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Avoid Misleading Online Businesses and Fees

In recent weeks, USCIS has received a large number of applications prepared by an online business that charges users to complete their USCIS forms. In most cases, the charge for preparing an application is the same as the USCIS filing fee. When applicants pay these businesses online using an electronic check, the applicant is only paying for the service provided to prepare the application, and not the actual USCIS filing fee. As a result, applicants are attaching a copy of a cashed electronic check when mailing their applications to USCIS. Because the applicant has not paid the USCIS filing fee, USCIS cannot process these applications and must return them to the applicant.

USCIS would like to urge applicants to carefully read the user agreements provided by non-government websites. This information should help the applicant determine what services he or she is paying the online service provider for and minimize the possibility that the application will be rejected for the reasons noted above.

USCIS reminds applicants to avoid:

  • Dot.com websites that identify themselves as being an official government website (Remember:  Official government websites always include “.gov”, not “.com” in the web address)
  • Websites that charge applicants for blank USCIS forms 

It is FREE to download USCIS forms on www.uscis.gov or to order forms by calling USCIS at (800) 870-3676.

For more information on how to avoid immigration services scams and identify who is authorized to provide legal advice, please visit www.uscis.gov/avoidscams.


 

Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/12/2011