Tips and Tricks of Avoiding Filing Delays

We hope you all had a great holiday break and are ready to celebrate the start of this new year with a bang!

With more of us embracing our electronic environment, electronic filing has become a great option for submitting many online applications. However, not everyone has fully transitioned from paper filing to electronic filing and there are still some applications that will require you to mail out your paper packets.

If you plan to paper file an application, petition, or request to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), please take note of the filing tips below to avoid any delays.  These tips were released by USCIS on November 1, 2022. You may view the full detailed list here.

  • All documents should be submitted as the original and be printed in color (no black and white), unless stated by the instructions.
    • You should not submit copies of the same document or evidence. Review all instructions prior to sending out your application. If the instructions mention to submit more that one copy of the same document, then should have a “COPY” mark on the top of the page for all copies.
  • Do not send any documents that have paper clips, staples, or have been hole punched.
    • Separate any documents are that attached together.
  • Avoid folding any documents or placing sticky notes that may cover any information.
  • When submitting any documents or evidence, do not submit them with a binding or use binders, photo albums, or tab dividers.

Be sure to make a printout of the instructions for the application, petition, or request you plan on submitting to USCIS, especially if you plan on submitting it as a paper packet.

If you are an F-1 student, and plan to apply for OTP after you complete your program, you have two options:

  1. File the OPT application electronically through USCIS online portal.
  2. File the OPT application to USCIS by mail as a packet.

If you plan to file the OPT application as paper packet, please keep these tips in mind to avoid any delays. If you plan to file electronically, the USCIS portal has instructions for the online application and what documents need to be uploaded.

We hope the instructions noted above will provide guidance on any future online filing.


Article Categories: Immigration, News