Filling Out Immigration Forms

No matter what visa, green card, or other immigration benefit you seek, you’re likely to have to fill out at least one, and probably a number of government forms. You’ll find most of these available for free download on the website of either U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the U.S. State Department (DOS).

While both these agencies charge fees at the time you’re ready to file the forms, neither charges any fee for downloading the forms themselves. Don’t be scammed by other online companies that try to make you pay for the same forms that they themselves downloaded for free.

When filling out immigration forms, it’s best to either do so online (when possible), or type them. If you must fill them out by hand, do so neatly, using blue or black ink. 

Make sure to fill out every blank, unless the instructions give you an out, for example by saying “if any” or “if applicable.” If a blank does not apply to you (for example, if it asks your children’s names and you have no children), write “N/A” for “not applicable.”

Before submitting any form to a U.S. government agency, make a photocopy of it and any documents or checks that you are also submitting, for your records. If your application gets lost (which happens far more commonly than it should), your copies may become important.

A final note: Immigration application processes are much more complicated than just filling some forms and hoping for the best. Before doing these on your own (which is complicated enough by itself), read the articles on this website and other resources to make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities and will not be permanently jeopardizing your right to U.S. immigration benefits by making a serious error. Consider consulting with an immigration attorney before submitting anything, or for help with all the paperwork.

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