Tips for Filing Forms Online

This page contains tips for filing forms online.


Online filing isn’t available for all forms. In some cases, we may require you to file the paper version of a form that is available for online filing. For example, you cannot file online if you are applying for a fee waiver. See what forms are available by visiting our Forms Available to File Online page.

Filing Fee

The filing fee may vary depending on whether you file online or by mail. For more information about filing fees, including exceptions, please see our Filing Fees page.

How to File a Form Online

Step 1: Create a USCIS online account if you don’t already have one.

Go to our Sign Up page. If you need help creating a USCIS online account, please visit our How to Create a USCIS Online Account page.

You must provide a valid email address and password to create a USCIS online account. The email address you provide will also be the username for your USCIS online account. The USCIS online account uses a two-factor authentication process. This means that in addition to entering your username and password, you must also enter a one-time password that will be sent to you by email or text message. When you create your USCIS online account, you can select your preference for receiving the one-time password.

Signing in to your USCIS online account using two-factor authentication:

  1. Enter your email address and the password you created. Then select “Log in.”
  2. Every time you sign in to your USCIS online account, you must enter your email address and password.
  3. When you first create your account, you will select your preference for receiving the one-time password by text message, email, or authentication app.
  4. If you select text message, enter your U.S. mobile phone number in the Mobile Number box (standard SMS/text messaging rates may apply).
  5. If you select the app option, the system will generate a code that you can scan or type into an authentication app that you have installed on your mobile device (such as Google Authenticator).
  6. After you make your preference, select “Submit.”
  7. It may take a few minutes to receive your authentication code. (If you selected the email option, make sure to check your junk mail or spam folder in addition to your inbox).
  8. Enter your one-time password in the box and select “Submit.”
  9. If you have not received your password after 10 minutes, select “request a new one-time password.”

Step 2: Select “File a Form Online.”

Step 3: Complete all sections of your form.

We may reject your form if you leave a field blank or if you do not sign your form. Read the form instructions for information on completing fields when your answer is “zero” or “not applicable (N/A).”

Step 4: Upload evidence.

As part of the application process, you must provide evidence to support your application, petition, or request. These documents help us evaluate your form and verify your answers are true. If we do not request a specific document, then you do not need to include it when you file your form.

Use these tips when uploading evidence:

  • Use a scanner or take pictures of each document. Make sure each image you attach is clear and that all text is readable.
  • Files must not be larger than 6MB in size.
  • Files must be in one of these formats: PDF, JPG, or JPEG. For some forms, we also accept files in TIF or TIFF format.
  • Do not encrypt or password protect your files.
  • If your documents are in a foreign language, upload an English translation along with the original.
  • If we require passport-size photos, you must either scan them or take a picture with your phone.

Step 5: Review and digitally sign your form.

  • Review the summary of the information you provided in your application. You can also view a PDF draft version of your completed form. You may save and print a copy for your records.
  • To digitally sign your application, type your full legal name (first, middle, and last names) in the space provided.

Step 6: Pay the filing fee.

  • You must pay with a valid credit or debit card, or provide your bank routing and checking account numbers to have money taken directly from your U.S. bank account.
  • After you make your payment, your form will be submitted.
  • You will receive a receipt notice that contains your receipt number. This is a unique number that applies to your specific case with USCIS. You can find your receipt number on your online account home page, and you can find a copy of your receipt notice under the Documents tab.

Step 7: View appointment notices.

  • Depending on your case, you may be required to attend a biometric services appointment at an application support center. Log in to your USCIS online account for more information about your appointment.
  • You must attend this appointment and provide biometric information (passport-style photograph, signature, and fingerprints).
  • If you are required to attend an interview, you will also receive an interview appointment notice in your account.

Step 8: Respond to Requests for Evidence and Upload Unsolicited Evidence.

  • We will notify you by text message or email (based on your preference) if you need to respond to a Request for Evidence (RFE).
  • Log in to your USCIS online account and go to the Documents tab to view notices and respond to the RFE.
  • While your case is pending, you may provide additional information, including evidence we did not specifically request, regarding your case. This is available in the Documents tab, except when you have an open RFE.

Step 9: Check the status of your case.

Log in to your USCIS online account for details on the status of your case.

Step 10: Send and receive secure messages.

Once you file a form, you will have access to a secure inbox to send messages to an immigration services officer and receive a response to your question.

Step 11: Receive a decision

Log in to your USCIS online account to read details on the decision we made on your case. For information on processing times for all forms, please visit our USCIS Processing Time Information page.

Browser Requirements

We designed your online account to work with all mobile and desktop browsers. If you have technical issues related to browser compatibility, we recommend downloading the latest version of Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Firefox, or Internet Explorer 11. If problems continue, you can request technical support from the help page within your USCIS online account. If technical issues prevent you from signing into your account, send us a message by using our online help form.

Forgotten Password

You can reset your password by going to the Sign In page and selecting the Forgot your password? link.

Enter your primary email address and click on the “Email Reset Instructions” button. We will send password reset instructions to both your primary and recovery email address (if you have one on record).

To confirm your request, please click on the link provided in the email, or copy and paste the entire link into your browser. This confirmation link expires in six hours.

Change of Address

We strongly encourage you to update your address with USCIS to ensure you receive all correspondence and benefits from us in a timely manner and avoid possible delays related to your case.

Changing your address with the U.S. Postal Service will not change your address with USCIS. Please update your information with both USCIS and USPS.

Most individuals can change their address in two ways:  

  • Through your existing USCIS online account if you filed your form online; or  
  • Filing Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card, online using the Change of Address webpage. Filing Form AR-11 online will update your address on all pending applications, petitions, or requests that you include on the form. You do not need to mail Form AR-11 if you use the change of address webpage.   

Please visit our Change of Address page if you:

  • Are a victim of domestic violence, trafficking, and other crimes;
  • Filed a Form I-751 abuse waiver;
  • Are a U.S. citizen;
  • Are a civil surgeon; or
  • Are an attorney or registered representative.

To update your address through your USCIS online account:

  1. Log in to your USCIS online account.
  2. Select the Profile tab.
  3. Select Edit next to Mailing Address to update the address where you receive your mail. 
  4. Select Edit next to Physical Address to update where you currently live. 
  5. Select Save. (During certain periods of the adjudication process, you may not be able to update your address information.)
More Resources

For technical support with your online account, you can send us a secure message. If you did not file your case online but have a receipt number that begins with “IOE,” you can create a USCIS online account to send secure messages.

Visit our Tools page to see all our self-help tools that may get you answers to common immigration questions.

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