USCIS – uscitizenship Just another WordPress site Wed, 08 Nov 2017 13:41:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 DACA Renewals Announced by ICE Mon, 10 Mar 2014 10:00:53 +0000 How Does the USCIS Differ From INS?If you are one of the almost half-million people who received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) near when it first became available, your work authorization cards will be expiring soon.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has stated from the beginning that, if you have received DACA and have not committed certain crimes or broken the DACA guidelines, you will be able to renew for more than two years.

It was a mystery, however, as to exactly how USCIS would go about the renewal process until recently, when a notice was issued regarding the issue.

The current plan for renewal stipulates that it must be requested 120 days prior to the very end of your 2-year period of deferred action.

Unfortunately, for now, this does not apply to all the recipients of DACA — most of which have received it from between June 15, 2012 and August 15, 2012. This period was also before USCIS accepted formal applications, which is why this opportunity for renewal currently applies to so few people.

Can Deferred Action be a Path to US Citizenship?

People who first applied from between June 15, 2012 and August 15, 2012 will also be required to apply for DACA as though they are doing it for the first time. This basically means that you’ll have to provide proof once more that you meet all the necessary requirements.

Just a quick reminder about moving quickly — if you do not receive a renewal before your first DACA grant expires, you will fall out of status and lose your work authorization for the periods of time between deferred action.

Please remember that this first wave only applies to those who applied in the beginning of DACA’s availability years ago, but this doesn’t mean that if you applied outside of the period between June 15, 2012 and August 15, 2012 that you are out of luck. It is expected that more waves will be opened to accommodate all eligible recipients of DACA in an orderly and efficient way.

If you are eligible to renew in this first wave, you must submit Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival. This must also be accompanied by Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

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I-601A Form Facts Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:37:38 +0000 Immediate relatives of US citizens who have overstayed their non-immigrant visas and who have accumulated a certain period of unlawful presence in America, can file Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, while in America and obtain unlawful presence waivers and apply for immigrant visas. Immediate relatives of US citizens who are in the United States and who are looking forward to become lawful residents, can apply for and receive waivers while in America and then return to their home countries for consular processing. Spouses, parents and children of US citizens, who have accrued unlawful presence in America, can apply for this waiver while in America and they need not return to their home countries to file applications. This waiver will help the individuals who are inadmissible into the country due to unlawful presence. Such immediate relatives of US citizens may not be separated from their US citizen relatives for a long time as they just need to travel to their home countries to appear for immigrant visa interviews and to get their visas. However, this process will only shorten the time the immediate relatives are separated from their US citizen family members and it will not change the immigrant visa process.

Who is Eligible for this Waiver?

Immediate relatives of US citizens must meet few eligibility requirements in order to become eligible for provisional unlawful presence waivers. They cannot file Form I-601A, if they are minors and only the immediate relatives of US citizens who are above age 17 can apply for waivers. Likewise, waivers may not be granted to the relatives who belong to the preference categories and this provisional unlawful presence waiver is meant only for the immediate relatives of US citizens. Moreover, Form I-130 filed on behalf of the applicants must not be pending and the immediate relatives of US citizens cannot apply for waivers, if immigrant visa interviews were scheduled for them before 3rd January, 2013. If the applicants are inadmissible into America for some other reason other than unlawful presence, they cannot apply for this waiver. Applicants must also establish that their US citizens relatives would suffer extreme hardship if they are separated from them.

Filing Form I-601A

If you believe that you are eligible for an unlawful presence waiver, you may file Form I-601A and you will have to use the edition of the form bearing the date 03/04/13 and mail it to the Chicago Lockbox facility. The form filing fee is $585 and you must also pay $85 for biometric services, along with the form filing fee. The form is self explanatory and you can complete Form I-601A online, on your computer and you may print the completed form and mail it with the relevant supporting documents and the exact form filing fees to the right service center. See to that you do not skip important parts of the form and that you do not leave the form fields blank. Incomplete forms will be returned and remember that you cannot file Form I-601A concurrently with any other form.

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How Does the USCIS Differ From INS? Wed, 03 Apr 2013 10:21:10 +0000 How Does the USCIS Differ From INS?INS or the Immigration and Naturalization Service was the federal agency that was administering all the issues related to immigration and naturalization. USCIS, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, is the agency that now deals with issues related to immigration and naturalization. However, both the agencies are not the same and the INS does not exist and it was dismissed in the year 2003, after the terrorist attacks shook America in 2001. After the INS was dissolved, the US Department of Homeland security was created and the responsibilities of the INS were transferred to three different agencies within the US Department of Homeland Security.

There are several differences between INS and USCIS. INS was established in the year 1933 by the federal government in order to regulate US immigration. INS was first controlled by the US Department of Labor and then by the Department of Justice. INS was responsible for the enforcement and protection of the naturalization and immigration laws. INS had branches and offices within the country and abroad and the agency dealt with issues related to immigration. It also detained and deported the undocumented immigrants and checked illegal immigration. Field operations, Programs, Policy and Planning and Management were the four main divisions of the INS. However, INS does not exist and it was dissolved in 2003 and its functions are now being carried out by the USCIS, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

All the administrative functions of the INS are now administered by the USCIS and the functions of the USCIS include, processing of visa, asylum and naturalization applications. Likewise, USCIS oversees immigration benefits and services and deals with all the forms related to naturalization and immigration. USCIS adjudicates immigrant visa applications and naturalization applications and grants lawful status and US citizenship to the eligible applicants. One of the top priorities of the USCIS is to improve customer relationships.

Though the functions that are now performed by the USCIS were earlier performed by the INS, it is not correct to use the name INS to refer to the current agency. Many still believe that INS and USCIS are both the same and that is not true. INS was dissolved in 2003 and the agency that is currently offering services related to naturalization and immigration is USCIS. All the functions that were performed by the INS are not being performed by the USCIS and only the administrative functions are handled by the USCIS and the other functions of the INS are handled by the other two agencies, CBP and ICE. CBP is responsible for the enforcement of several drug laws and laws related to immigration and is also responsible for securing the border. Likewise, ICE is the investigative agency and this agency regulates the immigration and tax laws of the country.

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Post Decision Activity Defined Thu, 28 Mar 2013 09:39:28 +0000 Post Decision Activity DefinedPost Decision Activity is something that happens after the USCIS adjudicates a petition. USCIS is the federal agency that takes care of issues related to immigration. To receive immigration benefits, appropriate USCIS forms must be filed and the USCIS will adjudicate the petitions after checking the petitions. USCIS must first accept the petition that you file and this is the first step and the USCIS will not accept petitions that are incomplete and inaccurate. Similarly, your petition will not be accepted if your signature is missing. It is hence mandatory to make sure that your form is signed and that the form is completely filled. Likewise, if you have not have signed in black ink, your petition will be rejected.

Moreover, you need to check your application package prior to mailing and make sure that the package contains the required form filing fee. Some people mail copies of completed immigration forms instead of filing the original copies and such copies will not be accepted and will immediately be rejected by the USCIS.

After checking your petition for accuracy and after ensuring that you have paid the right fee, USCIS will accept your petition and remember that acceptance does not mean approval. USCIS will check whether you have completed all the fields of the form and whether all the supporting documents are submitted. USCIS will then send you an application receipt notice. Your petition will be rejected immediately, if it does not accompany all the relevant supporting documents and the form filing fee. Similarly, if your petition is incomplete, your petition will be returned to you.

Hence, all the essential documents must be submitted without fail, in order to prevent your petition from being denied. If the supporting documents are insufficient and if the USCIS does not deny your petition for this reason, it will request you for more evidence. As soon as you receive such a request from the USCIS, you will have to mail all the relevant documents to the right USCIS address. In certain circumstances, you will be required to submit original documents.

If an interview is required, USCIS will send you an interview appointment letter and an interview will take place after the agency reviews your petition and the supporting documents and the USCIS will decide on your case, after the interview.

Post decision activity will include all the actions that the USCIS takes after denying or approving your petition. If your petition is approved, USCIS will send a notification to the US Department of State or to the National Visa Center and this is known as post decision activity. If your petition is denied by the USCIS, you can appeal the denial of your petition and if your request is considered, USCIS will reconsider your case. All these activities are regarded as post decision activities. Post decision activities involve several steps and you may check the steps online, by making use of your case number. Hence, post decision activity includes the actions that the USCIS takes after adjudicating a petition.

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What You Need to Know About the USCIS Application Status? Mon, 04 Feb 2013 10:00:22 +0000 If you have filed a USCIS form to obtain a particular immigration benefit, you can check the status of your immigration petition online and you can just visit the “My Case Status” page on the USCIS website and know about the status of your petition. Similarly, applicants can check the status of their petitions by phone, by email or in person.

How to Check My Application Status?

To check the status of your application online, you need to visit USCIS.GOV and click the CASE STATUS box and after you are directed to the case status page, you will have to enter your application receipt number that you find on the receipt notice that the USCIS mailed to you after accepting your petition. If you had filed your petition online, you can find the receipt number on the confirmation notice that you received after e-filing your petition. You need to enter all the 13 digits and after you enter your receipt number, you need to click “CHECK STATUS”. You will then be directed to another page that will show that status of your immigration petition.

USCIS also allows its customers to create accounts and register for automatic updates and such updates will be sent to the customers by e-mails or text messages. Every applicant will be assigned a unique receipt number by the USCIS and the applicants can check the status of their applications by making use of those receipt numbers. The 13 digit receipt numbers are alphanumeric and the first three characters of these receipt numbers indicate the 4 USCIS service centers and if you file your application in California, your receipt number will start with WAC.

You can also check the USCIS application status over the phone, by calling 1 800 375 5283. To check your application status by phone, you need to dial this number and follow the instructions and you can obtain information about your application and other automated information, at any time. However, if you need to talk to a USCIS representative, you must call between 8am and 8pm. You may also send emails to the service centers for information, if your issue is not resolved within 30 days from the date of talking to a USCIS representative. If you want to speak to an immigration officer directly, you can just make an INFOPASS appointment, visit a USCIS office directly and discuss about your issues with an immigration officer. You can visit the USCIS website and make an INFOPASS appointment.

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General Information About the USCIS Immigration Forms Tue, 09 Oct 2012 08:55:06 +0000 USCIS forms may be downloaded and filed and you can also file the forms electronically. But there are few forms that must be completed and mailed to a USCIS lockbox facility and are not available for filing online. Almost all the immigration forms are self-explanatory and you may complete the forms by following the form instructions.

Filing Fee and Filing Location
You will have to file most of the USCIS forms with the required filing fees. But there are certain forms that do not require filing fees. If your form requires a filing fee, you will have to file your form with the exact filing fees and your form may not be accepted if the application does not accompany the correct filing fee. Your form will contain detailed instructions about the filing fee and the form filing location. You need to go through the form instructions carefully to know about the mailing address and the filing fees.

Similarly, you need to follow the form instructions while completing the application in order to avoid errors. Make sure that you mail the completed form along with the filing fees, to the right address. Immigration and naturalization forms have specific instructions about where the form must be filed. The processing of your petition may be delayed if you fail to mail the form to the correct USCIS office. USCIS will send you an application receipt notice after receiving your application. You will also receive notification about your biometrics appointment.

Fee Waivers
However, USCIS grants fee waivers in certain circumstances. If you cannot afford to pay the required filing fee and if you believe that you are eligible for a fee waiver, you may request a fee waiver. You will have to use Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, to request a fee waiver. USCIS will then review your request and grant you a waiver, if you are found to be eligible.

Likewise, many immigration forms require photographs. You need to submit the required photographs according to the specifications, along with your application. You can find the specifications in the form instructions.

Fillable Forms and E-filing
There are a few fillable forms, that allow the customers to fill the form on a computer and print them. You can then sign the form and mail it to a USCIS lockbox. You may also file few forms online and if you choose to file an online USCIS form for a particular immigration benefit, you will have to fill the form according to the instructions. But before you file the online form, you must make sure that you are eligible to file the form online. You may pay the form filing fee online, while you file an immigration form online. You will immediately receive a confirmation notice from the USCIS as soon as you file your application online. But remember that not all the forms are available for e-filing.

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USCIS Forms – Filing Tips Tue, 25 Sep 2012 10:45:59 +0000 It is well known that all the USCIS forms can be obtained through the website. Most of the forms may be e-filed and there are certain forms that must be filed directly in person at a USCIS office. Instructions for all the immigration forms are not the same. All the different USCIS forms have different form filing instructions. And almost all the forms are self-explanatory. It is wise to understand the USCIS application process before filing a form.

You need to read the form instructions before you start filling your application. Moreover, you must not fail to attach the required supporting documentation along with your application. You need to remember that the supporting documents that are not in English must accompany the corresponding English translation and the translated copies must be certified by a competent translator. You may electronically file some of the USCIS forms but if you are filing the paper version of the form, you need to print or type using black ink. Moreover, you must write your name in the same format on all the USCIS forms that you are filing.

You need to ensure that you use the current version of the immigration form as the USCIS updates the forms quite often. Leaving important columns blank may result in the denial of your application. Understand the form and make sure that you fill in accurate information. If the immigration officers find that the information that you had provided in untrue, your petition may be rejected. Do not forget to sign the form after completing it.

Most of the USCIS forms must be filed along with the required filing fee. You should go through the form instructions and pay the exact fee that is required. USCIS will accept money orders, certified checks and valid credit cards and remember that cash will not be accepted and you must not send cash along with your application. Similarly, you must not forget to get a receipt for the payment that you had made and you will have to retain copies of all the forms that you had filed.

You will receive an application receipt notice from the USCIS, after the USCIS receives your application. That receipt must be retained as you can use the number on that receipt to check the status of your application online. If you have any queries, you can make an INFOPASS appointment and speak with a USCIS officer. USCIS states that most of the applications are rejected because the applications are filed without the required pages. Due to such reasons USCIS rejects the petitions and the applicants will have to re-file such rejected applications.

It is recommended to make sure that the application is complete and double check the applications before filing. You need to ensure that all the form pages are completed and signed and that the packet contains the required documentation and the form pages, before mailing the packet. Errors and missing information in the USCIS form, may result in a delay or in the denial of your petition.

Use our services at to complete an error free USCIS form.

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The INS Thu, 29 Dec 2011 11:35:09 +0000 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly called the INS) is the official government agency that takes care of the entire immigration related process in the United States.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was previously called the Bureau of Immigration and the Bureau of Naturalization(BCIS) from 1903. Later, the INS was established on 10 June 1933 after its merger to administer matters related to immigration and naturalization policies. On March, 2003, most of INS’ functions were transferred to three new agencies under the newly created Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the INS ceased to exist under that name. It was an effect of the September 11 attacks of 2001.

How is the INS Referred to Today?

The administration of all immigration services and other functions came under the the direct control of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), the name which lasted only for a short period of time before changing to its current name, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Visa and green card petitions are filed either at the American Consulate or with the USCIS. The USCIS has direct control over all the applications/petitions filed in the US.

The application process

Once you send the completed application to the USCIS along with the appropriate fee and supporting documents, you can expect to receive an Application Receipt Notice that will contain a 13-character Application Receipt number within 30 days of having filed your application. With this number, you can track the progress of your application while the application is being processed.

To track your application status, visit the USCIS’s website, and select the link “Case Status Online” and just type the receipt number. Remember that processing times vary according to the type of application you filed and also according to USCIS Application Service Center (ASC) where you filed your application. If it is more than a month since you filed your application and yet to receive a notice from the USCIS, you can get in touch with their Customer Service representatives at the USCIS toll-free telephone.

Applicants who have their representatives (lawyers, charitable groups, or corporations) who require regular access to information as they normally submit many applications, can create an account with the USCIS to get such information. Though the USCIS provides similar service to both account types, applicants’ representatives can have their own internal office tracking number since they deal with multiple cases.

There is another option where you can receive a text message to your US mobile phone number whenever there is a change in your application progress status. Applicants and representatives can use this option receive instant notification. However, Standard Messaging Rates or other charges related to such notifications may apply. Applicants and their representatives also have the option of receiving case status updates at their e-mail address.