Lost Your Reentry Documents While Overseas? There’s a Form for Return Travel (I-131A)

USCIS creates new method to deal with a green card or reentry permit that was lost, stolen, or destroyed during temporary overseas travel.

If you need to return to the United States from temporary overseas travel, but have lost one of your critical entry documents, you may not have time to replace it before your intended travel. Fortunately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has created a new way to deal with this.

This new method specifically applies to two situations:

  • You wish to return to the U.S. after temporary overseas travel of less than one year, and your lawful permanent resident card (green card) has been lost, stolen or destroyed, or
  • You wish to return to the U.S. after temporary overseas travel of less than two years, and your Reentry Permit has been lost, stolen or destroyed.

The procedure you’ll need to follow is this:

  • Fill out and sign USCIS Form I-131A, which is available for free download on the USCIS website.
  • Prepare evidence that you qualify for a U.S. entry document, including a copy of your green card, immigrant visa, or CBP admission stamp in your passport.
  • Prepare evidence of the length of your absence, including a copy of tickets and itinerary. (For purposes of the one- and two-year absence calculations, USCIS will start counting from the time your left the U.S. and end when you pay the Form I-131A fee.)
  • Prepare evidence of your intended date of return to the U.S., including a copy of tickets and itinerary.
  • Have one color, U.S. passport-style photograph taken (two inches by two inches), within the 30 days before you file your application.
  • Pay the required fee (($360 as of late 2016) online through the USCIS online payment system.
  • Take your filled out Form I-131A, fee receipt, supporting documents and evidence (as described above) to a U.S. consulate or embassy, along with your original passport and a copy of your passport’s biographic page.

You may also be asked to return to the U.S. embassy or consulate for an interview regarding your application.

If all goes well, you should be given new entry documents within two weeks. If it was your green card that you lost, however, you will still need to apply for a new one.