If your green card has been lost, stolen or expired, and you are still in status (generally if you have been outside the United States for less than one year), the Embassy may be able to issue a boarding foil in your current biometric passport that would permit you to return to the United States. In order for the Embassy to issue this boarding foil, a consular officer must first conduct an interview.
If you plan to file a Form I-131A to apply for a LPR boarding foil, please note that you must pay the filing fee online at the USCIS website before appearing in person at a consular section. Information on the new form and fee is located here. You must bring evidence of payment, in the form of a printed email receipt notice or confirmation page, when you appear in person to file Form I-131A. As with all immigration fees, USCIS does not issue refunds, regardless of the decision on the application.
You may find additional information on the I-131A Form and Instructions page.
Step One: E-mail PristinaVISAS@state.gov the following information and an explanation as to why you are applying for this boarding foil:
- Date of birth;
- “A” number;
- Kosovo biometric passport number, issuance and expiration dates;
- Your U.S. address;
- Contact telephone number while you are in Kosovo;
- If green card was lost or stolen, a short explanation of what, when, and where it happened;
- If green card is expired, date of last exit from the U.S. and explanation of why you did not return to the U.S. prior to expiration.
Step Two: Consular staff will schedule you an interview appointment. At the time of your appointment, please bring the following documentation:
- Form I-131A , Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation; PDF 385KB);
- Evidence of payment;
- Your Current Passport. The boarding foil can only be placed in a valid passport; If you are not in possession of a valid passport, you may apply for one at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kosovo.
- One 5 x 5 cm (2” by 2”) color photograph taken within the last six months: Please follow photo requirements carefully.
- If your green card was lost or stolen, please bring a police report explaining the circumstances;
- Evidence of Status, proof that you have not been outside the United States for more than 1 year (e.g.: border passing cards, airplane ticket, etc.). Please also provide a photocopy for each proof that you provide. If you remained outside the United States for longer than one year, or beyond the validity period of a Re-entry Permit, you cannot apply for a boarding foil. You may be eligible and can apply for a Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa. For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs webpage “Returning Resident Visas” and our own website.
- If you are a conditional permanent resident, please bring the Receipt Notice (Form I-797) from USCIS demonstrating that a petition to remove conditions of residence has been filed. Note: If you do not have a Receipt Notice and it is past the second anniversary of conditional residency status, we CANNOT issue you a boarding foil.
The boarding foil is only valid for one month from the date of issuance. We suggest you schedule your appointment two weeks prior to your planned departure date. Approximately two business days after the interview, we will let you know your passport is ready for pick-up.
LPRs with Expired Green Cards
LPRs who are in status but whose Green Cards have expired may not need to file Form I-131A. We encourage LPRs to check with their airline or vessel before determining whether to file Form I-131A.
Although regulations generally require an LPR to travel with a valid Green Card, CBP policy permits a transportation carrier bound for the United States to board an LPR without carrier documentation if:
- They have an expired Green Card that was issued with a 10-year expiration date; or
- They have an expired Green Card with a 2-year expiration date AND a Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing that they have filed a Form I-751 or Form I-829 to remove the conditions on their permanent resident status. The Notice of Action extends the validity of the card for a specified length of time, generally one year.