Apply for a Boarding Foil

If you need to apply for a Boarding Foil, you may do so at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.  For further information, please visit this page.

Step 1: Fill out the I-131A.

Step 2: Pay the I-131A filing fee online.

Pay the filing fee using a credit or debit card or U.S. bank account through the USCIS ELIS online payment system. Be sure to read the instructions before you pay, as this fee is not refundable regardless of the decision on the application. You will need your A number in order to pay the fee.

If you plan to file a Form I-131A to apply for an 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. USCIS will also not provide applicants an I-131A fee payment refund if the individual should have applied for an SB-1 Returning Resident visa instead of a boarding foil.

  • Q: Where can I obtain my A-number?
    A: An Alien Registration Number (A-number) or Alien Number is a unique seven-, eight- or nine-digit number assigned to a noncitizen at the time his or her A-file is created. The 9-digit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services number listed on the front of Permanent Resident Cards (Form I-551) issued after May 10, 2010, is the same as the Alien Registration Number. The A-number can also be found on the back of these Permanent Resident Cards, and on the immigrant visas as “Registration Number”.  If you cannot locate your A-number, please submit your request and all documentation that shows your identity via the Consular web-based inquiry form.  We will provide instructions at that time.
  • Q: Can the I-131A fee paid to USCIS be refunded?
    A: Form 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 an LPR Boarding Foil was unnecessary.
  • Q: I still have other questions in filing my Form I-131A and paying the filing fee?
    A: If you have any further questions, please direct your inquiries to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regional office in Bangkok for assistance at the following email address: Bangkok@uscis.dhs.gov.

Step 3: Schedule an appointment

Requests for Boarding foil interview appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi City or the Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City must be submitted via the Consular web-based inquiry form. Please make sure to select the correct location that you would like to book interview appointment.

  • Your request must include the following attachments and information:
  1. Copy of completed and signed Form I-131A Pages 1-3 (and pages 4-5 if applicable);
  2. Proof of I-131A fee payment;
  3. Copy of valid Vietnamese passport bio-data page.  If you do not have a valid Vietnamese passport, please notify our office and we will provide instructions on how to apply for an Entry and Exit Permit with the Vietnamese Immigration.  According to the Vietnamese immigration office, the Visa Exemption Certificate is no longer accepted as travel document for Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) to exit Vietnam without the Green Card.  Every LPR who lost their Green Card is required to obtain an Entry/Exit Permit to exit the country if they do not have a valid Vietnamese passport.
  4. Mailing address and contact information in Vietnam.
  • If your appointment request is approved, you will be given an appointment letter allowing you to come in for an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Step 4: Come to the Embassy or Consulate with the documents listed in your Appointment Letter

Processing time will depend on the circumstances of your case and the amount of information and evidence you provide. The normal processing time can be as little as a few working days.

If your boarding foil is issued, it will be valid for no more than 30 days, single entry.  You can choose to pick up your passport containing the issued boarding foil at the Embassy or Consulate or pay a courier fee for passport delivery to your registered mailing address.