I-131 Application for Travel Document is the form a foreign national submits to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to apply for one of various types of travel document.
The costs associated with filing an I-131 application will vary depending on what kind of travel document you are applying for and whether or not you decide to use the help of an immigration attorney. The different travel documents you can apply for using the I-131 application are:
The filing fee for the I-131 application depends on the travel document you are applying for. The fees are currently set as follows (as of 2017):
If you filed an I-485 application for adjustment of status after July 30, 2007, there is no filing fee for the I-131 application if you are submitting it for advance parole or a refugee travel document.
If you are applying for humanitarian-based advance parole and you are unable to pay the fee, you can request a waiver by submitting Form I-912 Fee Waiver Request along with your application.
USCIS raises its fees on a fairly regular basis, so you should always check the USCIS Web page for Form I-131 to confirm the fee that applies to you before you file. You can also find out the current filing fees by calling the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.
When you first meet with an attorney, you will almost always have to pay a consultation fee. A consultation fee can range anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars depending on where the attorney is located and the size of the firm he or she works for. At this stage of the process, you should always ask the attorney whether the consultation fee will be deducted from the final bill if you decide to retain his or her services.
Most attorneys will charge you a flat fee for preparing an I-131 application. An average flat fee for the entire I-131 process can be anywhere from $250 to $1,000 depending on what travel document you are applying for. If you are applying for advance parole or a refugee travel document as part of an I-485 application for adjustment of status, the attorney will generally charge you a flat fee for the adjustment of status process that will include preparation of the I-131 application. You can find out more information about fees for adjustment of status on our other fee pages.
An attorney will generally perform the following services with a flat fee:
A flat fee is generally a good deal, particularly if you have a complicated case that requires a lot of documentation.
Some attorneys may charge you an hourly rate. This may be a better option for you if you have a very straightforward case or if you have already completed the I-131 application on your own and you simply want the attorney to review it. The downside to being charged hourly is that your fee will be less predictable and, depending on your case, you may end up spending more than you would have if you had paid a flat fee. For example, if you prepared your own application and it contains lots of mistakes, it is possible the attorney may spend more time fixing your work than if he or she had started the petition from scratch.
It is always a good idea to contact several attorneys to ask about their fees before you schedule your consultation. No matter what, make sure you select an attorney you feel comfortable with.