Form I-191: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Frank Gogol

Becoming a permanent resident is exciting for many people who aspire to live in the United States. After going through a long process for obtaining a green card, the last thing you’d want is not being able to return after you’ve been in another country for a while. If you find yourself in this situation, you have the opportunity to file Form-191 and hope that you’ll gain permission to return to your home after spending time abroad. Do you want to know what this form is and how to complete it? If that’s the case, the below information should help you out.

What Is Form I-191?

Form I-191 is a form with limited use that some lawful permanent residents can submit in a certain scenario. If the LPR has spent time outside the United States for a little while, then the person can submit this form and request permission to return home to the United States. This form can be filed with the USCIS unless the applicant is in immigration proceedings.

People who apply this form require relief under the 212(c) section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Who Needs Form I-191?

Form I-191 is needed by any lawful permanent resident of the United States who has spent time outside the country and wants to come back to their home in the States. Those who are inadmissible to return to the States can apply – even those who are inadmissible because of previous convictions or crimes.

How to Complete Form I-191?

When you fill out this form, there are some general things you need to keep in mind.

The paper has to be printed legibly in black ink. You need to make sure that you properly answer all of the questions in the form. This means offering accurate and full answers. Use “N/A” when an item is not applicable, or “none” when the answer is none. Add a continuation sheet to the form if you need any extra space for completing an item. When doing this, you should add an item number, as well as the date, and then sign each sheet you add.

When completing the form, you have to talk in detail about why you are inadmissible to the United States. For instance, if there’s a crime or conviction that makes you inadmissible and you’re making the application because of that, then you need to mention the crime designation, the commission place, and date, as well as the conviction. The sentence of the court should be mentioned too, or any judgment they offered.

At the same time, if you have any disease or any physical or mental defect, it should be mentioned and described in detail. Talk about the duration, as well as the place and date you last treated it.

Getting to number 3 on the form, when you had a lot of absences as a resident alien border crosser or a seaman, you can just offer an approximate number of the absences during the years covered.

If the person applying is under 14 years old or mentally incompetent, then the parent or guardian should complete the application on his/her behalf.

Here are instructions on how to complete the form.

Part 1

In part 1, you need to start with general information about yourself, the applicant. This includes your full name and other names you use. The place and date of birth will be asked for as well, and the country of citizenship or nationality should be provided as well. If you have an Alien Registration Number or a USCIS online account number, you will also have to mention them.

Other than that, you’ll be required to add your physical address and mailing address details, as well as information about how and when you became an LPR. Towards the end, you’ll be asked about several travel document matters, such as the passport number used at the last entry, or the travel document number you used. Mention the country where your document has been issued, as well as its expiration date. In the last section, you have to talk about your departures from and returns to the U.S.

Part 2

Part 2 is simply asking for biographic information such as race, eye color, and other aspects. Answer accurately.

Part 3

For part 3, you will talk about the criminal convictions that pushed you to seek relief under the former section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. You’ll have to describe each criminal conviction, whether you have only one or more.

Part 4

Part 4 asks for information about your residence, basically where you lived during the last 7 years. Physical addresses will be required.

Part 5

Talk about your employment in section 5. You have to give some basic information about your job.

Part 6

Give some information about your family. Information about the spouse will be required, as well as your children and parents.

Part 7

Part 7 is for when you think you have other removal reasons aside from the criminal convictions from part 3. You need to offer a proper explanation of the reason.

Part 8

For part 8, you have to explain why you think the application should be approved as a matter of discretion.

Part 9

Here, you have to offer your contact information and statement, as well as certification and signature. Just make sure you read the Penalties section before you complete this part.

Part 10

This part asks for the contact information, certification, and signature of the interpreter.

Part 11

If someone else other than the applicant is completing this form, this section asks for the contact information, declaration and signature.

Part 12

You can use this part to add some additional information you didn’t have space for in the other sections.

Form I-191 Cost

If you wish to file this form, you need to pay $545.

You can use a money order or check in order to pay this fee. If you’re planning to do that, make sure to follow these steps:

  • Make sure that your money order or check has been drawn on a bank or another financial institution from the United States. No matter which one of them you end up choosing – you need to make sure that it is payable in the currency of the U.S.
  • Ensure that you make the money order or check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Exceptions apply if you live in the U.S. Virgin Islands and you are filing your petition there. In this situation, you should make it payable to the Commissioner of Finance of the Virgin Islands. On the other hand, if you live in Guam, you should make it payable to Treasurer, Guam if you’re filing your petition there.

It’s important that when you make the money payable, you spell out the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and you don’t only use the initials “DHS” or “USDHS”.

Where to File Form I-191?

You will be able to submit this form to the District Director or Field Office Director. After you complete it properly, you should submit it to the director that has jurisdiction over your permanent residence place, so make sure you pay attention to that.

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If you didn’t know what Form I-191 is and how to complete it, we hope that this article helped you. Make sure to answer the sections fully and accurately if you have to submit it.

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