Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could file your immigration forms and pay filing fees online instead of through the mail?
Well, now you can! The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has created a program called the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) that allows you to complete and submit certain applications electronically through e-filing.
This can be done on any computer with internet access and allows you to sign you application electronically and pay the filing fee online with a credit card, debit card, or your bank account information. You receive instant confirmation and a receipt number immediately after you finish filing. You can view your benefit requests, receive electronic notifications of decisions, and receive real-time case status updates throughout the process.
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If you wish to apply using the USCIS ELIS service then you must first set up a secure account on the USCIS E-Filing Login page. Although not all immigration forms can be filed online, the ones listed below can be e-filed:
- I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card
- I-131 Application for Travel Document
- I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
- I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
- I-539 Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status
- I-765 Application for Employment Authorization
- I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status
- I-907 Request for Premium Processing Service
Fee waivers are not applicable when filing forms online with the USCIS and you cannot receive a refund or return in the event of an error, cancellation of your application, or withdrawal of your request. If you are unsure if your application was successfully submitted, you should verify with the USCIS before attempting to re-file.
Once you have filed a form online, a confirmation receipt number will be displayed on the page. There will also be a link to a PDF version of the form you filed which you should save to your computer. A Form I-797 Notice of Action will be mailed to your address within 10 days of filing which again confirms your application and receipt number. Supporting documents can only be submitted at a later date at the address listed on the confirmation receipt.
- File My Application Online through E-Filing (USCIS)
- E-Filing Tips and FAQ (USCIS)
- USCIS ELIS Information Page (USCIS)
- USCIS ELIS Log-in Page
- Immigrant Fee Payment Tips (USCIS)
- U.S. Immigration Agency Will Lose Millions Because It Can’t Process Visas Fast Enough (4-07-17)
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.