131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)
As of November 1, 2019, the processing of form I-131A at US Consulate Guangzhou has been transferred to the Department of State. Instructions on how to file can be found at: https://china.usembassy-china.org.cn/embassy-consulates/guangzhou/sections-offices/nonimmigrant-visa-unit/contact-us/
Use this form if you are a lawful permanent resident (LPR), including an LPR with conditions, and you are:
- Returning from temporary overseas travel of less than one year, and your Green Card has been lost, stolen or destroyed;
- Returning from temporary overseas travel of less than two years and your reentry permit has been lost, stolen or destroyed;
- You wish to apply for a travel document (carrier documentation) that allows you to board a flight without the airline or transportation carrier being penalized.
For a child born abroad to an LPR, please see the section entitled “Filing and Other Special Instructions.”
Notice: Please direct U.S. entry and admission questions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at https://help.cbp.gov.
Who May File or Receive Service
You may apply for carrier documentation if you are an LPR and:
- You are returning from temporary international travel of less than one year and your Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card or Form I-551) has been lost, stolen or destroyed.
- You are returning from temporary international travel of less than two years and your reentry permit (Form I-327) has been lost, stolen or destroyed.
The length of your absence from the United States will be measured from the time you departed the U.S. to the time you pay the fee for filing Form I-131A.
If you are an LPR with an expired Green Card, you may not need to file a Form I-131A. We encourage you check with your airline or vessel before filing a Form I-131A.
Although regulations generally require an LPR to travel with a valid Green card, CBP policy permits a transportation carrier bound for the United States to board an LPR without carrier documentation if you:
- Are an LPR who has an expired Green Card that was issued with a 10-year expiration date, or
- Are an LPR with an expired Green Card with a two-year expiration date AND you also have a Form I-797, Notice of Action, for Form I-751 or Form I-829 to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status. The Notice of Action extends the validity of the Green Card for a specified length of time, generally one year.
Filing and Other Special Instructions
Child Born Abroad to a LPR
If you are an LPR and your child is born abroad during a temporary absence from the United States, your child may enter the United States without a visa before he or she turns two years old if your child accompanies you on your first return to the United States. CBP’s guidance indicates that an airline may board a child in this situation.
If your child does not come to the United States when you, the LPR parent first return to the United States, consult the U.S. Consulate or this USCIS office about the availability of an immigrant visa for your child.
Outside the U.S. For More than One Year
If you have been outside of the United States for more than one year without a reentry permit (or more than two years with a reentry permit), you will need to either seek a returning resident visa (SB-1) with the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy nearest to you, or consult with the USCIS office that has jurisdiction over the country in which you are traveling about an alternative travel document.
For information about maintaining your residency receiving your Green Card, see our After a Green Card is Granted page.