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U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents / Green Card Holders

U.S. Embassy Madrid does not accept submissions of I-407 Record for Voluntary Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status. These applications should be filed by mail with the USCIS Eastern Forms Center.

U.S. Embassy Madrid accepts applications for:
  • U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) whose “green” card (I-551) is lost, stolen, or expired may apply for a Boarding Foil.
  • U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) who have been residing outside the United States for more than one year may apply for a Re-Entry Permit (SB-1).

Boarding Foils

Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)


If your “green” card (I-551 U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident Card) has been lost, stolen, or is expired, you may come to the Embassy to apply for a boarding foil (formerly known as a Transportation Letter) if you are flying directly to the United States.

This foil will allow your airline to board you without liability. This boarding foil will be valid for one entry and 30 days.

Who May File or Receive Service

You may apply for carrier documentation 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.

Although regulations generally require an LPR to travel with a valid Green card, 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.

Filing and Other Special Instructions

You may file in person at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid. The U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona do not issue boarding foils. The boarding foil process takes at least 24 hours. 

You must make an appointment to visit our office. We recommend you schedule your appointment at least 1 week before you intend to travel back to the U.S.

Before appearing at this office to file a Form I-131A, you must pay the filing fee for this form online using the : USCIS online payment system.

You may pay the fee with your credit or debit card or U.S. bank account. As with all immigration fees, we do not issue refunds, regardless of the decision on the application.

If you do not know your Alien number or if you have any problem with the fee payment you must contact USCIS for contact information.

What should I bring to the appointment?

  • Evidence that you paid the fee (such as a printed copy of your payment confirmation page or a printed copy of your emailed receipt).
  • Form I-131A.
  • Your valid passport.
  • Your noncitizen registration number or photocopy of your I-551 Permanent Resident Card (if available).
  • Police Report (if your I-551 Permanent Resident Card was lost or stolen).
  • Flight ticket / electronic itinerary which shows your last departure from the United States and your upcoming return.
  • One U.S. passport size photo (5 cm x 5 cm).

How to apply for A Boarding Foil?

Returning Resident Visa

A permanent resident (called lawful permanent resident or LPR) or conditional resident (CR) who has remained outside the United States for longer than one year, or beyond the validity period of a Re-entry Permit, will require a new immigrant visa to enter the United States and resume permanent residence.  You can learn more about Returning Resident Visas.

To file the petition for the returning resident you must make an appointment.