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Tips for Filing Forms with USCIS

Please read and follow the form filing instructions. Form fees, eligibility requirements, fee waiver eligibility, required documents, and mailing addresses vary depending on the form you are filing and why you are filing. These tips will help ensure USCIS accepts your application package and forwards your case to a field office or service center for processing. 

  • Our forms are available for free download in our forms section or by calling 1-800-870-3676. Never pay for a blank USCIS form.

Complete the Form Completely and Accurately:

  • Use the most current form version.
  • When possible, download the form from our website and complete it with a computer.
  • If you hand write your answers, use black ink. Make sure your entries are neat, legible, and within the space provided.
  • We use special scanners to read your forms and documents. The scanners will not properly read information that is greyed out, highlighted or corrected using correction fluid or tape.
  • If you make an error, start over with a clean form.
  • Complete the entire form; all forms have required fields (in the newer forms on our website, they are outlined in red).  When these fields are left blank, we will return your form for corrections. 

Submit Required Documents and Evidence:

  • Submit the documents or evidence listed in the form instructions.
  • Supporting documents must be in English or accompanied by an English translation.
  • Submit copies unless original documents are requested.  If you send an original document with your form, it will become part of the record and will not be returned to you automatically. 

Check Your Application:

To ensure your form is accepted for processing:

  • Sign the form.
  • Pay the correct fee.
  • Answer all questions completely and accurately.
  • If filing multiple forms, write your name and date of birth EXACTLY the same way on each form.
  • Mail the form(s) to the correct address.

Common Questions:

How do I know when the Lockbox facility has accepted my form? 

  • We will send you an e-Notification if you complete Form G-1145 and clip it to the front of your application package.
  • In all cases, we will mail you a Form, I-797C, Notice of Action, receipt notice that shows your receipt number and the office processing your case. 

Where can I get information about fee waivers? 

I filed my application at a Lockbox facility over 10 days ago and have not received a receipt notice.  Who should I contact? 

  • Email us at Lockboxsupport@dhs.gov. Include the form number, receipt number (if known), applicant name and mailing address.  Do NOT include  A-numbers or social security numbers in e-mails; or
  • Call the National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283. 

I don’t understand why the Lockbox facility rejected my application.  Who can help me? 

  • We encourage you to contact us by email before you re-file at Lockboxsupport@dhs.gov. Include the form number, receipt number, applicant name and mailing address.  Do NOT include A-numbers or social security numbers in e-mails. 

Where can I get general information about forms and filing instructions? 

  • Check www.uscis.gov.
  • Call the National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283.
  • Use the InfoPass system to make an appointment at your local office. 

How do I check my case status? 

  • Use Case Status Online to check the status of your case.  You will need your receipt number.
  • Call the National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283. 

How do I request a refund? 

  • Call the National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283; or
  • Write to the USCIS service center or field office processing your case. 
  • Do not contact a Lockbox facility about a refund. 

How do I withdraw an application or petition? 

  • Write to the USCIS service center or field office processing your case. 
  • Do not send your request to a Lockbox facility. 

Where do I send a response to a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)? 

  • Send your response to the office that requested the information, which is usually the service center or field office processing your case. 
  • Never send these items to a Lockbox facility – you may miss important response deadlines by sending your response to the wrong location. 

How do I change my address? 

U.S Department of Homeland Security
Citizenship and Immigration Services
Attn: Change of Address
1344 Pleasants Drive
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

I mailed my application to the wrong location.  Will you forward it?

We will forward most applications to the correct location.   If we are unable to forward your application, we will return it to you to re-file.

Will USCIS accept forms that are missing information as long as the basic information is completed?

Each form has certain fields that are required to process our business rules, calculate the correct fee, and determine your reason for filing.  If you complete the required fields, submit the required initial evidence, sign your form, and pay the correct fee, we will accept your application.  However, even if information is not required to initially accept your form, missing information could delay the adjudication process. It is important that you complete the entire form and submit the initial evidence listed in the form instructions.

Should I assemble my application package documents in a specific order?

The Lockbox service provider will sort your application in the correct processing order; however, we recommend assembling your package as follows:

If an application is rejected, will you return it to the attorney or applicant?

If the application was filed with a valid Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, we will return it to the attorney and send a rejection notice to both the attorney and the applicant.  If not, only the applicant will receive the rejected application and notice.

This page can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/lockboxtips

Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/26/2013