Form I-131 is for a Re-entry Permit so that Permanent Residents and Conditional Permanent Residents can live and travel outside the United States for more than a year without losing their immigrant status. As with so many immigration forms, help is often required to fill in the forms correctly so that USCIS does not return them, which in turn will cause a delay in acquiring benefits.
Unlike a lot of immigration forms that must not have any blank spaces, you do not have to fill in every part of Form I-131, as many of the questions will relate to immigrants who are in a completely different category to you.
When you first download Form I-131, you will notice a box at the top of the form. This should not be filled in. It is strictly for USCIS use only. Part 1 Questions 1-9 must be clearly printed in black ink or typed. Question 1 relates to your Alien File Receipt Number. Look on your latest receipt from USCIS and you will find your unique A# next to your name.
Question 3 can present problems for some immigrants. But all this question is relating to is your current immigrant status. Are you a Conditional Permanent Resident? If so, state what your status is in this box. When you get to Question 6, USCIS wants to see real, physical addresses, not Post Office Box addresses. So even if you have a P.O. BOX address that you regularly use for correspondence, use your physical address when filling in this form.
When it comes to Part 2 Questions a-f, you must only tick the one box that applies to you. Are you a Permanent Resident applying for a Re-entry Permit? Do you want to apply for a Refugee Travel Document? Read through the list of six options carefully before you mark which one applies to you personally.
Part 4 of the form is straightforward. You must honestly state what your purpose is for wanting to travel outside of the country for a year or more. If you need more room, carry on writing on a separate piece of paper and then attach it to the form when you have finished.
Part 8 is one of the most important parts of Form I-131. You must sign and date this form once you have completed it as well as provide a daytime phone number. This is in case USCIS need to contact you.
Form I-131 is not a complicated form, as long as you know what your immigration status is, when you plan on leaving the country, the duration of your trip and how long you have spent outside the United States since becoming a Permanent Resident. To avoid any delays, gather all of this information before you fill in this form.