In order to apply for entry into the United States without a visa, you must fill out and file Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This five-page form with 15 pages of instructions is solely for the purposes of applying for the following travel documents:
- Re-Entry Permit
- Refugee Travel Document
- Advance Parole Document (if currently in the U.S.)
What Is a Valid Purpose for Filing Form I-131?
If your travel is for vacation purposes, then you are not eligible for Form I-131. There are three valid purposes for filing an Application for Travel Document:
- Educational purposes
- Employment purposes
- Humanitarian purposes
If your visit to the U.S. falls under one of those three categories, and you do not currently have a visa, then you might consider filing an application for travel documents to gain valid entry into the country.
Filing Tips for the Application for Travel Documents
Make sure that you complete all sections of the form, in full. Your petition will be outright rejected if any of the following fields are missing on your form:
- Family Name
- Physical Address
- Date of Birth
- 1.a. – 1.f.
- Family Name (If 1.f. selected)
- Physical Address (If 1.f. selected)
- Signature of Applicant.
Other general filing tips for Form I-131:
- Make sure to include the filing fee payment.
- Submit all required initial evidence with supporting documents.
- Complete your biometric services appointment.
- Make copies of everything.
- Include an English translation, if completed in another language.
- Print legibly in black ink.
- Answer all questions fully and accurately.
What Is the Fee for Form I-131?
The fee for Form I-131 varies depending on your age and the type of application that you are filing. For Application Types A, D, E, and F (re-entry permits and advance parole applicants), the fee for this application is $575. For those applying for a refugee travel document, the fee is only $135 for applicants 16 years old and up and $105 for anyone younger. There is no fee for filing Form I-131, however, in the following circumstances:
- You are filing Form I-131 Application Type B or D.
- You filed a Form I-485 with a fee on/after July 30, 2007.
- Your Form I-485 is still pending.
In addition to the filing fee, there is an $85 biometric services fee for most applicants. If you are applying under the age of 13 or older than 80 years old, the fee is waived. Applicants for advanced parole do not need to pay the biometric services fee either.
Where Do You File Form I-131?
You currently cannot file Form I-131 online. All Form I-131 petitions must be filed through the mail. Check out the up-to-date information on direct filing addresses for the Application for Travel Documents.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
While your request for deferred action is pending, you are not permitted to apply for advance parole. Furthermore, if you were to leave the U.S. while your deferred action consideration request is pending, your request will be denied.
If you need any additional information about Form I-131, the Application for Travel Documents, or wish to download a PDF copy, visit the official website of USCIS.