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Form I-526 e-File Fact Sheet

Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur is now available to file electronically through USCIS ELIS. You can upload supporting documents and track the status of your petition.


Browser Requirements

Internet Explorer versions 7, 8 or 9 and Mozilla Firefox versions 3 or 4.

If you have a newer version of Internet Explorer, we recommend that you use Mozilla Firefox. You can download the latest version of Mozilla Firefox for free at

Note: If you use another browser, such as Chrome or Safari, your information may not display correctly and you may be unable to properly complete Form I-526.


Accessing Form I-526 in USCIS ELIS

  1. Go to the USCIS ELIS homepage. Select “Log in to USCIS ELIS” (the green button on the right).
  1. Create a new USCIS ELIS account or log in to an account that you already have.
  1. Select “Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur” from the drop-down menu and select “Make a Request/Payment” as shown.

Screenshot of Form I-526 Step-by-Step Online Request or Payment screen within USCIS ELIS with arrow

  1. Select the box for “I have read and agree to the Privacy Act statement.” Then, select “I Accept.”

Screenshot of Paperwork Reduction and USCIS Privacy Acts screen within USCIS ELIS with arrow


You are now ready to begin your Form I-526. You must complete all required fields (marked with an *) before you can move to the next section of the form.


Evidence Requirements

Acceptable File Formats


File Extension

PDF (Portable Document Format)




Rich Text Format


Microsoft Word

.doc, .docx

Microsoft PowerPoint

.ppt, .pptx

Microsoft Excel

.xls, .xlsx

Graphic/image files







Web page files

.htm, .html


File Size

Each file that you upload to support Form I-526 should be smaller than 60 MB (megabytes).

If your document is larger than 60 MB, try to rescan it using your scanner’s grayscale function, or use other software to reduce the file size. Please avoid using your scanner’s black and white function.



Once you scan a document, it becomes an image. All images should be:

  • No more than 11 inches by 11 inches (about 3300 x 3300 pixels);
  • Between 100 and 300 dots per inch (DPI) in resolution (valid values are 100, 150, 200, 250, and 300 DPI);
  • In grayscale or color (24-bit or lower color preferred).

To help keep your file sizes below 60 MB, we recommend that you scan documents in a low-resolution format. Most scanners default to 300 DPI. You may need to change your scanner settings and rescan your document at a lower DPI.

If you need to resize an image, we recommend that you use Microsoft Windows Paint or Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

USCIS ELIS will automatically attempt to resize files that do not meet the requirements above. If the files cannot be resized, USCIS ELIS will reject them and you will receive an error message.

While you may continue with your petition, filing Form I-526 without supporting evidence may delay processing. For example, you may receive a request for evidence.


How to Upload Evidence

On the “Evidence Upload” screen, you should see a list of evidence categories (such as “Information About Investor,” “Investment,” and “New Commercial Enterprise”).

Each category has an “Add document” link.

Screenshot of Form I-526 Evidence Upload screen within USCIS ELIS with arrow

(To upload one document, select “I want to upload using another method.” You will be directed to the single-document upload functionality.  The single-document functionality is slower and therefore not recommended when uploading multiple documents and files.)

  1. Select “Add Document.” (If a separate window appears asking you to run the Java plugin, please select “Run.”)
  1. Select “Browse” on the next screen to locate a file to upload. Select the file and select “Open.” The filename should appear in the “Select and Upload Evidence” table. To select other files for a particular category, repeat this step.

If all of the files you want to upload are located in the same folder, you can select and upload the whole folder (instead of selecting/uploading each individual file).

(Note: Java must be enabled in your browser for these screens to display correctly. Without Java, your browser will display the single-document upload which is significantly slower.) 

  1. Once you have selected the files you need for an evidence category, select “Upload” to attach them to Form I-526. This process may take a few minutes, depending on the number and size of files you want to upload. The progress bar will show when all documents have been uploaded.
  1. Select “Next” to upload documents for another evidence category.
  1. Once you have finished uploading evidence, select “Next” to proceed to the next step in Form I-526, “Review Upload.”
Last Reviewed/Updated: 11/10/2014