Boarding Foils


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 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 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.

You should bring the following documents for your appointment:

  • your valid passport;
  • a completed Form I-131A (PDF) ;
  • one visa photograph;
  • evidence of $575 fee payment, in the form of a printed email receipt notice or confirmation page;
  • evidence that you are a Lawful Permanent Resident and have been outside the United States for less than one year;
  • a police report showing the circumstances of the loss or theft of the green card (if applicable);

Is there fee for a boarding foil?

Yes. Before you appear at the Consular Section you should pay the I-131A form filing fee of $575 (as of December 23, 2016) 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 (

Click the link to pay online: and print the confirmation of payment. The fee is non-refundable, regardless of the decision on the application.

When will I be able to return to the U.S. with my boarding foil?

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.

Expired Permanent Resident Cards – If you have an expired permanent resident card with a 10-year validity period, 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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 or that an applicant should apply for an SB1 returning resident status instead.  Please contact the relevant USCIS Field Office for more information.

What evidence can LPRs present at an airport, rather than applying 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:

  1. An expired Permanent Resident Card with a 10-year expiration date, or
  2. A valid Permanent Resident Card (with a two-year validity), and a Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating that status is extended, or
  3. 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.

Where can I obtain my A number or find out more information?

Please direct your inquiries to the nearest USCIS field office location, visit the web page

I am a permanent resident and my baby was just born in Poland.

Your 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.