Category Archives: USCIS

Blog articles in this category include news and information about U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).

Tips for Preparing USCIS Immigration Forms

tips for preparing USCIS immigration formsAre you getting ready to prepare an immigration form for you or a relative? In most cases you can do it by yourself without the aid of an immigration lawyer. But an inaccurate or carelessly answered question can delay an application or result in a denial. Likewise, a poorly prepared application packet can cause unnecessary delays and trigger additional questions. In fact simple mistakes when preparing USCIS immigration forms can potentially tarnish the person’s immigration record forever.

In the fiscal year 2014, nearly 8% of the 7.7 million applications filed at USCIS lockbox facilities were rejected. That’s over 600,000 applications rejected! Here are some helpful tips for preparing USCIS immigration applications and petitions: Continue reading

USCIS Lost My Application

uscis lost my applicationUnfortunately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is no different than any other massive government organization – they are heavily burdened with a large workload and aren’t the most efficient organization. In fact, several agencies make up the overall immigration system. Consular offices, Department of State and the National Visa Center all play a role. Over 6 million forms are filed with USCIS each year alone. Even if you’ve used our tips for preparing USCIS forms, it’s not uncommon for these agencies to lose parts of your application package or even the whole thing. But there are some preventive measures so that you don’t have to call us to say, “USCIS lost my application!” Continue reading

What is Form G-325A, Biographic Information?

What is Form G-325AForm G-325A, Biographic Information, is generally used with green card applications and provides U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with necessary information needed to make a decision on each case.

Any time a visa petition or adjustment of status application is filed, an extensive background check must be performed by USCIS to look into the past residences, employment, and family ties for the immigrant applicant and the U.S. petitioner.

Form G-325A is their way of supplementing other applications to collect this background information. It’s important that the information you provide on Form G-325A is truthful, accurate and consistent. If not, the worst cases can include denied applications or even long-term immigration issues. Continue reading

3 Reasons Not to Enter Green Card Lottery

reasons not to enter green card lotteryThe Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, better known as the green card lottery, makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available each year to randomly selected individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

In most cases, the green card lottery is an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a permanent resident of the United States. But in other cases, there are reasons not to enter the green card lottery. Reasons to reconsider before applying to the green card lottery include: Continue reading

5 Common Reasons Form N-400 Denied

form n-400 denied uscisU.S. citizenship is perhaps the greatest benefit any immigrant can receive. It is often the pinnacle of a long journey over many years and many miles. Over 2.3 million permanent residents have naturalized as U.S. citizens in the past three years.

However, during the same period, over 224,000 permanent residents had their Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, denied. There are many reasons for this — so we took a look and found five common reasons for a continuation or denial of a Form N-400 application. Continue reading

USCIS Receipt Number Explained

USCIS Receipt Numbers ExplainedAfter you’ve filed almost any application or petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they will respond by mailing you a Form I-797, Notice of Action, within approximately 1-2 weeks. The I-797, Notice of Action, is commonly known as a receipt letter.

For applicants that have incorrectly filed or included the wrong payment, this receipt letter will indicate that the case has been rejected. The applicant will need to refile. If you’ve prepared the form correctly and followed the USCIS directions carefully, this receipt letter will indicated that your case has been accepted. Once the form has been accepted, USCIS will begin reviewing your case.

The receipt letter contains a unique 13-digit receipt number. Also known as a case number, it’s a very important number to help you track the progress of your case or identify a particular immigration filing.
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Consular Processing vs Adjustment of Status

immigrant visa through consular processing or adjustment of statusThere are two basic paths for acquiring a family-based immigrant visa and obtaining permanent residence (green card) in the United States: consular processing and adjustment of status.

Each has it’s own advantages. Before your relative attempts to obtain an immigrant visa (green card) in the United States, it is important to understand the basics of consular processing and adjustment of status.

Immigrant Petitions

Before an immigrant can use consular processing or adjustment of status, he or she must have an approved immigrant visa number. The process begins with a petition. For employment-based cases, the employer files Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. For family-based cases, the process begins with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for a family member. Continue reading

Green Card Renewal Fee Keeps Climbing

green card renewal fee increaseLess than 20 years ago, the green card renewal fee was only $75. In just a few years, the cost has risen to $365 plus the $85 biometrics fee. That’s almost five times the cost!

Critics argue that the USCIS user fee-based system places disproportionate hardship on immigrants. For example, it can cost a family of four $1800 to renew their green cards (filing fees plus biometrics). There is no discount for additional family members.

Permanent residents (18 years and older) are required to carry a valid green card by law. But many are choosing not to renew green cards or replace lost/stolen cards because of the high cost. This creates a difficult dilemma for job seekers. Continue reading

How to Get Status Updates from USCIS

how to get status updates from uscisOnce you’ve filed your application or petition with USCIS, you probably want to get status updates. Processing of immigration forms and applications can take several months, and USCIS isn’t the most accessible customer service organization.

There are things you can do to minimize the wait and get regular status updates. Properly preparing your form and filing with the correct supporting documents is the best thing that you can do to ensure a short wait. Many people use CitizenPath to prepare USCIS forms because we make it easy and eliminate the problems that can delay your application or petition. We even guarantee that USCIS will accept your application or petition. Unfortunately, there isn’t much we (or anyone) can do to expedite your application or petition with USCIS once it has been submitted.

Here’s what you can do to get the best status updates from USCIS. Continue reading

How to Replace a Green Card

Losing your green card or having it stolen can be a scary experience. It’s an essential piece of identification that provides proof of your lawful permanent residence in the United States. Rest assured, you do not lose permanent resident status when you lose your card. However, not having a valid green card can create some major problems. Here’s how to replace a green card:

Step 1: Preparing to Replace a Green Card

how to replace a green card

There are several good reasons one might need to replace a green card. Anyone renewing or replacing a green card will use Use Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. It will take a few months to receive your new card, so file Form I-90 as soon as possible. Some reasons that you might use Form I-90 include: Continue reading