Eligibility to Apply for Travel Documents

What are the different types of travel documents issued?

Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, is used to apply for three different types of travel documents:

Advance Parole Travel Documents

  • Advance parole is issued solely to authorize the temporary parole of a person into the United States. The document may be accepted by a transportation company (airlines) instead of a visa as an authorization to travel to the United States.
  • An advance parole document does not replace your passport.
  • Advance parole is most commonly used when someone has Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status,  pending.  If you depart the U.S. while your I-485 application is pending without first obtaining advance parole, your case will be denied unless you fit into a narrow exception for those maintaining certain nonimmigrant statuses. 

Refugee Travel Document

apply for travel documents

  • A refugee travel document is issued to a person who has been granted refugee or asylum status, or to a permanent resident who obtained a green card because they were a refugee or asylee.
  • If you hold refugee or asylee status and are not a permanent resident, you must have a refugee travel document to return to the United States.
  • Derivative asylees and refugees must also obtain a refugee travel document before leaving the United States.
  • If you do not obtain a refugee travel document in advance of departure, you may be unable to re-enter the United States, or you may be placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

Re-Entry Permit

  • A re-entry permit allows a permanent resident or conditional resident to apply for admission to the U.S. upon returning from abroad during the permit’s validity, without having to obtain a returning resident visa from a U.S. Embassy or consulate. Permanent or conditional residents should apply for a re-entry permit if they will be outside the United States for one year or more.


If you or someone you know is interested completing your travel document application, you can apply online here with Road to Status. If your case is more complex and you would like to speak with a licensed immigration attorney, you can learn more about the benefits of an initial consultation before deciding on the best path for you.

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The newsletters and articles found in this blog are offered only for general informational and educational purposes. They are not offered as and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinions.



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