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  • Is it OK to mention one destination for a travel in a Travel Document, but in fact travel to another destination? Should an asylee/refugee inform the USCIS about an additional travel destination before leaving?

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    • Originally posted by Dnanix View Post
      Since most people on this thread are going through the painful process of asylum, I'd like to share my experience travelling as an asylee as it might be helpful.

      I filed for asylum in 2013 and it took about 3 years and a half to get the interview and a month for processing and approval (granted in Dec 2016). I filed for a travel document (I-131) in January 2017 and received the document (I-571) in June 2017.

      As an asylee your travel document is the same as a refugee travel document and it's valid for one year only. The fee for the document is around $500.
      I traveled for work purposes to South Korea and Mexico and I needed a visa for both countries.
      The Korean visa process was easy and I had no issues going in and out of Korea. They would just pause for a second or ask someone and then send me on my way in less than 5 mins.
      The Mexican visa was easy, however, I've been to Mexico twice on the same visa and I was held at a room for 3 hours in each of Guadalajara and Cancun airports. I was interviewed and they had to write a 3 pages report each times, after signing the document I was cleared to go in.
      Coming back to the U.S. was very smooth. I had to go to a secondary room twice until the officers confirmed some info, never asked anything, and I was cleared in 10-15 minutes. The third time I was cleared right away. I was told once by an officer that I should carry my original passport even if it's expired, but never gave me any trouble getting back in on the travel document alone.

      After the first travel document expired, I applied for another in January 2019 as there is no renewal process, however, if you have a pending I-485 the fees for the travel document and biometrics are waved. I received the document early April 2019.

      I'm trying to travel to Europe this summer, however, Spain does not recognize the U.S. travel document and would not accept it for a visa application. France and Italy both recognize the document and will process the Schengen visa. Germany and the Netherlands do not require a visa for a U.S. travel document holder. It's difficult to find information online about which countries do recognize the U.S. travel document, so I'd check with the country's consulate before going.

      After receiving becoming a permanent resident you can get the travel document valid for 2 years and can go to Mexico and Canada visa free.

      I hope this helps
      I went to Europe and Russia last year=) visa process was very east with the France consulate as well as with Russian.
      I went to France, Latvia, Italy and Austria with no problem.

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      • Originally posted by Culcapc View Post
        Is it OK to mention one destination for a travel in a Travel Document, but in fact travel to another destination? Should an asylee/refugee inform the USCIS about an additional travel destination before leaving?
        I put France as a destination but went to 4 countries with that travel document with no problem

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        • Originally posted by DiGold View Post

          I went to Europe and Russia last year=) visa process was very east with the France consulate as well as with Russian.
          I went to France, Latvia, Italy and Austria with no problem.
          Refugee travel document is much better. You dont have to deal with visas to most of the countries in the world.
          Not every country recognizes re-entry permit and you have to obtain a visa.

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          • Originally posted by chiccat View Post

            Refugee travel document is much better. You dont have to deal with visas to most of the countries in the world.
            Not every country recognizes re-entry permit and you have to obtain a visa.
            I traveled with a Refugee travel document. And it's not truth that you don't need visas, you actually DO need visa in most of the countries, there is only 5 European countries that don't require visa and that's it.

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            • I got the biometrics notice today for 4/30/2019.

              March 25 - i-485 package sent
              April 8 - i-485 received / Fingerprint fee received by Nebraska Service Center
              April 15 - Receipt Notice got in mail
              April 22 - Biometric Notice got in mail
              April 30 - Biometric will be done

              -------------------------

              Comment


              • Originally posted by DiGold View Post

                I went to Europe and Russia last year=) visa process was very east with the France consulate as well as with Russian.
                I went to France, Latvia, Italy and Austria with no problem.
                It's actually very helpful, the problem I usually face is that not many people are familiar with the travel document so I always need to bring all types of documents in case asked. Also the travel document is only valid for one year if you don't have a permanent residency card and many countries ask for a minimum of 6 months validity when entering the country.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Culcapc View Post
                  Is it OK to mention one destination for a travel in a Travel Document, but in fact travel to another destination? Should an asylee/refugee inform the USCIS about an additional travel destination before leaving?
                  If I remember correctly, I filed for I-131 as I was planning to visit Europe and Lebanon, however, due to work I ended up travelling to Korea and Mexico even though I did not mention them in the application. I still did not get any trouble.

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                  • I'm kind of worried, I filed for adjustment of status on January 2018 and did not get the biometrics appointment until April 2019. However, the case status was changed a couple of hours after the biometrics appointment to "Fingerpirnt Review was Completed". Does this mean I have to wait another year to get the permanent residency card?

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                    • Originally posted by Dnanix View Post
                      I'm kind of worried, I filed for adjustment of status on January 2018 and did not get the biometrics appointment until April 2019. However, the case status was changed a couple of hours after the biometrics appointment to "Fingerpirnt Review was Completed". Does this mean I have to wait another year to get the permanent residency card?
                      No, each case can have different timeline and has nothing to do with past updates. I hope you get an interview soon.
                      Nov 2018 - Package sent - EB - Texas Service Center
                      Day 1 - Package received at the lockbox
                      Day 12/34 - Case and Fingerprint Fee Received / Biometrics appointment
                      Day 112 - EAD delivered
                      Day 195 - Letter for missing I-693
                      Day 4xx - no news (retrogression)
                      EAD Renewal: 2 approved in 24 days, 1 pending for 9x days

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Dnanix View Post

                        It's actually very helpful, the problem I usually face is that not many people are familiar with the travel document so I always need to bring all types of documents in case asked. Also the travel document is only valid for one year if you don't have a permanent residency card and many countries ask for a minimum of 6 months validity when entering the country.
                        Yes! This is the biggest pain, 6 month is not enough of time=( and then waiting for a new one for couple month.... can't wait for my green card to arrive

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by DiGold View Post

                          Yes! This is the biggest pain, 6 month is not enough of time=( and then waiting for a new one for couple month.... can't wait for my green card to arrive
                          Unfortunately we have to use it until become US citizens. They might be implications of using of national
                          passports

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Dnanix View Post
                            I'm kind of worried, I filed for adjustment of status on January 2018 and did not get the biometrics appointment until April 2019. However, the case status was changed a couple of hours after the biometrics appointment to "Fingerpirnt Review was Completed". Does this mean I have to wait another year to get the permanent residency card?
                            Dont worry. Its all random. One of my friends got his green card in 3 months.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by chiccat View Post

                              Unfortunately we have to use it until become US citizens. They might be implications of using of national
                              passports
                              I know a lot of people who travels using their passport around the world, so there is no clear information about that.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by DiGold View Post

                                I know a lot of people who travels using their passport around the world, so there is no clear information about that.
                                I think the main issue is renewing your passport after you were granted asylum, this could mean that you are still protected under your country of origin. This might cause issues when applying for permanent residency or naturalization.

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