All passengers entering the USA by transportation carriers like airlines are obliged to have a valid passport and visa of any type. Lawful permanent or conditional residents, who return to the USA from abroad, may use their green cards or re-entry permits instead of a visa. If green card was stolen, lost, damaged, or destroyed, a person will face certain difficulties upon his/her coming back.
The purpose of Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation), or Form I-131A, is to get a temporary travel document to board the carrier when something happened to the current document. It looks like a boarding foil in a passport or a transportation letter. Travel document has 30-days validity from issue date and may be presented to the carrier bound to the United States.
In case of physical absence in the USA for one year or more, permanent residence of a green card holder may be abandoned by decision of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Consequently, he/she cannot replace or renew his/her green card with help of Form I-131A (re-entry permit may be the way to tackle this issue). Thus, Application for Travel Document (Form I-131A) cannot help restore an immigration status. Surely, certain individuals may be qualified as SB-1 returning residents. For additional information and assistance, contact an immigration attorney.
February 10, 2019