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What does it mean to be physically present in the U.S. while filing for I-131?

I am a conditional green card holder. I need to leave the U.S. as soon as possible due to a family emergency, and I want to file for I-131 travel documents. I understand that I have to be physically present in the U.S. to be eligible to file I-131. What does it mean to be “physically present”? Can I mail out the application and leave the country immediately, or do I have to wait until a receipt is issued by USCIS?

Answers

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You have to be in the U.S. at the time the application is received by immigration.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is preferred that you wait and file the I-131 before you leave the country.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can file your application for advance parole by mail, as long as you are physically in the U.S. when you do so and it is receipted while still in the U.S. You can then depart the U.S. and not have to wait for a receipt.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need to be physically present in the U.S. when you file your I-131. Please also keep in mind you must attend biometrics appointment for your I-131, which is on average scheduled in two to four weeks after the date USCIS receives your I-131. You may have re-entry permit delivered to U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country or have your attorney courier it to you when it is approved.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You have to wait until the I-131 is received by USCIS. Then you can leave but will need to return for fingerprints.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You do need to wait until the application is received. You do not need to wait until you get the fee receipt from USCIS. But you will have to come back to get fingerprinted later.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    When you file the I-131 application, you must be physically present in the U.S. You can immediately leave after you file.

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    Sally Amirghahari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You must file your 1-131 petition and also complete your biometrics before you leave. However, if you have an emergency, once you receive your I-131 receipt, contact the USCIS and let them know about your emergency and ask them if you can get your biometrics done at a local office without waiting for your notice.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need to be in the U.S. when the application is submitted to the U.S. and to attend the fingerprinting appointment, which is approximately three to four weeks after the I-131 filing.

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    Hassan Elkhalil

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You must be present in the U.S. to apply for the I-131. You can expedite the process of the I-131 if you have an emergency.

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