An official website of the United States government

Services for Lawful Permanent Residents
May 2, 2022

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota provides specific services to Lawful Permanent Residents.

Please, carefully review the following links in order to get detailed information for:

Boarding Foils (Transportation Letters) for Lost/Expired Green Cards


If you plan to file a Form I-131A to apply for a LPR boarding foil, please note that you must pay the filing fee online on the USCIS website before appearing in person at a consular section. 

Information on the new form and fee is located here.  You must bring evidence of payment, in the form of a printed email receipt notice or confirmation page, when you appear in person to file Form I-131A.  As with all immigration fees, USCIS does not issue refunds, regardless of the decision on the application.

You may find additional information on and instructions for the I-131A on the I-131A Form and Instructions page.

LPRs applying for this document must be ready to travel because it expires 30 days from issuance.

Scheduling an Appointment

To make an appointment for a Boarding Foil please visit the Visa Information Center at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-co/iv. Please create an account clicking on Register and then choose “I am a Returning Resident outside the U.S. for less than one year with an expired, lost or stolen permanent resident card.” and follow the instructions.  If you have need for urgent travel, please request an expedited appointment and clearly explain your need.

On the day of your interview, please bring the following to the embassy:

  • Completed form I-131A (available at http://www.uscis.gov/);
  • Your valid passport;
  • Your green card (if expired or damaged);
  • Two color photos on white background (5×5 cm or 2 inx2in)
  • Police report explaining the circumstances of the loss or theft (if applicable);
  • Poof of your departure from the United States within the last year.  (You may want to bring an original report from Migracion Colombia indicating entries into and departures out of Colombia.  The office is located at Calle 100 # 11B-27, Edificio Platinum, Bogotá).

Note: Applicants who were issued a conditional resident card valid for two years should also bring proof that they filed an I-751petition to remove conditions of residence with USCIS.

Because of congressionally required security checks for non-citizens, we are unable to issue Boarding Foils for same day travel.  If your request for a transportation letter is approved, you will have to leave your passport at the embassy. Once ready, your passport will be returned to you to the selected DHL office within two weeks.

I-131A Form – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can the I-131A fee paid to USCIS be refunded?  An I-131A fee will only be refunded in the event of U.S. government error.  USCIS will not process a refund if an applicant later determines that a LPR boarding foil was unnecessary.  Please contact the relevant USCIS Field Office for more information.
  2. Where can I obtain my A number or find out more information?  Please direct your inquiries to the nearest USCIS field office location.
  3. What evidence can LPRs present at an airport, rather than applying for a boarding foil?  To enter the U.S., an LPR may present one of the following items in place of a boarding foil:
  • An expired Permanent Resident Card with a 10-year expiration date,


  • A valid Permanent Resident Card (with a two-year validity), and a Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating that status is extended,


  • 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.

Returning Residents (SB-1 visas)

Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) who have been outside the United States for more than one year and did not obtain a reentry permit from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) are considered to have abandoned their residency.  However, they can sometimes qualify to re-immigrate with returning resident status. To qualify as a returning resident, you must prove that:

You did not intend to give up your residency when you left the United States, and you could not return for reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible.

Please think carefully before applying for returning resident status as payment for this service cannot be refunded if you fail to meet the qualification. In general, you should consider asking a U.S. citizen or LPR family member to file a new I-130 petition with USCIS because it is very difficult to qualify as a returning resident.

To make an appointment with us please visit the Visa Information Center website at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-co/iv. Please create an account and then choose “I am a Returning Resident outside the U.S. for longer than one year”.

On the day of your interview, you must bring the following to the embassy:

  • A completed Application to Determine Returning Resident Status, Form DS-117 (available here)
  • Funds to pay the required the $180.00 fee.  You can pay this fee in U.S. dollars or Colombian pesos, or with a Visa or MasterCard at the U.S. Embassy
  • Your Permanent Resident Card (current or expired)
  • Your valid passport
  • Your Re-entry Permit (if applicable)
  • Proof of your ties to the U.S. and your intention to return
  • Proof that your protracted stay outside of the U.S. was for reasons beyond your control

Lawful permanent residents (LPR) who gave birth while outside the United States

If you are a lawful permanent resident (LPR) who returned to Colombia to give birth, your child may be able to travel to the United States without a visa. To qualify:

  1. The child’s mother was a lawful permanent resident when she gave birth in Colombia during a temporary visit;
  2. The child will enter the United States before s/he turns two; and
  3. The child will be taken to the United States by either parent on that parent’s first return to the United States after the child’s birth.

If you meet all of these requirements, you can purchase a ticket for the child without visiting the embassy.  You should travel with the child’s original birth certificate and your lawful permanent resident card which you can show to the airline to board the airplane and to Customs & Border Protection upon arrival in the United States.

8 CFR 211.1(b)(2) specifically authorizes a child who meets these criteria to travel without a visa, and states that an airline will not be fined for allowing such a child to travel to the United States.

If you or your child does not meet all of these criteria, you will need to file an I-130 petition for your child with USCIS.  Learn more at http://www.uscis.gov/.

NOTE: Although the U.S. Embassy in Bogota has communicated this information to the airlines serving the United States from Colombia, we recommend that you print a copy of this information on this website to present to the airline when you check-in for travel

Abandonment of lawful permanent resident (LPR) status

If you are no longer able to meet your lawful permanent residency requirements, you may wish to abandon your residency.  This is a decision you should not take lightly.

To abandon your status, you may fill out the Form I-407 Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status and mail it to the USCIS Eastern Forms Center. 

***Filing Tips for I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status:  https://www.uscis.gov/i-407
Note: The abandonment of your residency does not automatically guarantee you will receive a non-immigrant visa.

Mailing from Inside the US:
Mailing from Outside the US
USCIS Eastern Forms Center
P.O. Box 567
Attn: I-407 Unit
Williston, VT 05495

USCIS Eastern Forms Center
124 Leroy Road
Attn: I-407 Unit
Williston, VT 05495