A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States who has stayed abroad for less than one year or within the validity of an I-327 (re-entry permit) and wishes to re-enter the United States must present a Green Card (Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card) in order to board a flight to the United States. If your Green Card has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can apply for a Boarding Foil, which allows the airline to transport you back to the United States. This document is valid for a single entry within 30 days.
Please note that even if you have a valid I-551, remaining outside the United States for more than one year or beyond the validity of I-327 (re-entry permit), whichever comes later, may result in a loss of Lawful Permanent Resident status. For details, please visit our Maintaining Permanent Resident Status page.
If you are outside the United States for less than one year or within the validity of your Re-Entry permit (I-327) and you have one of the following items, a Boarding Foil is not required:
If you meet criteria 1 or 2 above, consult your air carrier prior to completion of an I-131A and payment of the fee.
If you have an expired Green Card with a 2-year expiration date AND a Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing that you have filed a Form I-751 or Form I-829 to remove the conditions on your Permanent Resident status, the Form I-797 extends the validity of the card for the length of time specified on the form.
How to apply
Step 1: Pay the I-131A filing fee online.
Step 2: Schedule an appointment
To request an appointment, submit the Appointment Request Form on our webpage. We will email you an appointment date and time. Note: Boarding Foils can only be processed during normal business hours on an appointment basis at U.S. Embassy Tokyo and U.S. Consulates General Osaka and Naha. We cannot process Boarding Foil requests on weekends or holidays, after hours, or without an appointment.
Step 3: Bring the following documents
Processing time will depend on the circumstances of your case and the amount of information and evidence you provide. Processing time can be as little as a few working days, but Boarding Foils are not available for pickup on the same day as the initial interview. Your Boarding Foil can be returned by prepaid, self-addressed Japan Post LetterPack, or by in-person pickup at the embassy or consulate.
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