May 25th, 2011 by Eleanor Gaskin
Using Immigration Forms
Immigration forms or USCIS forms can be downloaded and are in PDF format. In order to view, print, or fill out these forms, you should use the latest version of Adobe Reader which can be downloaded for free.
To ensure that you complete and submit your application correctly, make sure you carefully read any notices, warnings, or explanations on the Forms Entry Page (FEP) before you print (or download) the form itself, fill it out and send it to USCIS. Also make sure to verify the filing location of the forms for the specific benefit you are seeking.
All the immigration (prefixed with “I”) or naturalization (prefixed with “N”) forms come with detailed instructions about where to file and those instructions will differ with specific circumstances. If you do not file the forms with the appropriate office or with the correct fee, it might result in an application or petition being returned to you and will also result in further delay in processing. It is important to remember NOT to mail your application or petition to the “HQPDI” address on any form, (that address is for submitting comments on the form itself.)
Fees and Fee Waiver Information
A submission fee is required for most immigration forms. This fee has to be mailed along with the completed application. Do not forget to include your payment of all required fees, including any fingerprint fees, when you submit your application. Checks should be payable to “Department of Homeland Security”. You need not submit a completed fingerprint card (FD-258) with your application. USCIS will later notify you of the time and place where your fingerprints will be taken.
Based on an inability to pay, individuals may apply for and be granted a fee waiver while filing certain immigration forms. In such cases, you have to file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, for requesting a fee waiver. The instructions page that comes with Form I-912 has information on the methodology that USCIS uses to make a decision on a fee waiver request, whether the request is submitted on Form I-912 or through a written statement by the applicant requesting a fee waiver.
To start with, the USCIS will determine whether the applicant is receiving a means-tested benefit, or whether the applicant’s household income level and/or recent financial hardship makes him/her eligible for the fee waiver.
Most immigration forms require photographs to be submitted with the form. The specifications for photographs are given in the form instructions.
“Fillable” Immigration Forms
Forms are provided in a format that allows you to fill them out on your computer, print them out, sign and mail it to the appropriate USCIS office in order to file for a benefit.
Downloading and Printing Immigration Forms
Some of the forms are rather large files. To use them easily, you can download them directly to your local computer, instead of filling them out through your web browser. As mentioned earlier, you should use the latest version of Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded free.