Signing, Expediting and E-filing the USCIS Application

Signature Requirements for USCIS Forms

Applicants and petitioners have to sign their respective USCIS applications and petitions. The signature must be original. Parents and legal guardians can sign on behalf of their children under age 14. Legal guardians can sign for applicants who are incompetent to sign. Under such circumstances, the USCIS application package should include evidence of parentage or legal guardianship if not otherwise required for the immigration benefit that is sought for. There are electronic signature rules that apply to forms that are filed electronically in accordance with the instructions on the form.

Attorneys and accredited representatives filing any petition or application on behalf of petitioners and applicants have to sign Form G-28, Notice of Appearance, and include the original along with the application package. The petitioner or applicant or his/her legal guardian for children under age 14 has to sign the Form G-28 in the original. USCIS accepts original Form G-28 that has the facsimile signature of the attorney or accredited representative, such as a stamped signature as allowed under the regulations governing the filing of applications and petitions and longstanding operational guidance.

Expedite Criteria

The USCIS reviews all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis, and are granted at the sole discretion of the Director. The applicant or petitioner has to demonstrate that one or more of the expedite criteria have been met. The criteria are as follows:

  • Severe financial loss to company or individual
  • Extreme emergent situation
  • Humanitarian situation
  • Nonprofit status of requesting organization in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the US.
  • Department of Defense or National Interest Situation (Note: Request must come from official United States government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to our government)
  • USCIS error
  • Compelling interest of USCIS

If you have already filed your USCIS application or petition, you can make an expedite request by contacting the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at the toll-free telephone number 1-800-375-5283. The NCSC will take a “service request” and forward your expedite request to the office with jurisdiction over the application or petition. You also can either visit your local office by scheduling an Info Pass appointment or write a letter to the local office or service center.

E-Filing the USCIS Application

If you have decided to e-file your USCIS application, check the eligibility information to see if e-filing is the right filing option for you. You should have a recent version (8 or higher) installed on your computer and also have Netscape (version 4.7 or higher) or Internet Explorer (version 5.0 or higher) installed on your computer.

Benefits of Filing Online

  • You can file your application from anyplace that has a computer with an Internet connection.
  • You can pay the fees with a credit card or directly through your checking or savings account
  • You can receive immediate confirmation that your application has been received by USCIS

Note that you will not be able to e-file if you are applying for a waiver of the filing fee or requesting that your case be expedited.

There may be some circumstances in which e-filing may not be the suitable option. Ensure that you review the form instructions prior to e-filing. If e-filing is not the best option for you, you can check the instructions for the paper version of the form.

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