A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States is required to present a valid, unexpired Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, when seeking readmission to the United States after a temporary absence of less than one year. If the LPR’s permanent resident card has been lost or stolen, the LPR must obtain a Boarding Foil (previously known as Transportation Letter) in order to travel to the U.S. A boarding foil is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance. You must travel to the United States before your boarding foil expires and file the Form I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card with USCIS immediately after your arrival in the United States.
IF THE LPR CARD HAS EXPIRED
Please note, CBP’s Carrier Information Guide provides that a boarding foil is not required if the LPR has:
- an expired LPR card with a 10-year expiration date, OR
- a LPR Card with a 2-year expiration date and valid Form -797, Notice of action, indicating that status is extended.
In the above listed cases, the U.S. boarder inspectors allow the Green Card holders to enter the U.S., but the airlines must be sure that these travelers are in LPR status and very often they refuse boarding with an expired LPR card. The Boarding Foil serves as proof of legal status, as a notice to the air carrier that the U.S. Government does not intend to issue a penalty under INA 273 (b). Therefore, LPRs with expired Green Cards must consult their air carrier first if they will be boarded. If not, they may obtain a Boarding Foil.
LPRs applying for Boarding Foils should schedule an appointment on-line (click here)
Please prepare the following documents for the interview:
- Completed Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation).
- Evidence showing the date when you last departed from the United States (e.g., e-tickets, boarding passes, etc.).
- Evidence showing that you acquired U.S. legal resident status (e.g., copy of your immigrant visa, USCIS admission stamp in your passport, etc.).
- Evidence showing that you maintained residence in the United States while temporarily visiting Lithuania and/or other countries overseas (e.g., information about your employment in the United States, tax returns, family situation, etc.).
- Police report if your I-551 card and/or other travel documents have been stolen.
- One color photograph (5x5cm) of your full face, front view, against a light background taken within the last six months. Please click for more information on photo requirements.
- Copy of the non-refundable processing fee payment ($575) receipt from USCIS online payment system (ELIS).
IMPORTANT: please be aware that even if your application for a Boarding Foil is approved, it may take a few more days to verify your LPR status with USCIS and to prepare the document. It is valid for 30 days after the date of issuance, therefore please plan your trip to the U.S. accordingly.
NOTE: A child under two years of age who was born to a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) mother during a temporary visit abroad does not require an immigrant visa in order to travel to the United States if:
- the LPR parent is in possession of a valid Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”, Form I-551), a valid Reentry Permit, or a Returning Resident (SB-1) visa (if gone more than one year),
- the child is admitted to the United States within two years of birth, and
- the accompanying LPR parent is applying for readmission upon first return after the birth of the child.
If the LPR mother has already travelled to the United States since the birth of the child, then the child will need a visa to enter the United States.