Travel outside United States may be normal for lawful permanent residents (LPR) with some limitations. The Form I-131 is used to apply for a Travel Document, reentry permit, refugee travel document or advance parole. This form cannot be used to request release from immigration custody.
Reentry permit can be applied by LPR or a conditional resident if you intend to travel abroad for a period up to 2 years using Form I-131. In this case you need not obtain returning resident visa. From the date of issuance the reentry permits are valid for 2 years. If stay abroad is for more than 4 years since the last 5 years of LPR status the validity is reduced to 1 year except if the reason for stay outside US is on government order, as a public treaty member or as US sports representative. New reentry permits are not issued unless validity of prior document is over or returned to USCIS or unless it’s proved that it’s lost.
In cases where you cannot or do not wish to get your home country’s passport, you may also want to get a reentry permit if you plan on traveling outside the United States. You may use it as your main travel document, placing necessary visas and entry and exit stamps in the permit. Many countries throughout the world may allow you to use a reentry permit much like you would use a passport. Specific requirements before you travel need to be made sure of to check with any country you plan to visit.
In case you return to US within a year’s time of travel abroad, on your Form I-551 permanent resident card you can reenter US. For naturalization purposes you can file Form N-470 to preserve residence if you intend to stay outside US for a year or more without break to the continuous residence requirement.
After unlawful presence for 180 days or more but less than a year in the US if you leave prior to start of removal proceedings for next three years from date of departure you cannot enter US. If unlawful presence is for more than 1 year the ban is for 10 years from reentry. Using advance parole, although you can return to US. In case of Temporary protected status (TPS) Form I-821, if correctly filed Form I-485 is pending, deferred enforced departure (DED) or asylum status removal is withheld and stay is considered authorized and also allows brief absence from US using advance parole application. If while Form I-485 is pending and still for emergency you travel abroad, using advance parole you can reenter US before it’s approved or continue your earlier status after return. But it cannot be used for 2 year foreign residency requirement as a result of J-1 status or while you are in removal proceedings.
Therefore to authorize the temporary parole of a person into the United States an advance parole document is issued using Form I-131. As an authorization for the applicant to travel to the US the travel document is accepted by a travel company in lieu of a visa. This document is not issued in place of any required passport.
As an extraordinary measure advance parole is used for any compelling emergency and to economically allow an inadmissible alien to US for a temporary period. This cannot be used to bypass any delays of visa issuance or to sidestep the normal visa issuing procedures.
For the following reasons advance parole is not required:
Hence valid H, L, K, or V nonimmigrant visa must be presented upon returning to US by such visa holders.
Refugee document of travel
To a person classified as refugee or asylee or who has obtained permanent resident status as a refugee or asylee in the US a refugee travel document is issued after filing Form I-131. Refugee travel document is a must for persons holding refugee or asylee status even if not permanent residents to return after temporary travel abroad to US.
Points to remember about Form I-131
Biometrics must be completed by all applicants for a Refugee Travel Document or a Reentry Permit at an Application Support Center or if applying for a Refugee Travel Document while outside of the U.S. at an overseas USCIS facility. You must also be fingerprinted as part of USCIS biometric services requirements if you are between age 14 through 79 and you are applying for a Refugee Travel Document or Re-entry Permit.
USCIS will notify you in writing of the time and location of your biometrics appointment after you have filed the application Form I-131. Your application maybe denied in case of failure to appear to be fingerprinted or for other biometric services. While filing you can request for the reentry permit to be sent to a US embassy or consulate abroad from where you can pick it up instead of waiting in US to receive it according to your convenience. In extreme emergencies advance parole is allowed on humanitarian basis to assure family unity enabling person to enter US for temporary stay. Advance parole application is denied is applicant leaves or enters US before decision is made on the Form I-131.
The fee for reentry permit or advance parole is $360. For a refugee travel document applicant above 16 years of age fee is $135 and if less than 16 years of age its $105 apart from biometrics fee. Applicants are required to pay the additional $85 biometric fee apart from the filing fee. Else Form I-912 can be used for waiver from paying biometric fee. Advance parole applicants need not pay for biometrics. A single check payable to Department of Homeland security must be made.