A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States is required to present a valid Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), if seeking readmission to the U.S. after a temporary absence of less than one year.
If you are not in possession of your Permanent Resident Card, you may apply for a Transportation Boarding foil in order to facilitate boarding by the airline to transport you back to the U.S. A “Boarding Foil” is valid for a maximum of 30 days and for a single entry. To issue a “Boarding Foil”, an interview with a consular officer is required to confirm that you hold a Lawful Permanent Resident status in the United States.
You may apply for a Transportation Boarding foil if you are an LPR and:
- You are returning from temporary international travel of less than one year and your Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card or Form I-551) has been lost, stolen or destroyed.
- You are returning from temporary international travel of less than two years and your reentry permit (Form I-327) has been lost, stolen or destroyed.
(The length of your absence from the United States will be measured from the time you departed the U.S. to the time you pay the fee for filing Form I-131A).
If you are an LPR with an expired Green Card, you may not need to file a Form I-131A.
Although regulations generally require an LPR to travel with a valid Green Card, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policy permits a transportation carrier bound for the United States to board an LPR without carrier documentation if you:
- Are an LPR who has an expired Green Card that was issued with a 10-year expiration date, or,
- Are an LPR with an expired Green Card with a two-year expiration date AND you also have a Form I-797, Notice of Action, for Form I-751 or Form I-829 to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status. The Notice of Action extends the validity of the Green Card for a specified length of time, generally one year.
We encourage you to check with your airline or vessel before filing a Form I-131A.
Applying for a Transportation Boarding foil
If you believe you have maintained your lawful permanent residency and require a Transportation Boarding foil to reenter the United States, please complete and submit this contact form.
The Immigrant Visa Unit will contact you within 2 business days upon receipt of your inquiry.
If you qualify to apply for a Transportation Boarding foil you will be required to complete form I-131A, Application for Travel Document and Pay a boarding foil fee. You will also be required to visit the U.S. Embassy in London and apply in person.
Processing times will depend on the circumstances of your case and the amount of information and evidence you provide. We aim to process your Transportation Boarding foil within 3 business days once you have completed all the necessary steps and appeared for your appointment at the U.S. Embassy in London.
Once issued, the Transportation Boarding foil will be attached to your passport page and returned to you via DX courier. The U.S Embassy is unable to accommodate a same day turnaround service.
Note: Boarding Foils can only be processed during normal business hours on an appointment basis at U.S. Embassy London. We cannot process Boarding Foil requests on weekends, U.S. National holidays, UK National Holidays, after hours, or without an appointment.