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[Federal Register: July 30, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 146)]
[Page 44805-44806]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services

[BCIS No. 2207-02]

Redesign of Form I-327, Permit to Reenter the United States, and 
Form I-571, Refugee Travel Document

AGENCY: Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department 
of Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: This notice announces that during fiscal year 2003 the Bureau 
of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) will begin issuing a new 
single passport-style travel document that, depending on the 
circumstances, will either contain the Form I-327, Permit to Reenter 
the United States, or Form I-571, Refugee Travel Document. Development 
of the redesigned travel document is intended to reduce production 
time, improve customer service and strengthen the booklet's security 
features. Enhanced technologies, similar to those used in the 
production of the United States Passport, will be employed in printing 
the BCIS travel document to prevent counterfeiting, tampering and other 
fraudulent schemes. The new document will be produced at the BCIS 
Nebraska Service Center in Lincoln, NE, where the two separate travel 
booklets are currently prepared. On March 1, 2003, the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service (INS) transferred from the Department of Justice 
to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), pursuant to the Homeland 
Security Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-296). The INS adjudications functions 
transferred to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services of 

DATES: This notice is effective July 30, 2003.

Immigration Card Production Services (ICPS) Branch, Bureau of 
Citizenship and Immigration Services, 800 K Street, Room 1000, 
Washington, DC 20536, telephone (202) 305-8010.



Who Uses the Forms I-327 and I-571?

    Form I-327, Permit to Reenter the United States. The Form I-327 
allows a lawful permanent or conditional permanent resident of the 
United States to apply for admission into the United States upon 
returning from abroad without having to obtain a returning resident 
    Form I-571, Refugee Travel Document. A refugee travel document is 
issued pursuant to Article 28 of the United Nations Convention of July 
29, 1951, for the purpose of travel. It may be issued to a person who 
is in the United States as a refugee pursuant to section 207 of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (Act), as an asylee pursuant to section 
208 of the Act, or as a permanent resident who received such status as 
a direct result of refugee or asylee status. A lawfully obtained, 
currently valid Form I-571, shall be accepted in lieu of any travel 
document which otherwise would be required from such person under the 

How Can a Person Apply for Forms I-327 or I-571?

    An application for a Form I-327 or Form I-571 must be filed on Form 
I-131, Application for Travel Document, with the fee as required in 8 
CFR 103.7(b)(1) and with the initial evidence required on the 
application form. The applicant must state the length of intended 
absence or absences, and the reasons for travel. Except as provided in 
8 CFR 223.2(b)(2)(ii), the application may be approved if filed by an 
eligible person who is within the United States at the time of 

Will the fee For Filing Form I-131 Change?

    Until the BCIS conducts a new fee study, the current fee of $110 
will not change as a result of issuing the single passport-style travel 

Where Should the Form I-131 Be Filed?

    Applicants must file the application according to the instructions 
on Form I-131 at the Nebraska Service Center.

May an Applicant Request Expedited Processing of the Travel Document in 
an Emergency?

    To deal fairly and equitably with applicants for travel documents, 
it is BCIS policy that cases be processed in chronological order by 
date of receipt.
    However, an exception may be permitted in emergency situations if 
the request is approved by the Nebraska Service Center director, deputy 
director or an official acting in such capacity.

How Does the BCIS Plan To Implement the Production of the New Travel 

    The document will be produced at the Nebraska Service Center where 
the separate travel booklets are now prepared.

[[Page 44806]]

What Will the New Travel Document Look Like?

    Other than a new light green cover, the redesigned travel document 
will look similar to a United States Passport. The title, ``Travel 
Document Issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of 
Citizenship and Immigration Services,'' will appear on the front cover. 
The type of travel document issued will appear on the inside page of 
the front cover, showing either Form I-327, Permit to Reenter the 
United States, or Form I-571, Refugee Travel Document. Biographical 
information and a photograph related to the approved applicant that 
appears on the current Forms I-327 or I-571 will also be shown in the 
new travel document. The remaining pages will look similar to the 
current Forms I-327 and I-571.

How Will the Travel Document Be Issued?

    Once the appropriate travel document is produced, the Nebraska 
Service Center will mail it to the approved applicant according to his 
or her instructions.
    Except as provided in 8 CFR 223.3(b)(2), while an applicant must be 
physically present in the United States at the time of filing, the 
Nebraska Service Center may mail the travel document in care of a 
United States embassy or consulate or a BCIS overseas office, if the 
applicant requests such service at the time of filing.

What Is the Validity of the Travel Document?

    Permit To Reenter the United States. Except as provided in 8 CFR 
223.2(c)(2), Form I-327 issued to a Permanent Resident shall be valid 
for 2 years from the date of issuance. Form I-327 issued to a 
conditional permanent resident shall be valid for 2 years from the date 
of issuance, or until the date the conditional permanent resident must 
apply for removal of the conditions on his or her status, whichever 
date is earlier.
    Refugee travel document. Form I-571 shall be valid for one year, or 
until the date the refugee or asylee status expires, whichever date is 

Will Those Who Possess Unexpired Forms I-327 or I-571 Be Required To 
Apply for a New Travel Document When BCIS Starts Producing the Newly 
Designed Document?

    No. Authorized users may continue to travel on their previously 
issued Form I-327 or Form I-571 until its expiration date. If an 
applicant applies thereafter for a travel document, he or she will be 
issued the newly designed document.

Can a Travel Document Be Extended?

    No. A permit to reenter the United States or refugee travel 
document cannot be extended.

Will the New Travel Document Affect the Process for Applying for 
Advance Parole?

    No. Applicants will continue to use the Form I-131 to apply for 
advance parole. Upon BCIS approval of the application, a Form I-512, 
Authorization of Parole of an Alien Into the United States, shall be 
issued to the applicant.

Eduardo Aguirre, Jr.,
Acting Director, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
[FR Doc. 03-19338 Filed 7-29-03; 8:45 am]