The form I-131 is a multipurpose form provided by the Unites States Citizenship and Immigrant Services (USCIS) to certain groups of people. Following are the purposes that the form fulfills:
- Re-entry Permit
- Refugee Travel Document
- Advance Parole Document
The re-entry permit is applicable for two types of U.S residents:
- Permanent U.S residents
- Conditional permanent U.S residents
The re-entry permit allows these two types of residents to come back to the U.S during the times they are travelling abroad as long as their green card is invalid. In other words, the residents will not have to contact the U.S Embassy again for asking them to grant the returning resident visa. Thus, the re-entry permit granted through the form I-131 can help in the following ways:
- If you are not present in the United States and have been travelling abroad for a period of consecutive 365 days or more, you permanent residence card (green card) becomes invalid. This means that you cannot enter the United States on the basis of this card anymore. However, having the re-entry permit will allow you to enter the U.S in these circumstances.
- In case you take residence in some other country, you permanent U.S residence can be rendered to abandoning. This is applicable even if your absence is shorter than that of the period of 365 days. The re-entry permit will help you avoid this abandoning in such conditions.
Refugee Travel Document:
The refugee travel document is applicable to the following individuals:
- A person with refugee status
- A person with asylum status
- A permanent U.S resident who was granted his permanent U.S residency status as a refugee or asylee
The individuals who hold any of the above-mentioned statuses and wish to travel outside the United States should have a Refugee Travel Document in case they want to return to the country. This document keeps their residence status safe due their visits abroad. The absence of this document can result in failing of such individuals to re-enter the United States. It is to be noted that this document can also be used by the respective individuals in place of the passports while travelling abroad.
The advance parole can be used for authorization of the temporary parole of an individual in the United States. This document is granted to the following groups of foreign nationals:
The advance parole will allow all of such above-mentioned people to re-enter the United States after travelling abroad, for business reasons, for domestic reasons, or any other personal reasons.
- The foreign nationals who have obtained the following benefits under the Family Unity Program:
- You have been legally granted the permission to stay in the United States for a period of two years
- You have been granted an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that is valid for two years (or years of stay)
- The foreign nationals who have a pending application for the adjustment of status
- The foreign nationals who have been given the temporary protected status
- The foreign nationals who have applied for the asylee status
It is noteworthy to keep the following three instructions in mind for the Advance Parole document:
- It cannot be used as a replacement for the passport (Refugee Travel Document can be used in place of the passport).
- It cannot be used as a document in the normal process of attaining the visa
- It cannot be used for bypassing delays in visa issuance
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