional Residents (CR) who are traveling outside of the United States must present valid documents demonstrating their residency status in order to re-enter. If you have remained out of the United States more than one year (or beyond the validity of a Re-Entry Permit) or do not have your I-551 Permanent Resident (“green”) card, then you may need to visit the Embassy in order to obtain the appropriate documents to return to the United States. You can learn more about Returning Resident Visas at usvisas.state.gov.
If your Lawful Permanent Resident card (commonly known as green card) has been lost/stolen/expired then you may need a boarding foil in order to travel to and re-enter the United States..
Please note: If you have been outside of the United States for more than 365 calendar days, you may no longer be in Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status and must consult U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) for further guidance by calling the USCIS Contact Center at +1 (212) 620-3418.
If you are an LPR who has been outside of the United States for fewer than 365 days, to request a boarding foil, you must:
- File the form I-131A with USCIS at: https://www.uscis.gov/file-online/log-online-filing
- Pay the $575 application fee (non-refundable) and retain receipt of payment at https://www.uscis.gov/file-online/log-online-filing.Payment cannot be made at the Embassy, and this fee must be paid BEFORE coming for the consular appointment. Request an appointment by sending the completed I-131A and proof of fee payment to the following email address: BridgetownIV@state.gov
- Obtain a police report, if applicable.
- Bring a valid passport and 1 passport photo to your appointment at the Embassy.
- Find your Alien number. If you do not know it, you may obtain your Alien number from your nearest USCIS office.
Please note: USCIS will not process a refund if an applicant later determines that a LPR boarding foil was unnecessary, and USCIS will not provide a refund if the individual should have applied for an SB-1 (Returning Resident Visa) rather than a boarding foil.
IMPORTANT:If your boarding foil is approved at the time of your interview, it will require at least two business days to print. A boarding foil is valid for one-time entry to the United States within one month of approval. The fee for the appointment is non-refundable regardless of the decision rendered. Do not make travel plans until you have received your boarding foil.
You may find additional general information and the instructions for the I-131A at https://www.uscis.gov/i-131a.