Use the following steps to ensure your immigration application is prepared for submission to USCIS:
Ensure All Immigration Forms are Properly Completed
Immigration forms can be difficult to understand and hard to complete properly. Before preparing your application for submission, ensure you have completed all of the required forms, reviewed them for accuracy, filled them out in the appropriate color ink, and provided an original signature. You may wish to consult with a competent immigration attorney to help you with this process.
Gather All of the Required Supporting Documents
Each immigration form contains a separate page with instructions. These instructions will tell you what types of supporting documents you must include. It is acceptable to include copies of these documents unless you are specifically asked to provide originals.
Write a Cover Letter
Write a cover letter to accompany your immigration application. A good cover letter will tell the reviewing immigration officer what type of application you are submitting. It will also provide a table of contents to help the immigration officer locate your forms and supporting documents.
Organize Your Application Package
You can help the immigration officer quickly review your application by presenting it in an organized manner. Start by clipping a check (made out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and including the exact amount) for your filing fee to your cover letter and table of contents. Next, include all of your required forms. Finally, include your supporting documents. It is easiest to present your supporting documents in the order requested in the immigration form instructions.
Don't Forget the details
Immigration officers review many applications each day, so it is helpful if you take a few extra steps to make their lives easier. Start by two-hole punching all of your documents (i.e., cover letter, immigration forms, supporting documents, etc.) and hold everything in place using an acco fastener. You should also include tabs along the bottom of the application to help divide the different portions of the package. This will make it easier for an immigration officer to find your supporting documents. Finally, you may wish to include Form G-1145 as the first page of your application package (not attached using an acco fastener). USCIS will use this form to notify you via text message or email that it has received your application.
Additional resources provided by the author
If you have questions about preparing an application package, please contact a competent immigration attorney. You may also wish to review the USCIS "General Tips for Preparing an Application for Mailing."
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