Form I-129F – Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) for the United States

1. What is Form I-131 and when should it be used?

1. Form I-129F is used for petitioning a foreign fiancé(e) to enter the United States for the purpose of getting married. This form is specifically for U.S. citizens who are engaged to foreign nationals and wish to bring their fiancé(e) to the U.S. to marry within 90 days of arrival. The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen, not a permanent resident, to use this form. The Form I-129F is the first step in the K-1 visa process, which allows the foreign fiancé(e) to come to the U.S. for the purpose of getting married. Upon approval of the petition, the fiancé(e) can then apply for a K-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. It is important to note that the petitioning process can be complex and requires careful attention to detail to ensure a successful outcome.

2. Who is eligible to apply for a travel document using Form I-131?

Form I-131, also known as the Application for Travel Document, can be filed by various individuals who are eligible to apply for a travel document for the United States. Specifically, those who may apply using Form I-131 include:

1. Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who are looking to travel internationally and need to ensure they can reenter the US without issues,
2. Refugees and asylees who require travel authorization,
3. Individuals with pending adjustment of status applications seeking Advance Parole to travel outside the US,
4. Conditional residents who need to travel but have not yet received their permanent resident card,
5. Certain nonimmigrants who have special categories qualifying for travel documents.

These are the key groups who are eligible to apply for a travel document using Form I-131. It is crucial to carefully review the eligibility criteria and provide accurate information in the application to avoid delays or possible denials.

3. What are the types of travel documents that can be obtained using Form I-131?

Form I-131, also known as the Application for Travel Document, allows individuals in certain immigration statuses to apply for various types of travel documents issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The types of travel documents that can be obtained using Form I-131 include:

1. Advance Parole: This document allows individuals with pending applications for adjustment of status, asylum, or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad without abandoning their applications.

2. Refugee Travel Document: Individuals who have been granted refugee or asylee status can use this document to travel outside the United States and return.

3. Re-entry Permit: Permanent residents (green card holders) can apply for a re-entry permit using Form I-131 if they plan to travel outside the U.S. for an extended period (up to 2 years) and maintain their status as lawful permanent residents.

Each type of travel document serves a specific purpose and eligibility requirements must be met to apply for them using Form I-131. It is essential to carefully review the instructions and guidelines provided by USCIS when completing the application to ensure a successful outcome.

4. What are the supporting documents required when submitting Form I-131?

When submitting Form I-129F – Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) for the United States, there are several supporting documents that are required to be included in the application package. These documents are crucial to demonstrate the validity and legitimacy of the relationship between the U.S. citizen petitioner and the foreign fiancé(e). Some of the key supporting documents that are typically required to be submitted along with Form I-129F include:

1. Evidence of U.S. citizenship: The U.S. petitioner must provide proof of their U.S. citizenship, such as a copy of their U.S. passport, birth certificate, or naturalization certificate.

2. Proof of relationship: Documentation proving the relationship between the U.S. petitioner and the foreign fiancé(e) is essential. This may include photographs together, communication records like emails or letters, and other evidence of the genuine nature of the relationship.

3. Form G-325A: Both the U.S. citizen petitioner and the foreign fiancé(e) must complete and submit Form G-325A, which provides biographical information about each individual.

4. Any additional supporting documents: Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, additional supporting documents may be required. These may include proof of any prior divorces, evidence of meeting in person within the last two years, or waivers for certain requirements.

Ensuring that all the necessary supporting documents are included and properly organized with Form I-129F is crucial for a successful petition filing and to avoid any delays or issues in the processing of the application.

5. How long does it take to process Form I-131?

The processing time for Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), can vary depending on various factors, including the current caseload of the USCIS, the complexity of the case, and whether the petition is filed with any issues or requirements for further evidence. Generally, USCIS aims to process Form I-129F within 5 to 7 months from the date of filing. However, this timeframe is not guaranteed and could be shorter or longer based on individual circumstances. It is essential to regularly check the USCIS website or contact USCIS for updates on processing times to stay informed about your specific case.

6. Can Form I-131 be expedited in cases of emergency travel?

Yes, Form I-131, also known as the Application for Travel Document, can be expedited in cases of emergency travel. When there is a genuine need for urgent international travel due to unforeseen circumstances such as a family emergency or medical situation, applicants can request expedited processing of their Form I-131. This involves providing evidence to demonstrate the urgency of the situation and requesting expedited processing at the time of submission. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will review the request and may grant expedited processing based on the merits of the case. It is important to note that not all requests for expedited processing are granted, and each case is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Applicants should follow the instructions provided by USCIS for requesting expedited processing and be prepared to provide supporting documentation to justify the need for expedited treatment.

7. How much does it cost to file Form I-131?

The current filing fee for Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, is $575 as of August 2021. This fee is required for each individual applicant, including children, who are applying for a travel document. It is important to note that USCIS fees are subject to change, so it is always recommended to check the official USCIS website or consult with an immigration attorney for the most up-to-date filing fee information. In some cases, fee waivers may be available for eligible applicants based on their financial situation, so it is advisable to explore all possible options before submitting your application.

8. Can Form I-131 be filed online or does it need to be submitted by mail?

Form I-131, also known as the Application for Travel Document, can be filed both online and by mail. Individuals have the option to submit Form I-131 electronically through the USCIS website, or they can choose to mail a paper application to the appropriate USCIS mailing address. Filing online provides the advantage of faster processing times and real-time tracking of the application status. On the other hand, submitting by mail may be preferred by those who prefer to send physical documents or if they encounter any technical difficulties with the online filing system. Ultimately, the choice between filing online or by mail depends on the individual’s preference and convenience.

9. What are the common reasons for travel that warrant the use of Form I-131?

The common reasons for travel that warrant the use of Form I-131, also known as the Application for Travel Document, include but are not limited to:

1. Advance Parole: This allows individuals who are in the United States and have pending applications for Adjustment of Status, Asylum, U visa, T visa, or Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) filings to travel abroad for urgent reasons such as family emergencies, business needs, or educational purposes without abandoning their pending immigration applications.

2. Re-entry Permit: Lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders) who intend to stay outside the United States for an extended period (usually one year or more) and wish to re-enter the country without jeopardizing their permanent resident status typically need a re-entry permit.

3. Refugee Status or Asylee Travel: Individuals who have been granted refugee or asylee status in the United States may need a Refugee Travel Document to travel abroad and re-enter the country due to fear of persecution in their home country.

4. Conditional Permanent Resident: Conditional permanent residents who are required to remove the conditions on their residence may need a Travel Document if they plan to travel outside the United States while their application is pending.

It is crucial to carefully consider the specific circumstances and requirements for each type of travel document and ensure that the Form I-131 is filed accurately and in a timely manner to facilitate lawful travel for the intended purpose.

10. Can Form I-131 be used for international travel only or also for domestic travel within the U.S.?

Form I-131, officially known as the Application for Travel Document, can be used for both international travel and domestic travel within the United States. The travel document issued as a result of filing Form I-131 is known as the Reentry Permit or Advance Parole Document. This document allows individuals in the process of adjusting their status in the U.S. to travel abroad temporarily and return to the U.S. without jeopardizing their application. It is important to note that individuals who are in the U.S. without legal immigration status and are using Form I-131 for international travel should consult with an immigration attorney to understand the potential risks and implications of their travel plans.

11. Can someone with a pending Form I-131 application travel outside the U.S.?

1. Typically, someone with a pending Form I-131 application can travel outside the U.S. However, it is important to proceed with caution and consult with an immigration attorney before doing so. Traveling outside the U.S. while a Form I-131 is pending could potentially lead to complications or delays in the application process. It is crucial to consider factors such as the purpose of travel, the current immigration status of the individual, and any specific instructions provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding international travel while the Form I-131 is pending. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the individual has the necessary documentation and permissions to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad.

2. If the individual does decide to travel outside the U.S. while their Form I-131 application is pending, they should notify USCIS of their travel plans and ensure that they comply with any requirements or procedures set forth by the agency. Failure to follow proper procedures or requirements could potentially jeopardize the pending Form I-131 application. It is always recommended to seek guidance from an immigration attorney to navigate the complexities of international travel while an immigration application is pending.

12. Can a green card holder apply for a reentry permit using Form I-131?

Yes, a green card holder can apply for a reentry permit using Form I-131. A reentry permit allows a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) to travel abroad for an extended period of time without abandoning their permanent resident status. To apply for a reentry permit using Form I-131 as a green card holder, the individual must ensure they meet the eligibility criteria, which includes having been physically present in the United States for a certain period of time prior to applying. The application process typically involves submitting the completed Form I-131, supporting documents, and the required filing fee to USCIS for processing. It is important for green card holders to carefully follow the instructions provided by USCIS when applying for a reentry permit to avoid any delays or issues with their application.

13. Is there a deadline for filing Form I-131 before the intended travel date?

Yes, there is no specific deadline for filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, before the intended travel date. However, it is highly recommended to submit this form well in advance of the planned travel to allow for processing time by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The processing times for Form I-131 can vary, so it is advisable to file as early as possible to ensure that the travel document is received before the intended travel date. Additionally, factors such as the complexity of the case, current USCIS workload, and any potential requests for additional information can impact processing times. It is important to plan ahead and file Form I-131 in a timely manner to avoid any delays in obtaining the necessary travel document for international travel.

14. Can Form I-131 be used to reenter the U.S. after a temporary absence?

No, Form I-131, also known as the Application for Travel Document, cannot be used to reenter the U.S. after a temporary absence. The Form I-131 is typically used by individuals who are lawful permanent residents, refugees, or asylees to apply for a travel document that allows them to reenter the U.S. after temporary travel abroad. However, if you are a fiancé(e) seeking to reenter the U.S. after a temporary absence, you would need to have a valid visa or travel document that allows entry into the country, such as a nonimmigrant visa or a visa waiver. It’s important to ensure that you have the appropriate documentation for reentry into the U.S. based on your immigration status and specific circumstances.

15. Can Form I-131 be used for undocumented immigrants to travel outside the U.S. and return?

No, Form I-131, also known as the Application for Travel Document, is not typically used by undocumented immigrants to travel outside the U.S. and return. This form is primarily intended for individuals who have lawful status in the United States, such as permanent residents, refugees, or asylees, to apply for permission to travel abroad and return to the U.S. without jeopardizing their status. Undocumented immigrants do not have legal status in the U.S. and therefore would not be eligible to use Form I-131 for travel purposes. It is important for individuals to consult with an immigration attorney to understand their specific situation and explore any available options for legalizing their status before considering travel outside the country.

16. What is the difference between a reentry permit, refugee travel document, and advance parole document obtained through Form I-131?

A reentry permit, refugee travel document, and advance parole document obtained through Form I-131 are all travel documents issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allow individuals to travel internationally while their immigration status is being processed or adjusted. Here are the key differences between the three:

1. Reentry Permit: A reentry permit is typically issued to lawful permanent residents (green card holders) who intend to leave the United States for an extended period of time but want to retain their status as a permanent resident. It allows them to reenter the U.S. without jeopardizing their residency status.

2. Refugee Travel Document: A refugee travel document is issued to individuals who have been granted refugee or asylum status in the United States. It allows them to travel internationally and return to the U.S. as a refugee or asylee.

3. Advance Parole Document: An advance parole document is issued to non-U.S. citizens who are in the process of adjusting their status to become a lawful permanent resident or who have certain types of temporary immigration status. It allows them to travel internationally and return to the U.S. without abandoning their pending application.

In summary, a reentry permit is for permanent residents, a refugee travel document is for refugees and asylees, and an advance parole document is for individuals with pending immigration applications or temporary status. Each document serves a specific purpose based on the individual’s immigration status and travel needs.

17. Can Form I-131 be filed while inside the U.S. or does it need to be done from outside the country?

Form I-131, also known as the Application for Travel Document, can generally be filed while inside the United States. This form is typically used by individuals to apply for a re-entry permit, refugee travel document, or advance parole document. Whether you can file Form I-131 from within the U.S. or need to do it from outside the country depends on your specific situation and the type of travel document you are applying for. For example:
1. If you are applying for a re-entry permit because you are a permanent resident planning to travel abroad for an extended period of time, you can file Form I-131 from within the U.S.
2. If you are applying for advance parole to allow you to travel outside the U.S. and return while your adjustment of status application is pending, you can also file Form I-131 from within the U.S.
It’s important to review the specific filing instructions and eligibility requirements for Form I-131 based on your circumstances to ensure that you submit the application correctly.

18. How long is a travel document obtained through Form I-131 valid for?

A travel document obtained through Form I-131, also known as the Application for Travel Document, is typically valid for 1 year from the date of issuance. However, there are some exceptions and specific circumstances that may affect the validity period of the travel document:

1. The validity period of the travel document may be shorter than 1 year if there are specific travel restrictions or limitations imposed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the U.S. Department of State.
2. In some cases, the validity of the travel document may be tied to the underlying immigration status of the individual applying for it. For instance, if the individual’s underlying visa status expires before the expiration date of the travel document, the travel document may also expire along with the visa status.
3. It is important for the individual holding the travel document to ensure that they do not travel outside the United States after the expiration date of the document, as they may encounter difficulties re-entering the country without a valid travel document.

Overall, it is recommended for individuals holding a travel document obtained through Form I-131 to carefully review the expiration date indicated on the document and plan their travel accordingly to avoid any complications or issues at the port of entry.

19. Can a travel document obtained through Form I-131 be extended or renewed?

No, a travel document obtained through Form I-131 cannot be extended or renewed. If the travel document expires and you still need to travel, you must submit a new Form I-131 application to obtain a new travel document. It is important to plan ahead and apply for a new travel document in a timely manner to avoid any disruptions in your ability to travel. Additionally, make sure to check for any updates or changes to the form or application process before submitting your new application to ensure compliance with current regulations and requirements.

20. Are there any restrictions on travel destinations when using a travel document obtained through Form I-131?

1. There are certain restrictions on travel destinations when using a travel document obtained through Form I-131, also known as the Advance Parole document. While the Advance Parole document allows foreign nationals in the United States to travel abroad and return without abandoning their pending adjustment of status application, there are limitations on where they can travel. These restrictions include countries that the United States has identified as high-risk or that have strained diplomatic relations, as well as countries subject to travel bans or restrictions imposed by the U.S. government. It is important for individuals with an Advance Parole document to check travel advisories and restrictions before planning their trip to ensure they comply with the rules and avoid any complications upon their return to the U.S.

2. Additionally, individuals with a pending Form I-129F petition for a fiancé(e) may also face restrictions on travel destinations when using an Advance Parole document. It is advisable for them to consult with an immigration attorney or a legal expert to understand any specific limitations that may apply to their particular situation. Failure to comply with these restrictions could jeopardize their immigration status and future ability to enter the United States.