Are you applying for Form I-131, otherwise known as the Application for Travel Document? With this document, applicants can request travel documents from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It is essential for those traveling abroad or re-entering the United States after traveling internationally.
Unfortunately, the I-131 processing time can be confusing. Several factors can influence how long it would take to be completed. These include filing categories and immigration policies.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover the different aspects of I-131 form processing time, including:
Table of Contents
Form I-131, or the Application for Travel Document, is a form that allows non-US citizens to apply for a travel document that will grant them permission to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad. The travel document is necessary if the individual is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. And they plan to travel outside the U.S. temporarily.
Here are the three types of travel documents that one can get by filing Form I-131
The processing times for Form I-131 vary depending on the travel document requested. USCIS provides estimated processing times on its website. You can check case processing times, but these are subject to change.
According to the USCIS website, the estimated processing times based on 80% of completed cases for the last six months are:
Important Note: The processing times are subject to change, especially during unforeseen circumstances.
Here are some of the factors that can affect the processing time for Form I-131:
Completing Form I-131 accurately and attaching all the required supporting documents is crucial. Here are additional tips to help applicants avoid common mistakes that can slow down the processing of their application:
Before filling out Form I-131, carefully review the instructions provided by USCIS. The instructions explain each section of the form. It also includes the required supporting documents and the eligibility criteria.
All the information provided on the form must be accurate, including personal details such as name, date of birth, and address. Any incorrect information can delay the processing of the application or even result in a denial. So always double-check all information before submitting the form.
Supporting documents may include:
Failing to submit any of the required documents can delay the processing of the application.
Each type of travel document has a different filing fee. Applicants should use the correct fee when submitting their application. USCIS may reject the application if the incorrect fee is submitted, which will cause further delays.
Applicants should submit their applications early, especially if they have upcoming travel plans. Processing times can vary. Early submission can help ensure that the travel document is received in time for the planned trip.
You can check the status of an application for a travel document online. Just enter the receipt number on the USCIS receipt notice and click "Check Status."
If the processing time for Form I-131 is delayed beyond the usual time frame, there are several steps an applicant can take:
Applicants can check the USCIS website for updates on processing times and any alerts or notices related to the application process. The website provides information on any processing delays or changes to processing times.
If the processing time has exceeded the usual time frame and there is no information on the USCIS website, applicants can contact USCIS to inquire about the status of their application.
USCIS offers ways to contact them, such as through their customer service phone line or by submitting an online inquiry.
Applicants can submit an e-request to USCIS if their application is outside of normal processing times. A service request asks USCIS to check the case and take any necessary actions to move the case forward.
If the processing time for Form I-131 is significantly delayed or there are other issues with the application, an immigration attorney can help.
Our immigration lawyers here at Hacking Immigration Law, LLC, can provide guidance and advice on how to proceed. We can also help the applicant prepare any necessary documents or forms.
Getting a travel document through Form I-131 is essential for non-US citizens who wish to travel outside and re-enter the U.S. While the processing times can vary, applicants can take steps to avoid delay or denial.
For further assistance or information, visit the USCIS website or contact a qualified immigration attorney.