Immigration Forms

October 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

The USCIS forms are in PDF format. To view, print, or fill out these forms, you should have the latest version of Adobe Reader. Incomplete forms will be rejected. So to submit your application correctly, remember to read any notices, warnings, or explanations on the Forms Entry Page (FEP) before you print (or download) the form itself, fill it out and send it to USCIS. Do not forget to verify the filing location of the forms for the specific benefit you are seeking.

Immigration (“I”) or naturalization (“N”) forms come with detailed instructions which has information regarding where to file and those instructions will differ with specific circumstances. If you do not file the forms with the appropriate office or with the correct fee, your application or petition will be returned to you which will result in further delay in processing.

Fees and Fee Waiver Information :

A submission fee is required for most immigration forms and the fee has to be mailed along with the completed application. Make sure you include your payment of all required fees, including any fingerprint fees, while submitting your application. Checks should be payable to “Department of Homeland Security.” USCIS will then inform you of the time and place where your fingerprints will be taken.

If you cannot afford to pay the fee, you may apply for and be granted a fee waiver while filing certain immigration forms. Under such instances, you have to file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, for requesting a fee waiver. The instructions page that come with Form I-912 has information on the methodology that USCIS uses to make a decision on a fee waiver request, whether the request is submitted on Form I-912 or through a written statement by the applicant requesting a fee waiver. The USCIS will determine whether you are receiving a means-tested benefit, or reviewing whether your household income level and/or recent financial hardship makes you eligible for the fee waiver.

Photographic Requirements:

Most immigration forms require photographs to be submitted with the application package and the photo specifications are given in the form instructions.

“Fillable” Immigration Forms :

Forms are provided in a format that allows you to fill them out on your computer, print them out, and mail it to the appropriate USCIS office. Some of the forms are rather large files. To use them easily, you can download them directly to your local computer, instead of filling them out through your web browser. As mentioned earlier, you should use the latest version of Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded free.





USCIS and InfoPass

September 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the official government agency that is in charge of the immigration process of foreign nationals who come to the US temporarily or wish to permanently settle in the US. It is vested with the authority of granting or denying immigration benefits to such foreign nationals.

The USCIS was established on March 1, 2003 as one branch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Before the USCIS was established, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was the authority that had control over matters related with immigration, including administrative and investigative functions.

InfoPass :

If you have any issues related to immigration and need clarification from a trained USCIS Immigration Officer, you can do so through InfoPass, a free service. Through InfoPass, you can schedule an appointment with a USCIS Immigration Officer instead of requesting it in person at your local USCIS office.

You can make an appointment directly through the internet (from your laptop at home, or the computer at your local public library) and scheduling an appointment is free. Just click on “Make An Appointment” and you will be required to give your mailing address and ZIP code. Enter all personal details asked and select a date and time for your appointment. The appointment notice will then appear on your computer screen. The notice will have the time, date and location of your appointment. Please remember to print this notice and bring along with you during the InfoPass appointment.

While coming to the InfoPass appointment, you have to bring a printout of the InfoPass appointment notice confirmation, any government-issued identification, Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record Also bring with you immigration forms, receipt notices, approval/denial letters, translations and original documents that are related to your inquiry.

You can cancel or reschedule InfoPass appointments by using the identification numbers that you will find at the bottom of your printed out appointment confirmation notice. There is no penalty for rescheduling/canceling an appointment.

For general information, you can just call the NCSC at 1-800-375-5283, to have your question answered than scheduling an InfoPass appointment.

All About INS

March 30, 2011 § 3 Comments

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the INS) is the official government agency that manages the entire immigration related matters in the United States.

The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) were earlier known as the Bureau of Immigration and the Bureau of Naturalization (BCIS) since 1903. The INS was established on 10 June 1933 with its merger to administer matters related to established immigration and naturalization policy. The INS ceased to exist under that name on 1st March, 2003, when most of its functions were transferred to three new agencies within the newly created Department of Homeland Security, as part of a major government re organization after September 11 attacks of 2001.

How is the INS Referred to Today?

The administration of all immigration services, including permanent residence, naturalization, asylum, and other functions came under the the responsibility of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), which existed only for a short time before changing to its current name, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

While applying for a visa or green card, immigration forms are to be filed either at the American Consulate or with the USCIS (formerly the INS) if the applicant is in the US. The USCIS (formerly the INS) is the authority that processes all the applications/petitions filed in the US.

The Application Process:

After you send the completed application/petition to the USCIS (formerly the INS) along with the correct fee and supporting documents, you will receive an Application Receipt Notice that has a 13-character application receipt number. This number generally starts with EAC, WAC, LIN, or SRC. You can track the status of your application using this number while the application.

If you want to check the status of your case with the application receipt number, you may visit the USCIS’s website, and select the link entitled “Case Status Online” and enter the application receipt number. If you do not have a receipt number, you can click “Processing Times” that you will find on the USCIS “Case Status Online” page to find out how long USCIS takes to process certain applications. Processing times differ according to the type of application you filed and the location of the USCIS Application Service Center (ASC) where your application was filed. If you do not receive any notice from the USCIS (formerly the INS) even after thirty days of having submitted your application, you can contact them at their toll-free telephone number and talk to their customer service representatives who will provide you with the necessary guidance regarding the application submitted.

Applicants and their representatives (lawyers, charitable groups, or corporations) who are in need of regular access to information about the multiple cases they submitted can create an account to get this information easily. The services provided by USCIS (formerly the INS) to both such account types are similar except for the fact that applicants’ representatives can have their own internal office tracking number with each receipt number when dealing with multiple cases.

In addition to this, a new program provides the option where you can receive a text message notification to your US mobile phone number whenever a case status update happens. Applicants and representatives can avail this facility to receive this notification. However, Standard Messaging Rates or other charges related to such these notifications may apply. Applicants and their representatives can also receive case status updates at their e-mail address.

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