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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.

2D Barcoded Forms

  • USCIS has added 2D barcode technology to some of our highest volume forms to enhance application intake efficiency. The forms include: G-28, I-90, I-131, I-821, I-864, and N-400.
  • When you complete these forms using a computer, the barcode at the bottom of the page will store the data entered on the form. We will be able to scan the information from the barcode and upload it directly to USCIS systems, allowing us to improve data quality and operational efficiency.
  • You are not required to complete the 2D Barcoded forms electronically; however we encourage you to use the free, fillable forms available from  We’ve developed and tested the forms posted on our site to ensure proper functioning.
  • The 2D Barcode ONLY captures typed information; hand-written information is not captured in the barcode.  As such, please complete these forms fully electronically or fully in handwriting.  Also, if you need to make a correction, please start over with a blank form for that page.
  • For third-party vendors who recreate USCIS forms, please see our 2D Barcode Requirements.
  • Do not attach anything to or damage the barcode.

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 using an approved method of delivery. Forms may be submitted using any form of USPS delivery or an approved courier service. Acceptable courier services include FedEx, DHL and UPS.

Answers to Common Questions:

Proof We Received Your ApplicationChecking Your Case StatusRequest for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)
RejectionsRefundsMailing Errors
Fee WaiversChange of AddressMissing Information
General InformationWithdrawing an Application or PetitionAssembling Your Application Package

Proof We Received Your Application

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.

We will send you an e-Notification if you complete Form G-1145 and clip it to the front of your application package.

If you mailed your application to a Lockbox facility more than 30 days ago and have not received a receipt notice, please:

  • Email us at and we will answer each email in turn as soon as possible. Please include the form number, receipt number, petitioner and/or applicant name, and mailing address with your email. Please do not include social security numbers in emails.


  • Call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) on (800) 375-5283.

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If your file is rejected, we will send you a rejection notice. If you filed your application with a valid Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, we will return it to the attorney or representative on file and send a rejection notice to both you and your attorney or representative. 

If you have questions about your rejected application, we encourage you to contact us by email before you re-file at

  • Include the form number, receipt number, applicant name and mailing address.
  • Do NOT include A-numbers or social security numbers in e-mails.

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Fee Waivers

Please reference our Fee Waiver Guidance and Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver.

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General Information on Filing Forms

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

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Checking Your Case Status

Use Case Status Online to check the status of your case. You will need your receipt number.

You may also call the National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283.

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To 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.

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Withdrawing Your Application or Petition

Write to the USCIS service center or field office processing your case to withdraw your application or petition.

Do not send your request to a Lockbox facility as your case is no longer with the Lockbox.

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Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)

If you have received an RFE or 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 as your case is no longer with the Lockbox – you may miss important response deadlines by sending your response to the wrong location.

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Changing Your Address

You can:

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

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Mailing Errors

Please pay close attention to filing instructions to avoid mailing your application to the wrong location.

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.

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Missing Information

It is important that you complete the entire form and submit the initial evidence listed in the form instructions. Each form has certain fields that are required to process our business rules, calculate the correct fee, and determine your reason for filing. We will accept your application if you:

  • Complete the required fields;
  • Submit the required initial evidence;
  • Sign your form; and
  • Pay the correct fee.

However, even if information is not required to initially accept your form, missing information could delay the adjudication process.

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Assembling Your Application Package

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

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 08/31/2015