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Applications for Boarding Foils
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If your Permanent Resident card (Green Card) has been damaged, lost, stolen or misplaced, or if it has expired, you will need to apply for a Boarding Foil at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw or at the U.S. Consulate in Krakow in order to travel back to the United States. The Boarding Foil will allow you to board your flight despite the absence of a physical Green Card. Once you return to the United States, you will need to apply for a replacement Green Card with USCIS.
Lost or stolen permanent resident cards (green cards)
Please note: Boarding Foils may be issued only to Permanent Resident Aliens who are returning to the United States after an absence of less than one year.
How to apply for a document entry into the United States (boarding foil)?
We accept applications to issue boarding foils for lost or stolen green cards at window #13 in the Visa Unit Monday through Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., except for United States and Polish public holidays, by appointment. Applicants must apply in person. You can schedule your afternoon appointment at the Immigrant Visa Unit either online at http://www.ustraveldocs.com/pl/ or through the call center at +48 22 307 1361 in Poland or (703) 988 7101 in the United States. Applicants in Belarus may call a toll free number 8 820 0011 0261.
If you reside in southern Poland, you may also apply for a boarding foil at the Consulate General in Kraków.
Please collect the following items to bring to your appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate:
- a valid passport
- a completed Form I-131 A Application for Travel Document (Carrier Evidence); https://www.uscis.gov/i-131a
- evidence of $ 575 fee payment in the form of a printed email receipt notice or confirmation page
- one visa photograph;
- evidence that you are a Lawful Permanent Resident and have been outside the United State for less than one year;
- a police report showing the circumstances of the loss or theft of the green card (if applicable);
Before you appear at the Consular Section you should pay the I-131A form filing fee of $575 online on the USCIS website using a credit or debit card or U.S. bank account. There is no other method of payment. Applicants will need their A number in order to pay the fee, which they may obtain from the nearest USCIS office (https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office).
Click the link to pay online: https://www.uscis.gov/file-online/log-online-filing and print the confirmation of payment. The fee is non-refundable, regardless of the decision on the application.
The consular officer must verify that you have maintained your status as a Lawful Permanent Resident in order to issue the Boarding Foil and may ask to see additional documents.
Please see the USCIS website for more information on how to maintain Lawful Permanent Resident Status.
The boarding foil application procedure will usually take at least 24 hours. You will be requested to leave your passport with us. The boarding foil, now being a standard visa foil in your passport, may be picked up personally the following day at 3:00 pm at the Immigrant Visa Unit.
The Embassy reserves the right to contact the applicant by phone for more information regarding their case.
Because boarding foils are valid for a maximum of 30 days, your intended trip back to the United States must be within 30 days of the day of issuance.
Permanent Resident whose green card expired does not have to apply for a boarding foil.
To enter the U.S., a LPR may present at least one of the following items in place of a boarding foil:
- An expired Permanent Resident Card with a 10-year expiration date, you do not need a transportation letter/boarding foil. The airline may board you with the expired card, provided you meet all their other conditions for travel. Here you may find a useful leaflet. We encourage you to check with your airline or vessel before you buy a ticket or file Form I-131A, or
- Permanent Resident Card (with a two-year validity), and a Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating that status is extended, or
- Orders from the U.S. government (civilian or military) showing that time outside the U.S. was on official government business. These individuals should consult their air carrier prior to completion of an I-131A and payment of the fee.
You should not leave the United States again until you have applied for and received your new card. You can apply for your replacement card electronically now through the USCIS website.
The boarding foil is not necessary for a child born to LPR temporarily residing outside of the U.S.
The child can enter the United States without an immigrant visa or a boarding foil provided that:
- the child was born during the mother’s temporary visit abroad
- child’s admission to the U.S will be within two years of birth; and
- either accompanying parent is applying for readmission upon first return after the birth of the child.
Please make sure before you begin the travel to the United States that you have all required documents for your child and yourself that will allow you to board the plane and then be legally admitted to the United States.
You should have:
- your and your baby’s valid passports;
- evidence that you are a Lawful Permanent Resident and have been outside the United States for less than one year, or less than two years if you are in possession of a valid re-entry permit;
- a complete version of your child’s birth certificate (Odpis zupełny aktu urodzenia) with an English translation by a sworn translator (tłumacz przysięgły). The Polish “short form” of birth certificate is not accepted.
- If your last name on your child’s birth certificate is different than the one in your passport or your green card, please bring documents showing your official name change, for example a marriage certificate.
- You may print out this info leaflet and take it with you.
Processing Time and Passport Pick-up
The passport with boarding foil is typically ready for pick-up at the Embassy in Warsaw or Consulate in Krakow within 1-3 business days.