Category Archives: Travel

Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

An Application for Travel Document is for people under different circumstances to help them re enter the U.S. after temporary international travel. Form I-131 should be filed with the USCIS to apply for a re-entry permit, refugee travel document or advance parole travel document, to include parole into the US for humanitarian reasons.

Advance Parole is for applicants who have a pending Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident, and who wish to travel before the application is approved. Refugee Travel Document is for applicants who hold Refugee or Asylee status in the US and who wish to travel abroad.

A Re-entry Permit is for Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders) who will be outside the United States for an extended period of time, normally one year or more.

Applications for re entry permit should be filed in the U.S. Additionally the Lawful Permanent Resident has to appear for a biometrics appointment (fingerprinting) before he or she can leave the country. You can leave the U.S. after getting the fingerprinting done and pick up the document at a U.S. Consulate or DHS office abroad. Else, you may remain in the U.S. until the application is approved. Processing times differ, but generally range from three to six months.

Re entry Permits are valid only for two years and cannot be renewed. But you can return to the U.S. to file another application. Normally, a Lawful Permanent Resident can spend almost six years outside the U.S. and retain his/her Re entry Permit.

If you are filing the I-131 application based on your pending or approved Form I-821, you should file your form with the USCIS Dallas Lock box facility. Additionally, you should include a copy of the I-797 C Notice of Action that shows that your application was accepted or approved.

If you are applying for renewal of your advance parole document, USCIS will accept and adjudicate Form I-131 filed up to 120 days before the date your Advance Parole document that you have at present expires.

All Refugees or Reentry Permit applicants should complete biometrics at an Application Support Center (ASC). They should get the fingerprinting done at an overseas USCIS facility if applying for a Refugee Travel Document while being outside of the U.S.. If you are between 14 and 79 years old and you are applying for a Document or Re-entry Permit, you have to be fingerprinted as part of USCIS biometric services requirements.

Once you have filed this application, USCIS will notify you of the time/location of your biometrics appointment. If you fail to appear for biometrics, it might result in a denial of your application. All applicants for Re-entry Permit and/or Refugee Travel Documents aged between 14 and 79 years should pay an additional $85 biometric fee.

The submission fee for advance parole or re-entry permit is $360 and for a Refugee Travel Document for applicants aged 16 or older is $135. For a child below 16 years of age, the fee is $105. Applicants aged between 14 and 79 should pay a biometric fee of $85 for a Reentry Permit and a Refugee Travel Document, unless the applicant resides abroad at the time of filing their form. Advance parole applicants need not pay the biometric fee.

The submission fee and biometrics services fee can be paid with a single check for $445 and it should be made payable to Department of Homeland Security.

How To Choose Good Value Travel Insurance

Travel insurance provides coverage against financial and other losses that you may incur while traveling domestically or internationally. You can either get it at the time of booking your trip, for the exact length of the trip or you can get it for a longer period. Travel agents, travel insurance companies, cruise lines, or tour operators can all help you with purchase of continuous travel insurance.

Here’s a list of some of the most common risks that are covered by travel insurance:

– Cancellations and/or Curtailments;

– Delayed departures for flights, and other modes of travel;

– Loss, theft or damage to personal belonging and money including travel documents;

– Delay or loss of baggage;

– Medical expenses/Sickness;

– Emergency evacuation/repatriation;

– Overseas funeral expenses;

– Accidental death, injury or disability benefit;

– Legal assistance for travel related needs;

– Personal liability;

– Loss of income due to other reasons.

Some travel insurance companies have travel policies, which will also provide you extra coverage for additional price. However, these costs vary widely from carrier to carrier. Here’s a list of the extra insurance coverage that can be purchased for an additional fee:

– High risk sports (e.g. bungee jumping, scuba diving, sky diving);

– Travel to countries with high risk (e.g. due to civil wars or natural disasters);

– Travel with pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes, heart conditions).

There are several types of policies available depending on your needs. If you travel more than twice a year, then you can avail the option of an annual holiday insurance policy, rather than buying two single travel insurance policies. Some basic types of policies available are:

– Single Trip Cheap Travel Insurance. Perfect for those who take one main holiday annually. It covers single trips anytime in the year with a duration of min. 3 to max. 183 days per trip.

– Annual Multi-Trip Cheap Travel Insurance. If you travel over two times in a year, then this holiday coverage works well for you. Not only do you get flexibility and peace of mind knowing you are covered for each trip, you will also save on money. You can make unlimited trips of up to 45 days each through the year.

– Backpackers Cheap Travel Insurance. Students and backpackers may insure themselves by opting for this insurance type. Travelling to unknown countries and places where you may not even speak the language is a path fraught with danger, but with a travel policy, you’ll be secure in the feeling that if you meet with an accident or fall sick, you’ll be able to get the necessary medical assistance. It usually covers trips from 31 days to 18 months per trip. Some carriers also include up to 40 Adventure Sports in the policy.

Some of the other travel insurance types are Ski/Snowboarding, Senior Citizen and Long Stay Travel Insurance policies. Choose the best one for you, stay covered, and be stress free on your holidays!