Our firm can help you obtain a Refugee Travel Document. Please contact a New York immigration lawyer from Pozo Goldstein, LLP today.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows eligible lawfully permitted U.S. residents to travel outside of the country. While traveling outside of the U.S. may be a necessity for some foreign nationals, particularly when they must take care of family-related issues, the fact remains that navigating the process of traveling abroad and doing so in a way that will enable a swift and successful return can be difficult. At Pozo Goldstein, LLP, our New York immigration lawyers understand that our clients’ unique situations and needs may prompt them to leave the U.S. temporarily. As such, we offer our personal attention, earnest support, and experienced assistance in helping them complete the procedures and obtain the forms needed to travel abroad.

Refugee Travel Document Eligibility & Process

While lawfully permitted residents with immigrant or nonimmigrant visas typically obtain re-entry permits to leave and return to the U.S., refugees and asylum seekers will need to obtain a different document. Refugee Travel Documents function similarly to re-entry permits and advance parole documents, allowing refugees and asylum seekers, as well as those who have gained permanent residency status through the refugee or asylum process, to leave the U.S. temporarily and to gain permission to enter the county upon return. Individuals will be eligible to obtain a Refugee Travel Document if they:

  • Are a refugee or asylee with valid status
  • Obtained permanent residency through refugee or asylee status
  • Those who currently hold a Refugee Travel Document and those who wish to travel to a country for which the Federal Register has prohibited the issuance of travel documents will not be eligible. Refugee Travel Documents will be valid for one year or to the date that the refugee or asylee status expires, whichever comes first. In order to obtain a Refugee Travel Document, applicants will need to file Form-I31 – Application for Travel Document – with USCIS before they leave the U.S., provide two identical photographs, prove their identity, and pay fees relating to their particular situation and age. USCIS recommends that applicants file a form at least 60 days before leaving the country. If biometrics have been obtained in the U.S., applicants can request that USCIS send the Refugee Travel Document to a U.S. Embassy or a DHS office overseas.

    If for some reason a refugee, asylee, or permanent resident who has obtained their status through the refugee or asylee process does leave the U.S. without first obtaining a Refugee Travel Document, they may have the opportunity to obtain the document by filing an application with a USCIS overseas office. Applications will only be accepted if the individual has been outside of the U.S. for less than one year at the time of filing. It is important to note that there is no guarantee that an overseas office will accept an application. It is up to their discretion to administer the Refugee Travel Document abroad.

    Contact a New York Immigration Attorney to Learn More

    The procedures needed to obtain a Refugee Travel Document can be complex, and your situation, travel patterns, and the country you wish to travel to can also impact your status. Traveling back to the country where you experienced past persecution, for example, may result in a loss of refugee or asylee status, depending on the circumstances involved. Given the unique procedures and complications refugees and asylees face when traveling abroad, it is strongly advised that experienced legal assistance be sought. If you would like more information about your personal situation and how our firm can help you obtain a Refugee Travel Document, please contact a New York immigration lawyer from Pozo Goldstein, LLP today.