Online USCIS Application Filing
Dev B. Viswanath, Esq.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) now have many applications available for online filing. The filing fee for filing online is the same as it would be if an applicant mailed in their petition but USCIS receives the petition much faster and there is no need to pay for postage.
The first step is to create an account through the USCIS website and then select “File a Form.” To create an online account an applicant will need an email address and password. The applicant selects which application they would like to file and fills out the necessary information. The information required on the online applications are the same as the paper applications. With each application an applicant is usually required to submit evidence in support of that application. An applicant does not have to provide the originals of any documents unless specifically requested which means they can scan or take pictures of each document and upload it. Each image must be clear, and any the text must be readable. Any document that is in a foreign language must also have an English translation uploaded with it.
Once an applicant completes an application they must electronically sign (e-sign) the application and if they would like to, they can print out a copy for their records. To e-sign the application, the applicant must type in their full name in the space provided. An application fee is required with most applications and can be paid online with either a credit or debit card or checking account. Once the payment is competed the applicant will receive a receipt notice which includes their receipt number. The receipt number is a unique number that applies to their specific case with USCIS. If an applicant files more than one type of application, they can keep track of the applications by the designated receipt number under the “Documents” tab in their online account home page. If an applicant is required to complete biometrics, details on the biometric appointment can be found on their USCIS account. If an applicant receives a request for evidence for their application, USCIS notifies them via email, text message, or mail. The request for evidence notice can be viewed through the “documents” tab on an applicant’s USCIS account.
An applicant can also check the status of their application by logging into their USCIS online account. Unfortunately, not all applications can be filed online. Below are a few applications that can be filled online:
- AR-11 |Alien’s Change of Address Card
- G-639 |Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request
- I-90 | Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
- I-130 |Petition for Alien Relative
- I-539 | Application To Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status
- N-400 |Application for Naturalization
- N-336 | Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA)
- N-565 | Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document
- N-600 | Application for Certificate of Citizenship
- N-600K |Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322
The use of online filing can be very useful and helpful to the interested applicant or petitioner. The ability to keep everything in digital format can also be more organized. However, you must be comfortable wit this type of process. To date, hard mailed in filings are still open and the choice is yours.