Form Filing Tips
It's important for you to understand how the USCIS application process works. Knowing the facts will help you avoid scams.
Top 10 Tips Before You File
- The official website for USCIS is www.uscis.gov.
- USCIS does not charge you a fee to download forms.
- Read the form instructions before completing the form. Remember to fill in all required fields and send in any required documentation.
- You must sign your form before sending it to USCIS.
- Before you sign an immigration form make sure that you understand it and that the information on it is true and accurate.
- Never sign blank forms.
- USCIS requires you to pay a filing fee for most forms.
- You can pay filing fees with a money order, certified check or valid credit card.
- Make sure you get a receipt for any payment you make to an attorney or accredited representative.
- Keep copies of all forms and other documents that you file with USCIS.
Top 3 Tips After You File
- USCIS will mail you a receipt after we receive your application. Make sure to keep the receipt for your records.
- Use the receipt number on your receipt to track the status of your application online.
- If you have questions about your application, you can make a free Infopass appointment to visit a USCIS office and speak with an immigration officer.
Tips for Working with an Attorney or Accredited Representative
- If you're working with an attorney, check with the state bar association to verify that the attorney is eligible to practice in—and is a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of—any U.S. state, possession, territory or commonwealth, or the District of Columbia.
- If working with a non-attorney, verify whether the individual is an accredited representative of an organization recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
- Know the law in your state. Some states have specific laws regulating immigration consultants.
- If you are unsure whether your immigration service provider is giving trustworthy advice, do not hesitate to seek a second opinion. When doing so, always work with a licensed attorney or BIA-accredited representative.