Filing your immigration paperwork can feel like a time-consuming and intimidating process. It can feel even more inconvenient if you need to file your documents in physical form. Is this really necessary or is there a way to file your immigration paperwork online?
Like most sovereign nations, America has accepted immigration paperwork via literal paper for centuries. With the dawn of the internet and improvements in data security, USCIS now accepts electronic submissions.
How do I file my immigration paperwork online?
The specific steps for filing your paperwork depend on your immigration journey. Immigration laws also change rapidly, which can further make it difficult to give any general information. At the time of writing this article, the USCIS website made the following recommendations for online filings:
- Create an online USCIS account.
- Submit paperwork and pay fees online.
- Respond to requests for evidence.
What else can I do when I file online?
When you file your immigration paperwork online, you can also receive case status updates and see a complete history of your immigration case’s progression. USCIS describes the communication via this channel as direct and secure.
What if I already filed by paper?
It is almost never too late to switch to electronic filing during your immigration process. Even if you already filed by paper, USCIS may allow you to create an online account to review your case information.
Are there any situations when USCIS recommends online filing?
USCIS does not specifically recommend online filing for particular situations. However, immigrants tend to gravitate to online filing if the following become true:
- They prefer the convenience of online filing.
- They have reason to believe someone may withhold mail from USCIS out of spite.
- They travel often or are not always at the listed address for other reasons.
At the time of writing this article, filing online did not cost less than filing by paper, when it comes to USCIS fees. However, you might save money spent on printing fees, stamps and paying for money orders.