A US travel document can include a refugee travel document, reentry permit, or advance parole travel document. These forms of travel documents allow you to reenter the United States once you have left the United States under certain circumstances. If you are refugee or asylum claimant, for example, you will need a US travel document before leaving the country to ensure that you do not lose your refugee status. If you have filed an adjustment of status or have other immigration petitions pending, an advance parole travel document is important to ensure that the government knows that you have not abandoned your immigration petition. A reentry permit may also be required for lawful US permanent residents who plan to travel outside the US extensively – usually more than a year. Without a valid US travel documents, these types of travelers may be denied entry upon returning to the US.
Applying for a travel document requires filing Form I-131 (Application for a Travel Document) with the USCIS. Usually, once your application is approved, you will be issued a US travel document which will be valid for one to two years. If you will be outside of the US for longer than this period of time, you may eventually need to apply for a renewal of your US travel document.
How you file for a renewal of your US travel document will depend on the type of US travel document you have been issued. If you have an advance parole document (I-512L or I-512) and need to have this document renewed, you can file Form I-131, as long as you file this form up to 120 days before your current US travel document expires. If you have a refugee travel document, this is also usually valid for one year and can be renewed with a USCIS form.
If you have been issued a re-entry permit, this US travel document is usually valid for two years. However, the process for renewing this document is a little more complicated. These documents are not renewable. In order to have a reentry permit beyond the initial two years, you will need to travel to the US and apply for the reentry permit all over again from within the US. If you are a green card holder, you may continue this process for up to six years, returning to the US to apply for a new reentry permit until you have spent six years outside of the US with a reentry permit. If you are outside the US for longer than six years, however, you will generally need to apply for a returning resident visa, also known as a special immigrant visa.