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Boarding Foil Application Procedures

Step 1: Pay the I-131A filing fee online at the USCIS Website

  • Pay the filing fee using a credit or debit card or U.S. bank account through the USCIS online payment system. Be sure to read the instructions before you pay as this fee is not refundable regardless of the decision on the application. Applicants will need their A number in order to pay the fee, which they may obtain from the nearest USCIS officeif they do not have it.
  • If you plan to file a Form I-131A to apply for a LPR boarding foil, please note that you must pay the I-131 A filing fee online on the USCIS website before appearing in person at a consular section. You must bring evidence of payment, in the form of a printed email receipt notice or confirmation page, when you appear in front of a consular officer to request a LPR boarding foil. As with all immigration fees, USCIS does not issue refunds, regardless of the decision on the application. USCIS will also not provide applicants an I-131A fee payment refund if the individual should have applied for an SB-1 instead of a boarding foil.
  • Q: Where can I find out more information?
    A: You can find more information at the USCIS website and the USCIS Contact Center
  • Q: Can the I-131A fee paid to USCIS be refunded?
    A: An I-131A fee will only be refunded in the event of U.S. government error. USCIS will not process a refund if an applicant later determines that a LPR boarding foil was unnecessary.
  • Q: Am I eligible for an I-131A if I have been out of the U.S. for more than one year?
  • A: No, but you may be eligible to apply for a Returning Resident Visa.

Step 2: Schedule an appointment

For applicants residing in Beijing Consular District (Beijing, Chongqing, Tianjin, Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangxi, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Tibet, Xinjiang, Yunnan and North Korea), to request an appointment please send email to BeijingLostGreenCard@state.gov. Please do not make appointment through ACS’ notarial services.

For applicants residing in Guangzhou Consular District (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan), to request an appointment please send email to GZLostGreenCard@state.gov. Please also refer to the information posted on the webpage of the Non-Immigrant Visa unit (NIV) for details.

For applicants residing in Shanghai Consular District (Shanghai, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang), to request an appointment please send email to ShanghaiBoardingFoils@state.gov. Please do not make appointment through ACS’ notarial services.

For applicants residing in Shenyang Consular District (Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning), to request an appointment please send email to ShenyangNIV@state.gov. Please do not make appointment through ACS’ notarial services.

Please make sure you include the following information in your email:

  • Full name (Last, First)
  • Date of birth: MM/DD/YYYY
  • Telephone number (in China)
  • E-mail address
  • Intended date of travel to the U.S.: MM/DD/YYYY
  • Date you last exited the U.S.: MM/DD/YYYY
  • Reason/Remarks

We will email you an appointment date and time. Note: Boarding Foils can only be processed during normal business hours on an appointment basis. We cannot process Boarding Foil requests on weekends, holidays, after hours, or without an appointment.

Step 3: Bring the following documents

  • A completed Form I-131APage 1 – 3 (and page 4-5 if applicable)
  • Copy of payment receipt for the I-131A online, i.e. a printed email receipt notice or confirmation page
  • Unexpired passport
  • Your airplane tickets (the one ticket showing your departure date from the U.S.)
  • Evidence of your U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident status (e.g. passport showing the admission stamp to the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident, copy of your green card if available)
  • Evidence that you were in the United States within the last 12 months
  • Police report from when the card was lost or stolen. Detailed explanation is required as to when and to whom you reported the loss or theft of the card, if police report is not available
  • One passport-style color photograph with white background taken within 30 days. Note: applicants are not permitted to wear eyeglasses in the photos.

Processing time will depend on the circumstances of your case and the amount of information and evidence you provide. The normal processing time can be as little as a few working days. Also, at least two visits to the embassy or consulate are required. (i.e. One for the interview, the other one for picking up your passport.)