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Travel and Transportation Letters
February 8, 2022


For U.S. Citizens/Lawful Permanent Residents
If you are a U.S. citizen traveling abroad, get the information you need to smoothly navigate your return back into the U.S.
For International Visitors
If you are a visitor to the U.S. coming to work, study, conduct business or immigrate, get the information you need to smoothly navigate the process and procedures to enter the U.S.
Transportation Letters

Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) card (I-551) has been lost, stolen or is expired

If your LPR card (I-551) has been lost, stolen or is expired, please call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 about replacing or renewing it. To renew a green card, see USCIS.gov
If the I-551 is lost or expires during a trip out of the U.S., you will have to obtain a new one upon re-entry – and this can take quite a while – so plan accordingly. This process entails filling out a form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident and paying the $365 base fee and biometric fee of $85. Please be aware that if your travel plans include air travel, many airlines will not board passengers with an expired green card. Therefore, you may be required to complete the I-90 form during your U.S. Government Transportation Letter process.

If your I-551 is stolen while outside the U.S.; please notify the police department in the jurisdiction in which your card was stolen to obtain a police report and contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to request a U.S. Government Transportation Letter or Boarding Foil (PDF, 394kb). Please be aware that you may be required to complete the I-90 form: Application to Replace Permanent Resident and paying the fee at the time of your re-entry to the U.S.

Note: Green cards issued between 1979 and August 1989 do not have expiration dates and do not need to be renewed unless you want to use the GE kiosk. GE kiosks cannot read the old format Green cards.

If you have a Green card that was issued before 1989 and the photo was taken when you were a child, you may want to renew it even though its not required. If a CBP Officer is unable to identify you from the old photo as the legal owner of the green card, you could be delayed until your identity is verified.

IMPORTANT: If you have a previous version of the alien registration card (e.g., USCIS Form AR-3, Form AR-103 or Form I-151), you must replace it with a current green card. See USCIS for more information.

If you are an LPR and wish to use Global Entry kiosks at international airports in the U.S. you will have to get a replacement card. The kiosks cannot read the No Expiration Date (NED) cards.

Transportation Letter for a Child Born Abroad to a LPR

Immigration law allows a Transportation Letter to be issued to a child born after issuance of an immigrant visa to his or her accompanying mother, or to a child born during the temporary visit abroad of a mother who is a lawful permanent resident of the United States, provided that: the child’s application for admission to the United States is made within 2 years of birth; the child is accompanied by either parent who is applying for readmission as a permanent resident upon the first return of that parent to the United States after the birth of the child; and his or her accompanying parent is found to be admissible to the United States.”

In order to apply for a transportation letter using the form I-131A (Application for Travel Document), please visit the USCIS website here for information.

Trusted Traveler Programs

CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs provide expedited travel for pre-approved, low-risk travelers through dedicated lanes and kiosks. These include Global Entry programs.

Watch a video about the program
Facilitating Trade

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has direct responsibility for enhancing U.S. economic competitiveness. By reducing costs for industry and enforcing trade laws against counterfeit, unsafe, and fraudulently entered goods, CBP is working to enable legitimate trade, contribute to American economic prosperity, and protect against risks to public health and safety.

Resources for Importers and Exporters
For the Trade Community
Border Security TOPICS

Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)